Friday, November 29, 2013

To Keep Growing, or to Recover?

Even the word itself, "re" - "cover" .... cover it back up again. Don't let that out, once it's out you can't go back ;), do you even want to?
A conversation with a friend had me saying .... "I'd really like to go to LNE Victoria, but I'm not sure my brain is ready for more, I haven't yet recovered from LNE Vancouver". The word "recover" struck a cord with me.
What does that even mean, to recover? Is this actually something I should be aiming for?
As I thought more about it....I realized that, actually, recovery is going backwards. It makes sense that perhaps a desire for such a recovery is likely to emerge after having a paradigm shifting week of events.
However, upon further reflection, this is really the old world trying to hang on, to grasp at what it can. It would seem as though recovery keeps us stuck, and brings us back to the business-as-usual world. We are used to going back so it becomes second nature to want to take time to chill and "recover". But really, recovery is only relevant when you are looking to return. And, as appealing as it is to cling on to what we know, and where we find comfort, I realize that these are merely constructs of our limited understanding of  our existence, and ultimately, of the universe.

And that is not to say that actually stepping back to take a break, to let these new ideas, and understandings ripple through you and find an even deeper meaning is a bad thing, because it most certainly is not, but it was just interesting for me to notice the language that I spoke, and tune into it on a deeper level. I was able to notice it, and use it as a sort of "warning sign".. "ah ha!, Old World trickery!", instead of going that route, I've mindfully chosen to carry on. To just be. Be in the new, which can encompass, at times, uncomfortable, and overwhelming sensations, but, you see, these feelings are, indeed, the fuel to manifestation of the connected, aware, and more beautiful world we strive to live within. Therefore, upon all this reflection, I'm embracing where I'm at, the complete unknown, full of possibilities, erupting with potential. I have let go of my desire to recover, and am moving forward rolling with all of it. And, I will be attending LNE Victoria. Here we go.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

"Living the New Economy, is Living the New Community" - Mind Blown and Loving It - aka - LNE Vancouver 2013

Living the New Economy Victoria starts tomorrow, the third one of its kind! I've been meaning to digest, verbally, in blog form, my feelings from the first session and, I figure now is the time...before my mind gets blown, round two, in Victoria.

I was also only at the evening sessions, and then weekend, so I really can't speak for the wonders that happened during the day ...but I know they were fantastical.

The opening night, October 15, 2013.

Really set the stage for the week of wonder to follow. 

An amazing spoken word by one of the organizers, Tammy Lea Meyer entitled I Am touched on absolutely every piece necessary. My re-cap, quite honestly, will not be able to express how profound her words were. It was coming from a place of love, and connection, and it was beautiful to be apart of that.

Please, have a listen and let the words run through you.

Hard to pick a favourite part because honestly it's all phenomenal but what struck me so much, such that I had to pick up my notebook and scribble a bit was:

"Rationale is to the life force as a picture of a tree is to a tree." 

I am so thankful for this whole piece. It's curious how, any one of these words, individually, may or may not evoke something on their own. Yet strewn together in this remarkable, thoughtful, fashion, has a profound and lasting effect on the listener.

Easily taken for granted, certainly I do, it's fascinating how language works and how we communicate to share beliefs, ideas, and understandings.

The Evolution of the Butterfly from Abraham Heisler on Vimeo.

After that, I was awakened to this beautiful short clip, as included above, which compares our current economic/ecological crisis to the life of a caterpillar pre-butterfly, provided a perfect context for where we are, what stage we're in, and the beauty that is to come. Re-connecting us even further. In addition, it defined a word for what it is all of us amazing (arguably a different word would be selected by those in the "business as usual" phase) people are ...immaginal cells. Beautiful.

That followed by an amazing conversation between Mark Lakeman (story-teller, City Repair - Portland), and Ian Mackenzie (love-infused filmmaker). . . Suffice it to say, after that first night - my mind was blown, and I knew I was never headed back from where I came. Here is that beauty of a conversation on soundcloud! :) Well worth the listen! 

One of my favourite moments in the conversation between Mark and Ian was when Ian spoke of how we ought to be "Manufacturers of events that don't fit into others' world view". A light bulb went off in my head, and I'm sure many others around me, too. The empowering realization that every, single, moment, I have a choice - a choice to act in a way that shows compassion, love, kindness and openness, in whatever I am doing. That my interactions with everyone are an opportunity, an opportunity to shift our conciousness towards love, understanding, connection, and inter-being. What an empowering understanding.

