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In many spiritual circles, it is popular to talk about gratitude.  Gratitude encompasses much more than a quickie “thank you.”  It implies a much deeper state of mind, one that practitioners realize will position you to receive even greater abundance.

Gratitude – together with all the volumes that have been written about it – is very much an ingredient of the gift economy.  A very beautiful ingredient, which enriches our hearts and spirits, at the same time as it potentially invites more substantial and tangible gifts.

Some communities are beginning to set up "gift circles" -- a collection of people who want to engage in gifting practices on a regular basis.  But you don't need to wait for an official gift circle.  Here's how you can get gift economy concepts rolling right now.

Gifts have the function of bonding communities together.  ...
If your entire life is nothing but money transactions, ... then you don't have community because you don't need anybody. 
-- Charles Eisenstein,  http://youtu.be/cS07gM74tww

My dad just gave me a brand-new sawzall reciprocating saw.  Yesterday its maiden voyage helped to repair the rainwater harvesting tanks at the community garden.  In the spirit of gifting (in Maori they call it hau), with this “second giving” the sawzall entered into the gift economy.

by Molly Rose-Williams

Food security and food justice, energy consumption, community health and resilience, ecological well-being, air quality and world peace: these are just some of the issues that actions registered as part of the May Transition Challenge have been addressing. We’ve seen them over and over, addressed from every angle and each with a creative twist. From a specially-designed growing dome that provides the ideal environment for a vegetable garden at 8500 feet above sea level, to a one-man operation that monitors chemical trails in the skies over Milwaukee and publishes the results online for community members to see, to a summit in Nairobi, Kenya, run for and by teenagers to start engaging in dialogue and working towards creating a culture of sustainable peace, these are just some of the things we have done this May.


Good day Transitioners. Here in Northern California, spring's verdant emergence is upon us. The fruit tree blossoms are popping, the chickens are laying and after recent rains, the soil is moist and the rain tanks are full. I love this season. Spring is imbued with a vitality that infuses one with hope. The kind of hope that comes from lived in visions, ones with our heads, hearts and hands aligned in meaningful action.

Here are 7 things your group can do to further positive change.

Here is a link to a two-sided handout version (pdf) that I created in anticipation of a speaking engagement.  It was written for church communities and other organizations which are interested in participating in the Transition process.

If you would like to edit the handout for use in your local area (for instance if you want to substitute your local climate change impacts for L.A. ones), email me and I will send you the raw Word doc (MS Word 2010)

Perhaps many of you have seen the viral video of Charles Eisenstein called "the Revolution is Love". If you haven't, take a look here.

Local Dollars Local Sense BookI hastened to buy Local Dollars, Local Sense by Michael Shuman, because I was attracted to the title and had high hopes for the emphasis on localization.  Shuman's book represents a small step in a needed direction, but I was yearning for much deeper.

The cover claims that it is "a Community Resilience Guide" -- I don't think so: not at face value, not without plenty of caveats and sidebar explanations to adapt Shuman's recommendations to a dramatically changing economic picture.  Certainly, Go Local.  But do so ready to adjust to the radically different landscape we now face.  This new era of economic contraction alters many long-held presumptions.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.  --George Santayana

The virtual credit world we currently live in isn't an original creation.  Mankind has done this before, says anthropologist David Graeber, author of Debt, the First 5,000 Years.  Credit "is the original form of money.  In ancient Mesopotamia they were doing most things by credit.  Coinage was only invented 2,000 years after the first accounts we have."(1)

Throughout recorded history, Graeber tells us, we have alternated between a credit-based economy and a world where coins or some kind of metal or material object was used in everyday transactions.  But today, as we wrestle with the consequences of one burst credit bubble and await the bursting of another(2), there are some significant lessons to be learned from how credit was done in the past.

Hello Transition Community!

As a gardener, Winter Solstice holds much more meaning for me than the conventional new year marker of January 1.  Even here in Southern California's year-round growing season, we observe the slowing of plant growth into semi-dormancy as the Solstice approaches.  We witness the acceleration into new growth once the Solstice is past.  Animals know it too -- my chickens are resuming laying.  The Winter Solstice is the crossover point, the planet's annual marker of change.

Some years I join friends at a Winter Solstice fire at a local community garden.  As part of the evening we write down one thing we are releasing from the old year, and something we wish to bring alive in the new year.  Then we slip the paper with our intention into the fire pit together with some white sage leaves or perhaps some rosemary.  This beautiful ceremony always gets me thinking, at a rather early point in the season by conventional calendar terms, about my personal goals for the new year -- "Resolutions" if you will.

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