EARTH & US — Barichara at last!

There were a few final challenges — like arriving at the Charlotte airport at 6am on July 9 but not being able to board due to a questionnaire I’d neglected to fill out, and realizing only the day before my rescheduled flight on the 12th that Colombia required a round trip ticket. I am so relieved to be finally in Barichara!

Settling in

The area of Santander, in the Andes, has spectacular mountains and a deep, enormous canyon called Canon de Chicamocha. …

My journey begins with my life in Asheville and Swannanoa: a comfortable, enjoyable life, with friends, beautiful mountains, woods and streams, gardening, political-environmental activism. And beneath that, as I approach age 75, the strong feeling that I need to do something radically different, to make a difference, with whatever time I have left. What if I had just one more year to live? There are no guarantees. Yet the safety of the familiar reigned, and my resistance to real change kept me inside my “comfort zone.”

What is a comfort zone really? There is a deeper comfort in doing the…


The Design Pathway for Earth Regeneration

Planetary Boundaries

In a previous post, I described the work of Joe Brewer and a community of Earth Regenerators in Barichara, Colombia. I cannot do justice to the book with the above title, which reveals Brewer’s large vision and is free online: …But here is a very brief introductory summary of the first eight chapters, offered in hopes that you’ll be drawn to read the book.

Critical planetary thresholds

Some believe that climate change is the most important threat to life on the planet (especially our human lives). But earth system scientists…

Tree planting in Moncora Bioparque

EARTH & US: Earth Day and Regeneration

During this past year of Covid, I’ve languished in too many Zoom rooms, wishing I were taking part in a hands-on collaborative community project that was doing the urgently needed work for healing the Earth. I’ve been feeling the need to act on my passion for clean water, to raise it from shallow, superficial sentimentality to making a real difference. My 20-year-old dream of working to protect and regenerate water still feels like my calling. And I’m answering the call!

For the last 5 or 6 months, I’ve been inspired by the work…

People’s Inauguration with Valarie Kaur, Part 3 — Loving Ourselves

“Breathe, push, transition” — these are birthing metaphors. We the people are preparing to birth a multiracial, multicultural democracy here in the U.S., for the first time.

Day 7 — Breathe

Self-care is about breathing: we must be in our bodies, present to our emotions. Breathing is universally available. To last, in a long labor, let joy in.

Most of us internalized a message of “You’re not good enough” — hence unworthy of love. Remind each other to breathe. We don’t breathe if we feel unworthy of love, or of…

Revolutionary Love Compass

Day 4 — Rage

Valarie believes we must let opponents inside our circle of care; they are acting out of their woundedness. It is challenging to tend the wounds of people we may think of as our enemies. Be curious about what formed them, what is their wound, and how you might tend their wound. “You have a story I need to hear.” Forgiveness is freedom from hate. White supremacy is an expression of grief over the “loss of a white America.”

First we must tend our own wounds. To heal, we must feel our hurt and our anger, not…

Valarie Kaur, People’s Inauguration


With Trump’s reign of terror and threat of a coup finally over, many are breathing a huge sigh of relief. Biden’s first acts are inspiring hope: reinstating DACA, canceling the Keystone XL Pipeline, stopping drilling in the Arctic, rejoining the World Health Organization and the Paris Climate Accords, addressing COVID, and placing a moratorium on evictions.

Nonetheless, we must listen to astute political observers such as Reverend William Barber, Noam Chomsky, and Cornel West, who all warn that this is not the time for activists to relax our vigilance over our government.

Reverend Barber echoed Martin Luther King in his…

Greetings of the Solstice! This is a time of major change for me personally. Moving out of my home of 6 1/2 years, and actually leaving Asheville itself after nearly 16 years, is causing me to do a life review of sorts, as I discard what I no longer need and prepare to move to Swannanoa. The outer work of winnowing and paring down seems to have some parallel with my inner world, leaving me lighter and clearer. I’ve also applied to the Peace Corps — although placements are currently on hold due to the pandemic. …

Cathy Holt

Cathy is a HeartMath coach who helps people calm their nervous systems & heal relationships through mindful breath & communication. Passionate water protector.

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