I mean, I want to say I was doing this already, and certainly I was to some extent - i.e. considering how I react to a situation, considering how what I say impacts others, and vice versa, remembering that usually when people say hurtful things it is their own self wounded coming out, versus an actual direct hit to me - but when Ian articulated those key words "Manufacturers of events that don't fit into other's world-view" it was the perfect piece of the puzzle I didn't realize I was missing until he said it, to mobilize me into further actions, and conversations to create beauty. And, to that, I am so grateful. 

I was always of the belief that every interaction had an opportunity for learning, but never had I framed it from the receiver side. An opportunity for learning is really only from my perspective, if I'm talking about myself learning something, though the other learns too, if they were open to it, but I had not focused on that aspect. Now...I see the two-way interaction/exchange that can lead to a deep, lasting, profound experience. 

I also really loved Mark's story about the butterfly. Specifically because it points to our disconnect with nature. But it's empowering in the sense that, we all have this innate ability to interact in a meaningful way with our surroundings. That despite having travelled on this long journey of "Seperation", wherein our worldview is largely around competition, and power, the desire to connect with others, and interact with nature is still within us, where it always was. For some easier to access than others, but it's still there inside each and every one of us - and that to me is hopeful.

This also exemplifies the beauty and effect of story. Mark had this experience himself, but now he comes back and tells it to many people, and while we are not experiencing it first-hand, his story is compelling in a way that goes deeper than an analyzing mind. We not only hear his words, we feel them, as if we were him, in that moment. His story is one that, at least for me and I would argue for others too, resonates on the inside, on a level that transcends thought. It stirs emotion up in us, and that is a story that will have a lasting effect, and will imprint itself on our psyche for the better. Whether we notice it immediately or not, it's now added into our layers of what it means to be a human, and exist in this world. And to me, that's amazing. 

And of course, an amazing quote bomb gets dropped by Mark - couldn't have said it better! "Not just to save the world, but to savour the world". 

What also really resonated with me was when Ian started talking about mumuration, and swam theory, and said something along the lines of "when you surrender yourself to the organism, a higher power emerges". Partially because I  am absolutely taken away into a different space and context when I look up and see birds (usually in the downtown case, pigeons), fly in their beautiful patterns, exemplifying community, co-creation, and love in all that they are doing. But for him to make that link between the "letting go, and letting be" and applying that in our current context as humans, it really took on a whole new meaning. 

As I navigate these new waters, uncertain of what lies ahead of me, easily able to go into a state of panic or confusion as the "old world" would typically have me do, I find myself not going there. It is feeling obsolete. I can feel my brain/ego toying with that, luring me in, wanting me to go there so it can be fed. But instead of feeding, I remain a step back, as an observer, witnessing this inner game.  My trust expands, I remain calm, excited, full of potential, realizing the opportunity that exists before me, and yet not getting too far ahead of myself either. Just being. Present. In the moment. Surrendering my beliefs and my understandings of the world. Letting it all unravel as it must, to propel me into a deeper layer, meaning, context, and yet a shallow (in a new world context, not heavy with the connotations the old world provides) layer too, the space where both make sense, deep and shallow, ebb and flow,  weaving a beautiful pattern of what it means to be human. 

Another thing I loved was - "We need to know it, and feel it, and believe's inevitable, and we need all of you." Ian explaining what he calls "Eiseinstein's Paradox, from Charle's Eiseinsteins new book The More Beautiful World our Hearts Know Is Possible "...this dynamic tension between these two polarities, is where the immaginal cells emerge, and where we find that maybe the world we are trying to create is not as far away as we think" - well put Ian, well put! 57.20 ish.

Lastly I love the whole notion that, we are all in this together, and that everyone, no matter what "side" they seem to be on, we are all fundamentally on the same side. It's such a relief, and provides the space for meaningful connection. It's about finding ways to connect, that that specific person may respond to, and about finding those shared values and beliefs, no matter how many layers they may be under. 

At the end of the day, how freeing is it that it doesn't have to be this sort of, frantic, mad dash to "save the planet"..... we've tried that for a long time now, and look where we are. As I believe Mark mentions in the chat, it's time we start having fun, building relationships, and creating beauty. People are social creatures and want to join in where the fun is - so start having some!

I feel the quote by Buckminster Fuller emulates this perfectly: 

Wednesday, October 16th 

What I once thought to be just a good way of raising money for a project, turned into a whole new understanding.


