Me being inspired by Rob Greenfield and his girlfriend Cheryl...walking the walk. 

Wow! What a week! For those of you who remember my weekly arts and entertainment column with the Nelson Express Newspaper, you’ll know that I began every piece with that phrase. Those words just popped into my head after thinking about the past couple of weeks I’ve had here in Costa Rica. Two weeks ago I went to the Envision Festival in Uvita, which was really a treat for the senses. It combines electronic music, yoga and spirituality, environmentalism and basic hippie living: all my fave things. I went with my colleague Tonia who is the director at Peace Academy Costa Rica, where I’m currently teaching, with hopes that we could connect with like-minded peeps to promote and share what we’re doing in school.  

Each day I attending yoga classes, 5Rhythm Dance workshops, and each night I grooved on the dance floors like nobody’s biz. The artistry and talent was pretty amazing; fire dancers, silk dancers, musicians and lovers of life everywhere. Sunday afternoon I was cruising around on the way back to my tent when a hammock beckoned me to come and lie down under the shade of a tree. I lay down for a few minutes, listening to Cat Stevens singing softly from the speakers: heaven. The music stopped and a guest speaker was introduced: Rob Greenfield. I was just about to get up and head back to my tent, when Rob started talking about what he’s been doing for the past few years as an environmentalist and humanitarian; I sat back down and listened. This dude has been talking the talk and also, walking the walk in terms of being an incredibly socially/environmentally conscious human being. He’s ridden a bamboo bike across the United States to promote sustainable living, made people aware of food waste, lived in a tiny home off the grid, has used less water in a day than the average person uses to brush their teeth, and has now vowed to not buy anything for a year (food is the exception). 

After his presentation, I knew I had to get him into our school so I approached him and he agreed to come in and speak to our students…for free! Yes folks, there are still those people out there. Pretty inspiring. He came in and gave an inspiring talk to the students, who were impressed with his use of social media to create awareness. That night, I hosted Rob and his girlfriend for the night and they left quite an impression on me. I mean, I recycle and try my best to do good for Pachamama (Mother Earth) but I really could be doing more and using less. I made smoothies for breakfast and Rob offered to do the dishes. I think he used a teaspoon of water and managed to clean all the dishes and my Vitamix blender. A trick for the Vitamix is to use a bit of water, then put the blender back on and let the water do its work. I vowed to use less water.  Cheryl and I went out to listen to music, while he stayed home and had Skype calls with various people and edited films he’s working on…the guy doesn’t stop. I HIGHLY encourage you to check out his site at

This past weekend was equally as inspiring, but on a musical level. Dad arrived from Toronto and as some of you know (I always brag about it when I can), he actually went to Woodstock and experienced all of that music. So, I was pretty excited that he was here for a music festival in Jaco this past weekend, which was literally right across from my house: Jungle Jam. Thievery Corporation headlined on Friday night, which was a highlight for me; I spent much of December and the first part of January grooving to them on the ski hill at Whitewater. It was quite a trip to hear them live in the tropics wearing a bikini top and skirt and having flashbacks to listening to the same tune on the chairlift getting windburn in my down jacket. I think I prefer the bikini. 

One of the highlights was Mike Love from Hawaii who sang about the environment and being kind to Mother Earth with so much heart I actually cried. I know, I know, I cry easily, but still. And so, when I got home on Saturday night, I sat at the piano and composed a few grooves and wrote some lyrics about what we can do to treat the environment with more love. I’m hoping that next March, I’ll be up on that stage at the Jungle Jam (they really need some more females to represent!) singing, dancing, grooving and most of all, spreading awareness and love.

Question: How do You share your passions about what causes mean the most to You? What is one small thing You can do to be a bit kinder to Mama Earth?

As always, I look forward to reading your answers and keeping the conversation going. I'm reminded that I do indeed have all I need from the earth, so I'm leaving you with this song I wrote in India years ago called, "All I Need". 

Much love and light,


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