Emotions last 90 seconds so why am I still freaking out?!

Here’s the phenomenal nugget of information that dropped into my lap last week (the original source was Thich Nhat Hanh’s book Peace is Every Step; neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor also writes about it in her book My Stroke of Insight): emotions last about 90 seconds. After 90 seconds, the feeling has been metabolized. What lingers…

Who are you when you’re free to be yourself?

“What about you?” asked the other parent, on the sidelines at karate, having just shared how much she loves sewing. “What is your hobby?” My inside-voice did a quick stocktaking: that week, I’d been watching mini-documentaries of forest gardens and permaculture success stories. I was still stuck on the idea of the Divine Feminine rising…

Soil matters: Climate activists in our midst 

  “EVERY FARM HAS ITS OWN PERSONALITY,” says Amy Norgaard, a soil science student at the University of British Columbia, and former farmhand and market manager with Ice Cap Organics. Her two-year-long Master’s thesis, which she will defend in late spring, required her to travel between 18 different organic farms across southwest B.C., the Pemberton Valley,…

Sweat your prayers

I walked tentatively into the temporary dance space. Dozens of people were there already, sprawled on the floor, stretching casually. I could tell from looking at them that they were “body” people, the type of people who naturally gravitate towards a 5 Rhythms movement workshop, “a moving practice for Freedom” promoted with a photograph of…

Seija Halonen: the art of radical self-expression

Feet Banks has an incredible radar for incredible people. Whenever he has asked me to profile someone for Mountain Life, I come away stoked for the encounter. Seija Halonen was no exception. The Untamed Issue is out now. Seija Halonen strikes you quickly as one of those rare people who has no skeletons in her…

How to be a checklist Ninja

The first item on Alexandra Franzen’s to-do list for Thursday was drink two big glasses of water. We overlook the easy wins when crafting our to-do lists, says the author of the newly released The Checklist Book, and we shouldn’t: when we accomplish something, even something small, that feeling of satisfaction stimulates the body to…

Dreams of the Stone Age

CMC 12g StoneAge This story ran in Coast Mountain Culture magazine’s Lost issue, in Summer 2017. Ijust listened to the Hive podcast with Natalie Nahai in which Dr Sam Gandy, a doctor of ecological science and collaborator with the Psychedelic Research Group at Imperial College London, shares the single positive note that came out of…

Bucket List Goals for Adventurers of a New Decade

The list is out. I have a beautiful hard-cover book on my desk to prove it. The Lonely Planet has announced the “Best in Travel 2020” – the results of an annual search to anoint the best places to visit in the year ahead. The list was whittled down, via fierce debate, from a longlist…

Unearthed

Sometimes when I tell myself to breathe, it triggers panic – as if by drawing attention to this innate, unconscious, automatic action, breathing in and out suddenly becomes improbably difficult. Meditation, swimming laps, yoga… all these experiences often contain a few extremely panicked moments when I gasp, unable to catch a breath that has suddenly…

What’s to Gain from Letting Risk In

The code of the fisherman is to stare every day, unflinchingly, at the sea. Fishing has been in Hiroshi Shirakawa’s family for more than 15 generations. At 72, he still operates a seasonal seaweed harvesting operation on Japan’s north-eastern coast, putting out to sea from his village of Oya every morning before dawn, and returning…