Allowing those who care, and want to contribute, do so.  How it allows for access to otherwise difficult to obtain capital, and how it allows a different kind of transaction to emerge. One that has more meaning - where the people who are helping to fund what it is you're doing, are moved by your work, and want to contribute because they believe in it. And now there is the ability to connect on a whole new level. And that is beautiful.

This is a great TED Talk on the concept, and how the format of how we do business is surely going to be changing more and more.

And then came the film by Ian Mackenzie - Reactor.  I think it was this night that I became more aware and in awe with Buddhism. Ian spoke of the Bodhisattva, and my memory of it, in combination with my nots, tells me that it is a being who has finished the cycle of reincarnation, but has specifically come back, to stay for the liberation of others.If all things are not free, then no-one is free".

"If we are all deeply connected, then if somebody else is suffering, the forests are suffering, if our parents are suffering, if our children our suffering, then we feel that suffering. In other words, I can't be free, unless others are free". Michael Stone

I came home in a flurry of curiosity, and profound emotions - luckily my roommate is Buddhist so I was thankful to chat with her more about it all, and she told me the beautiful story of Siddhartha, and it resonated with me, deeply.

"Our economy and our lifestyles are driven by stories we have, about what a meaningful life is.  Those stories seem so fixed, but yet, it's also fleeting, and it's also transient" - Michael Stone -

Here is the trailer.

"What is the story that wants to be told? " Many profound questions are asked in this film which provoke the mind to new levels. I do recommend giving it a watch, and supporting this amazing film maker, Ian. You can rent it, or buy it online, here.
Some of my take-aways from the film, and my paraphrased scribbles as I watched and transformed
  • It's not enough to simple be enlightened, poor people don't care what mantra you're saying. We need to act. 
  • How do I express [in action] what I experience in stillness
  • It's not necessarily obvious to know what to do with the complexity of the world we created. It isn't a simply x, y, z, we recognize change as it unfolds, each finds their own way to contribute
...and other such notes in my book - as part of the Q&A and epic commentary by Ian after the film, they are paraphrased from discussions had, and comments said
  • We all do our own thing, together we create real change - so many seeds have been, and are being, planted. 
  • There is no difference - when you put yourself in service to something meaningful, whatever that is, it benefits everyone
  • What the culture does not provide, we try to entertain/replace the void with things, what used to be filled in us ,and didn't cost money, free by community, is now monetized
  • We need to re-weave a culture to lower our energy needs, but increase our connection, and happiness
  • There is a bias within the system itself, to monetize whatever it is you are in service to, e.g. spiritual teachers and their wisdom - the concept of charging money for it, those who have chosen to not do so and the implications therein
  • What is community and how do we allow it to flourish? 
  • There is no specific formula, as long as you connect with that side of you that wants to be in service, which is connecting and life-affirming, that will be your answer
  • You're here, and that's enough to know you should be 
  • Your journey will change too, and that is ok. Only you are the one who will know what you can, and should occupy
All in all, my major take-away is weave the emerging paradigm into your everything, and to be your artist you feel called to be.

Actually, in getting the trailer, above, I found this beautiful commentary on what it means to be present, and felt compelled to include it here, too. :) Enjoy.

Redefining the present moment - Michael Stone from Ian MacKenzie on Vimeo.

October 17 - Day 3
Heard from
...An amazing concept, organization, ecosystem, emerging wonder - I suggest checking them out and getting involved however that may look like. Check them out!  A helpful way to think about it "an alternative MBA" but certainly there is so much more to it than that. They are in their first year of classes and so far, so good.
From their website: 

Groundswell is a new project that tackles head-on the economic insecurity, social disconnection and precarity so many young people are facing today.

In a nutshell, "We need to pluralize the measurement system, and stop teaching people to compete" re: school! Amazing! "Education is a journey, we need to help people find their flow". Their main components are 
  1. Personalize Education - starting with the gap inside of YOU
  2. Community - what is livelihood in the community, what is it you want?  Business is not separate from community, we need to start treating it as such, we need to bring community logic into business
  3. Alternative Business Structures and systems to help foster/facilitate the above, and beyond. Opening up dialogue around new economic logic - empathy, cooperation! 
And interesting words were spoken regarding entitlement, and what that means. While we often think of it as a negative thing, and has certainly been thrown around these days as such, a new lens was opened up, which I thought was pretty neat.

