This week Awesome Stories brings you super passive homes, courage, bio-gas, compassion, stone balancing and restoring land.
Glennon Doyle Melton wrote another post that rocked me with her idea of courage for today. Often we can be overwhelmed with life and its challenges. Instead of trying to figure it all out, maybe we can reach for courage in the moment for the one next step. It also helps to have friends, a support system, or a stranger delivering the perfect message to light your way! Read this heart warming story of how Glennon found courage for today and then shared the gift with another.
This home is amazing and beautiful. I would love to live in such a well built and energy efficient home. In the US, we have the LEED program to encourage energy efficient buildings, but in Germany they have a much tougher standard called Passive Homes. To be certified a Passive Home, it must meet rigorous standards for low energy demand, air tightness and thermal comfort. Sonya Newenhouse and her family built a house in northern Wisconsin that is so efficient, it only used the energy needed to run a hair dryer to heat it during one of the coldest winters in recent times. Learn more and see the photos of this amazing passive home.
This program of repairing drought and damaged land has been incredibly successful. Rather than planting only trees, which is typically unreliable and expensive in dry land areas, the farmers have turned to agroecology, a way to combine crops and trees on the land. They’ve used terracing, moving large amounts of dirt and rock, while planting many seeds and trees. The results have been incredible, reclaiming about 1/6th of the arable land in Ethiopia, and inspiring similar projects in Uganda, the Congo, Columbia and Guatemala. It has been called a quiet revolution that just might help countries feed their people while mitigating the damages of climate change.
For many years, I was very hard on myself, expecting near perfection on everything I did. This lead to excellence in some areas, but it also caused much stress. As I’ve learned to relax about life, results and perfectionism, I’ve found more peace. Part of my change has come from self compassion. If you also have a hard time being kind to yourself, here are some good tips for practicing self compassion. One of my practices has been to say empowering words to myself like “I love you”, “You can do this”, etc. Compassion and kindness make a great team!
Michael Grab is a master with stones, creating amazingly artful arrangements. If you haven’t seen his work before, you are in for a treat! What started as a playful messing around with rocks, has become a passionate exploration of rocks, balance, creation and meditation. In his words, “I am constantly in awe at the stillness, let alone possibility, of such precarious formations, amidst sometimes very turbulent conditions.”
Image from Gravity Glue website.
What needs stillness and balance in your life? Consider a retreat, even for a few moments or hours, to sooth your mind and soul. Blessings, Brad