When I was six, I prayed to a tree. A tall, strong, majestic pine. At least that’s what I remember. Kneeling at its base, I reverently asked it to help me, my family and the world. In return, I apologized for pollution. Guess I’d watched the Crying Indian PSA too many times. The river, the canoe, the trash. A single tear trickling down the Indian’s cheek… I cried every time.
The point is – without the burden of social morés, this child (me) – raised Catholic, at Mass and Catechism every Sunday – had no qualms or guilt asking Mother Nature for help and guidance. I had an innate relationship with the planet!
Flash forward almost 4 decades. The naïve, guilt-free child is now a scared, divorced Super Mom barely making ends meet. God hit me upside the head with a reclaimed 2 x 4 to WAKE ME UP. And I didn’t listen. Guess I was taking too long to give back to Mama Gaea (Mother Earth).
Where had the last twelve years of my life gone? Why wasn’t I living my purpose? What was my purpose? And, most importantly, why didn’t I dance anymore?
I had lost my way. I forgot who I was. I knew what I loved to do, but couldn’t figure out how to make a living at it. I felt humiliated by the lack in my life. I hadn’t lived up to the potential I was blessed with at birth. I had swung for the fence and struck out, even before I got to bat.
Hang tight, there’s a happy ending…
That same decade I thought I’d lost was simply me preparing for NOW. I wouldn’t be where I am today without those dark, lean years. I couldn’t have manifested Eco-Rico and instantly acted on the inspiration without the prior preparation.
For years I preached environmental stewardship to anyone – even if they didn’t want to hear it. I practiced the Three R’s – reduce, reuse, recycle. I bought a Prius, put solar panels on my roof, even composted (sort of). I bought organic (sometimes), used environmentally friendly cleaning products. I did my part – even if I didn’t understand why.
Like most people I had no idea what “green” means! I didn’t know where to get information or what products to buy. Sure, I could go to Whole Foods, but I was overwhelmed by products with ingredients I’d never heard of. To me, being green was an esoteric movement of neo-hippies and self-righteous new Moms (of which I was one). My efforts were muddled, like the rest of my life.
Then one day I looked around at my friends and colleagues – struggling. I looked at my house – cluttered. I looked in my brain – confused. What the Hell was I doing with my life?! I knew one thing: I was meant to help the planet on a GRAND scale. That little girl who prayed to a tree was alive in me, hopeful, vibrant and on a mission. I got busy creating a new life. I deserved it, as did my child.
I researched “green” – companies, products, people. And, unbelievably, I found millions of people on our glorious planet doing the work that would save her – environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just work. They were on the internet. I was not alone. I would expose these people and their products. I would make it easy, inexpensive and fun for anyone to create an eco-life!
I spent the next two years vetting thousands of companies and products, researching and learning all I could about “green” = earth friendly (!). But, try as I might, I couldn’t live without my creative passions to write, perform and direct. Where did that fit in my eco-movement? I knew what I loved to do – dance, cook, write, play. I knew what I had to do – teach, inspire, edu-tain. How could I do it all?
Just when I was ready to compromise my passion for my purpose… God answered.
The “Divine Download” arrived one night in a car with a dear friend. Naturally, we were blasting salsa, shimmying in our seats. ECO-RICO! We both screamed. The energy-saving CFL in my brain illuminated. Eco-edutainment serving people and planet with passion. The beginning of a movement. The manifestation of everything I had prepared for during my dark days. The marriage of passion and purpose!
I am happier now than I’ve ever been. I am doing what I love to do. I believe each of us can create that reality. If you need help finding your path, I’m here to guide you. Because I believe the little things matter. Baby steps lead to big leaps. We can live in symbiosis with the earth. We can support each other’s efforts to be more conscious human beings.
Our home needs our help. Together, let’s clear the clutter and confusion. It’s our responsibility to our selves, our families and our global village. I am deeply grateful for this creative and transformational opportunity.
In love, passion and purpose,