Entitlement as a driver of progress - the right to participate in everyday actions - which can be incredibly empowering, versus the way we typically think about it say, the right to buy new stuff, and own, acquire, dominate nature - so it can certainly have a very different effect. The speaker used the example of Rosa Parks, and had she not felt entitled to a seat anywhere on the bus, or women standing up for the right to vote, as they felt entitled to that. Makes perfect sense to me! Entitlement can fuel change for the better if it's directed in a positive way. 

And, one of the best part about Groundswell - they will be opening up a Cafe, next to their class studio, that will be very community oriented and function as a space to incubate amazing ideas, help people collaborate, and all around, engage in open discussions and dialogue. Creating that space, I feel, is so important. So I'm very excited to see how this will all progress.

October 19 - Day 5

The day started out with a discussion, from Tam Lundy, from Communities that Can! Institute, on generative change, versus the two that precede it, in order, being technical, and adaptive. This was a more theoretical session, and it was great to get our heads out of the proverbial box, and start thinking about what that really means to be part of generative change. 
The definition provided was "purposeful, emergent, fosters health and well being, and healthy development in self, and society, now and in future generations, nudging system to higher level of complexity"
Increasing in dynamic complexity would look like:

static (concrete thinking) --> linear (conceptual thinking)   -->circular (systems thinking) --> reflexive (meta-system thinking)

Tam also pointed out that it is important to remember that adaptive challenges, are not technical problems, and that generative challenges are not adaptive problems. So we must understand the situation we are faced with, and apply the appropriate mind-set to determine our solution. 
The feel was very co-creative, and bridging our understanding of how we function in the world, and how can we expand our reality and our concept of how we solve problems. Pretty neat.
A new paradigm of human capacity, to meet a new era of human existence - rad!
Something interesting too, which I had never really thought about, we are the only mammal whose still developing outside of the womb - certainly interesting to consider - how important it is for us to be in a loving, safe, accepting space. 
A nice visual, that I now only have it words, but you can use your imagination. As the four quadrants fall into collective versus individuality, interior versus exterior --> Psychological and Spiritual, Cultural, Physical and Behavioural, Social and Ecological Health - we need it all. Which category do you spend most of you time in? Which category do you feel businesses, organizations, communities are focusing on primarily? 
....well, if you're still reading, that is only up to Saturday morning - and this is getting be continued! ;)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Diversity is key - we know this to be true in so many realms. GMO's have got to go. Let's start telling and living the new story.

EDIT: a conversation tonight at dinner revealed further how much some believe monsanto is the only way to go. And then  appropriately, I found this "Small Scale Organic Farming - Only Way to Feed The World is the report they are referring to: Wake Up Before It's Too Late. And this epic article by good ol Joel Salatin.

What we do to others, and everything else - we do to ourselves. 

We are all interconnected. This, is a fundamental truth of our day, and this truth, when fully embraced, will facilitate positive and lasting change. We.all.are. 

I was recently having a chat with my Aunt about genetically modified organisms (GMO). She knows someone who works at Monsanto, and I am always curious to know what goes on inside the head of someone who works there. In light of the recent March against Monsanto, and the energy building - I thought I'd ask her if any of it was getting through to them, and what it all meant from their perspective.

Global March Against Monsanto
Vancouver Art Gallery Steps - Oct 12, 2013

She told me they see their job as an extremely important one. Ultimately, to save humanity - which is a pretty intense responsibility, no question. But is it true? And, is it really up to one group of people to save all of humanity? Can that even be possible? Does it even need "saving"? It's, of course, all in how it's framed, and our underlying context of how we see the world, and how we fit into it that would attempt to answer these questions.

She mentioned, and not surprisingly, that the underlying belief of those at Monsanto was, more often than not, "if we do not learn to modify seeds to create higher yield crops - we will never be able to feed the billions of hungry people on our planet." Ah yes - that old point.

That lead me to this massive email response, largely because it is a very important issue, but also because I type fast....but I decided it would be good to blog about it, too, so as to spread the message as far as it can go - that GMO's have got to go. 

We need to stop perpetrating the myths that these large companies want to feed us. Like the genetically modified high fructose corn syrup that they are putting in our every product, it’s sickening.

Each and every one of us needs to become educated so we can start taking a stand, and start saying YES to products we know we want, those which are GMO-free. Sadly, gone are the days (for now!) where we could walk into the grocery story and trust that the food on the shelves was good, wholesome, nutritious food. The system has evolved, for better or for worse, and so must our interactions with it.

