I walked over the field on the way home from taking Mia to school. It's not really a field, I don't know what to call it. Officially, according to humans, it is parcelled up, titled property with building permits for residential use. According to nature it is a flood plain. The water buffaloes, when they pass by, probably call it food, for them it is a meadow for munching on, and the other creatures that lived there... well, since the draining... I doubt they call it anything
Recently we woke to the announcement that Turkey has left the Istanbul Convention which was opened for signatures here in 2011. The pact provides legal and social guidelines for governments to curb violence against women and has been signed by 45 nations and the EU. It is interesting to note that the UK and US have not ratified it and Poland recently withdrew from it. See the Wikipedia link below for more info. FYI: This article contains mild references to psychological and p
Wellness is only achievable on the individual level if is simultaneously multilateral, equitable and on the planetary scale. Yet it is simple. Back in December 2019 a magazine* asked me to write a brief article upon the subject of wellbeing. The simple approach I share here might be useful in these times of confusion and chaos. And it is clear through many things, including the recent manifestation of Covid- 19, that it was to our peril that we have ignored this simple yet es
At home under quarantine watching loads of films? Then let Frozen II be one of them, and this is why: We know recreational viewing shapes our culture, so it is time we questioned and understood the content that we are subjected to, especially when it is targeted at our children. The question of relevance pops up at times like this. Is a Disney film relevant since there are so many troubles in the world including pandemic and global upheaval? But then, what is relevant? I fear
Whether developer, designer, urban planner or not, we are all users of space, and the space we inhabit has huge impact on our collective wellbeing. At its best regenerative space has the capacity to bring out the brilliance, generosity and creativity of everyone that uses it. At its worst space can, intentionally or inadvertently, become a polarising and detrimental force upon us. The definition and design of regenerative space is a multifaceted task, but I conclude in advanc
And Becoming the Imaginal Cell Simple discussions about how to move ahead in a conscious way are becoming impossible, complexity has raised its head and is forcing us to join the dots. We ignored it for centuries and now, we simply can't anymore, even if we try. Mia, my six year-old, attends a private Forest School in rural Istanbul region. It's new, small and coincidentally very local (it opened after we moved here). I am assisting the school with a transition to Zero Waste
To step out into the night is to lose sense of self and become acutely aware of what else there is. We transcend our petty fearful selves and become huge. Huge as the night sky and as minuscule as the sound of a twig bend in the abyss around us. I was inspired to write this in France; by the dark of my Father's garden and the stars of the northern hemisphere. Since my arrival there's talk of monsters in the basement. My room is adjacent to dim storage full of logs, axes, chai
A tree spoke to me as we drove past it the other day.
Her girth and mighty embrace was tangible despite my fleeting glance.
"That tree must be 600 years old!" I remarked out loud. She reached out to me and I heard her voice. I felt her limbs.
Her ancestry and her connection... to the past.. to everything... to me..
And you know what she said? "Go do work.
Find a way.
Make them understand with your words and your deeds.
I see a bug... it's a beetle... a thing... it's alive. Don't tell me that they are dying... taking us with them... a sure sign of our imminent demise. Extinction.
You are kidding me surely? Look see! There are loads of them, something's on my foot right now. A tiny indeterminate bug like thing. I'll even let it bite me... sting me... whatever...
Let it live.
There are millions of these things... surely they can't be dying out.... Crawlies don't give me the creeps and s
A true short story. I heard trees request things of me a few times; their message was loud and clear. We have our usual chit chat in passing, but their requests have been defining moments in time and I take them with the utmost respect, in fact, if you were to ask me "Why do you do what you do?" My answer could simply and factually be "because the trees told me to...."
I'm not one to blindly follow orders, even when they seem to come straight from above, but the tree talk re
As Extinction Rebellion is reminding us, it is time to rebel, to stand up and to take the job of protecting ourselves, our planet and our future upon ourselves, and where better to start than at home?! There are so many ways to make better, healthier, happier choices for our skin, our lungs, our hair... our entire bodies along with the body of our amazing planet. Together we are an ecosystem and by looking after all the parts we find that we are in fact taking care of the who
Zero Waste action as an example and a metaphor for activating our future. Why are we so reluctant to take a step? Is not the first step half the journey? Aren't we trying to get somewhere, to improve and to thrive despite everything? It seems to me (and I am consistently finding in my role as change instigator) that the biggest problem is simply getting people to take step 1, that first and all empowering step.
It looks something like this:
(Zero Waste action is as an exam
It makes sense to start with doable actions on an individual scale. I had the pleasure of hosting workshops/talks with a wonderful group of university students. The following is inspired by and is a follow up with links as promised for the students of Sustainability Development at MEF University Istanbul. I'm really appreciative that firstly the course exists (though it should be standard curriculum for all schools everywhere starting at primary ages!) and I'm happy to see th
The cost of 25 kuruş per plastic bag ruling that came into effect as of January the 1st 2019 here in Turkey is a start towards sustainability. One that is just the tip of the iceberg but none the less a step towards transformation in the habits of consumers, stores and producers alike. Asides from the plastic bag ruling the government has joined many countries in implementing a “Container Deposit Legislation” Producers will be charged a contribution towards recycling infrastr
The New Year is a great time for turning a new leaf, starting afresh and for most it‘s symbolic of our renewed rigour to be the best that we can be. But ‘best that we can be’ at what? Most of us have had a lifetime’s worth of imposed expectations that we have come to perceive as our own. Of course, we can aspire to be fit and healthy, but if we aim to lose weight is that in the name of health or the fashion industry? When we strive to do better at work is that in the name of
Connection? Don't underestimate it! Meaningful connection is the most enriching part of our lives and a lack of it is cause for much distress and quite likely the root cause of the predicament we face. When we look at the motivations, desires and priorities of humankind it is apparent that we are neurobiologically wired to be connected. It is with this knowledge that I have started hosting Connected Conversations Events here in Istanbul. There are so many of us in this amazin
How can young kids have fun without all the plastic? Here's a simple starting point for a Conscious Living Halloween. We don't do Halloween. Well, at least not until this year after the pressure of certain expectations from our 5 year old. She has been brainwashed by the American style and though we face this kind of thing head on and don't allow traditions, customs or cultural norms to prompt us into anything that sets us up for the consumerism trap or goes against our consc
Hatchimals are some seriously f*cked up stuff! Now I'm not going to dwell on this except to ask: Why do we need to create fake nature and fake nurturing opportunities for kids to feel connected and loving? OK so we've been doing it for some time... there has been all kinds of weird stuff designed to entertain kids and sure, I'd rather kids used their brief attention spans on nurturing a toy than a puppy that would end up on the street, but still, are there really no opportuni
For future stories to be told we have to make it that far, and to get there we need an all-round shift to Conscious Living. So what does it mean to be living consciously? We are 'living' of course, but are we 'conscious', awake and aware? Do we have the courage to live the way that awareness prompts? ..... And do we really have to bother? To answer that last question I'll quote Jenny Andersson, founder of We Activate the Future; “We have 60 years left in our soils, 3 out of 9