It seems the main reason/argument for GMO's that I've got in talking to people is, "not being able to feed the billions of hungry people", and not coincidentally this is probably the biggest myth that Monsanto, and the other GE companies are perpetrating, and it's a dangerous one at that. 

Let's dig a bit deeper, on why that might be so.

I think what is tremendously hurtful and disrespectful is that these large companies play on a very natural human tendency - to feel compassion for others, to want to help and do the right thing. 

Of course if you say to someone "what, you don't want to feed the world? you want billions to go hungry?" they will say no, they will feel awful, guilty, and likely stop debating the subject, because now it’s called their own morality into question, and who wants to be a direct cause of people dying of hunger. It’s manipulative to pull on someone’s heart strings like that, especially when it’s not even true. It reminds me of the chat between Kevin O'Leary and the Rachel Parent - he certainly took that angle, among a few other nasty ones.

The bottom line - what we face is absolutely not a food shortage. What we face is a massive distribution problem. This is a fundamental understanding, and with this understanding, the whole problem shifts. 

[There's actually a movie in the works Food Waste Movie, really looking forward to it, it's by same people as Clean Bin Project, so we know it will be fantastic.]

At the end of the day, GM foods do not increase yields, and in fact they become perpetually more energy intensive to maintain. 

 Nature adapts, what she is best at, to the conventional methods, creating new, super-pests to rise to the occasion, which then puts Monsanto and other companies back to the labs to cook up the next generation of toxic seeds and sludge that they can flush into existence. And, of course, getting all "scientific" like that costs money, someone's got to pay that cost. Farmers having to pay for  increased quantities of toxins, and increased intensities of that toxic chemical soup, but not only from a monetary perspective, there are, of course, tremendous health costs associated with this too. And it's not just those directly involved having to pay - you and I pay, indirectly, because we breath the same air, and drink the same water - we are all connected. There's that fundamental truth again.

A business model that runs on the need to perpetually create and frantically sell the "next generation" has those working in these companies laughing. But, perhaps the laughter is to cover up the fear. I mean, unlimited sales, and ever-increasing growth? It sounds awkwardly similar to apple (well, actually, a lot of business models, that are starting to become extinct) and their desire to continually pump out new versions of products to keep sales high. This makes sense only in a world that values money over life, and thankfully that is changing.

From an economic perspective alone, as oil prices rise,  we can see that a system heavily dependent on fossil fuels is a system asking for trouble. Sure - it makes good business sense, for a few at the top - have farmers forever indebted to us, patent food, and own the worlds food supply.  But really, when you think about it - what is good business sense. Should it really just be about profit? Is that really even good for "those at the top"? I would argue it isn't good for them either. It must be lonely up there, trying to control a system that cannot be controlled, and trying to find refuge in your bottom line. Let the money numb the pain, fill the void. It doesn't sound good for anyone involved. And, again I go back to - what we do to others, we do to ourselves. We can only be as strong as our weakest link. It's time we see that interconnection, before it's too late.

This old method becomes a never ending cycle of increased energy requirements - a frantic rat race. Which feels oddly similar to how most of us feel right now in our lives. 

There has got to be another way. Thankfully there is - polycultures, composting, naturally replenishing the soil, working with nature, instead of against. Indeed the publication, found for free, at Earth Open Source, debunks all these myths  - and thank goodness for that. Please read it, and please share, especially with those touting GMO's as the "only way of the future". That is simply bad science!

"[GMO's] Cannot solve the problem of world hunger but distract from its real causes – poverty, lack of access to food and, increasingly, lack of access to land to grow it on. 

Bottom line - GM foods do not increase yields, they may deceive us in the beginning, making us think they do, but after a short while, we need more and more energy (specifically, $ and oil used in the fertilizers and chemicals that need to be used on these products). 

The food grown in these conventional systems is so void of those key micro-nutrients that we don't get when the soil is essentially dirt, no longer rich in nutrients, it lies depleted of its micro-organisms and as a result, these industrial farmers are left spoon-feeding a chemical juice mix in the dire hopes that it will give them what they need to repay their debts to these large companies. It sounds extreme but this is happening.

Nature does not require any of this when we work with her. What a concept!

Nature will always find a way to adapt, because she’s pretty spectacular like that, and so we will continually be required to exert more and more energy, to combat her, to grow monocultures where she wants polycultures, to pump toxins where, if we just let her, she would provide her own pest-resistant pheromones, among other wonders. 

Why do we want to fight, when we can love and be even more successful. We got into this mess from a fighting mind-set, but we can get out of it with love. We need to change the story of how we exist in this world. It is not one of power and combat, it's one of interconnection, and interbeing. As Charles Eisenstein says, more for you, is more for me too.

Genetic diversity, crop diversity - these are key things to the survival of all humans and when we homogenize a system, we give that all up. Are we really ready to do that? Do we really think we’re smarter than nature and can control everything?

It makes me sad that the dominant story is the one told by these large companies, who have profit as their bottom line, who have not yet stepped into the new way of living, in harmony, and in love. 

If it was really about caring for the people of the world (as they say, not lettings billions go hungry) it would not be met with such strife. 

At the end of the day, I feel we need to respect that this is all very very new science, and we are all still learning in an incredible system that is ever-changing, and remarkably complex - that, we ought not to forget, we are a part of, too. If we want to try, we darn well better test it out first, before wrecking our whole life source. And, let's actually test it, independently, not let those who stand to gain from the profits, do the testing. And in the meantime, let me know what's in my food, so I can decide for myself if I want to be part of a science experiment or not. What happened to the precautionary principle? Where have all our values gone, Canada, humans of this earth?

At the end of the day I believe we have to let our old understandings go. Nature is not there for us to control. She is there for us to learn from, interact with, and become better people because of her. She is there with open arms and we don't need to keep fighting her. What you love, you do not control.'s sheer insanity but the truth always survives...and the truth is coming out strong and loud, with a unified voice, for all to hear. I just hope that it isn't too late when we finally kick this GMO habit to the curb - i.e., that enough crop diversity is maintained and that the GM seeds have not contaminated the rest of our healthy plants.

What we do to others, and everything else - we do to ourselves. We are all interconnected. We all are.

What can YOU do?
1) Read the ingredient list
  • Anything that has a corn derivative (maltodextrin, dextrin, corn starch, high-fructose corn syrup, fructose etc) or soy,  is likely GMO unless specifically says non, because majority of corn and soy crops have been infected with the GMO strain. 

2) Look for products with “Non GMO Project" logo
  • This is a great initiative that helps consumers know what products are verified GMO free (until producers are actually required to label it).  They have their verified non-gmo products all listed on their site too - so you can plan in advance, and figure out which stores have these products.
  • You can even submit a request for a product that you wish to see verified if it's not yet - see here
  • Their website, in general, is  a great start. It provides a plethora of tools on how to navigate the GMO and non GMO realm.

3) Contact everyone and engage in dialogue!
  • Producers: email or call them to ask if their products are GMO free, the more they see consumers caring about this, the more willing they will be to change. After all – we have the last say as we vote with our dollar. I recently did this with a few companies – an example is below – no more Miss Vicky’s for me (which I realize they are not a good choice in the first place but sometimes we have cravings that are leftover as our bodies transition into this new era) and luckily we have this brand that is verified GMO free 
  • Regulating Bodies: contact your local city councillors, federal, or provincial regulatory members. A bit of searching online, or calling the city (311 in Vancouver) and asking some questions, will point you in the right direction. You can take direct action here and they also have their own 8 things you can do! which is super helpful. Here is some info for Canada. A quick internet search will give you a lot to work with!
  • Friends and family: talk about it, bring it into conversation and get it into your dialogue - the more people hear and know about it, the better we will be. This is an important issue that affects us all

Here is an email I sent. I gathered they did use GMO but I wanted to find out for certain, and also let them know this was something their "consumers" were worried about. The answer is clear - I won't be eating these chips again.

So, as you see it's quite the subject and I've really only hit on a few aspects here. There is lots of great information out there, but by the same token there is also a lot of media from those who stand to gain from GMO production - so know what you're reading, and if the source is credible. At the end of the day - ask your self what you feel comfortable with. Gambling with our life or playing it safe? I'm going to go with playing it safe. 

If someone gives me a tremendously thoughtful gift, say, I accept it with gratitude and love it. The value is derived in who it came from, and the thought put into it - I do not modify it because that would discount its meaning and purpose. Nature has provided us amazing gifts, we ought not to modify those gifts.

When issues of the day overwhelm me, I like to remember that together we can, and together we already are.

I am sending out tremendous gratitude for all. 

Some additional resources:

"Don't Eat It" - Michael Jackson styles

The Monsantrocity
Articles and such