5 Ways to Achieve Peak Prosperity as We Face the Biggest Economic, Environmental, and Energy Transformation of All Times

change machineAs Bob Dylan sang, “The times they are a-changin’.” Indeed they are, big time. We are facing the biggest crisis in human history as we deal with our economy, environment, and energy use. Although we face great danger, there is also great opportunity. We often experience the impact of change through illness and pain—everything from Alzheimer’s and depression to anger and arthritis are on the rise.

In 1993 I participated in a Native American sweat lodge ceremony. During the sweat lodge I had a vision where I saw the sinking of the “Ship of Industrial Civilization” and the emergence of “Life Boats to a New Way of Life.” Since that time I’ve gotten a clearer understanding of the reality of this change and how we can all find our lifeboats, get on board, and create a new way of life that is more sustainable and satisfying than anything the world has ever known.

  1. Recognize the Opportunity Within the Crisis

If a raging tiger broke into our yard, we’d immediately recognize the danger and run for our lives or fight to survive. But economic, environmental, and energy changes occur slowly enough that our brain doesn’t register them. We have to use our creative imaginations to see the danger we are in.

In his book and video series, The Crash Course, economic researcher and futurist Chris Martenson describes the three major forces that are impacting our future: Economy, Energy, and Environment, how these big three Es interact, and how they determine our prosperity or decline.

Our Industrial Civilization has been driven by the use of more and more of the Earth’s resources.  As Richard Heinberg points out in his book Peak Everything, our use of fossil fuels is damaging the environment and we’re reaching the end of “cheap oil” that drives our energy economy. But if we understand the trends and address them wisely, Martenson and Heinberg believe we can move towards Peak Prosperity.

  1. Embrace the Better Life Beyond Civilization.

No one is suggesting we go back to being hunter/gatherers even if we could do so. However, we can keep what is healthful and sustainable in modern life and change our patterns of exponential growth and endless desire for more “stuff.” A number of years ago Annie Leonard created a 20-minute online movie called “The Story of Stuff.” It described the way we make, use and throw away all the stuff in our lives. Five years and 40 million views later, they are a community of 500,000 change-makers worldwide, working to build a healthier and just planet that doesn’t rely on “more stuff.”

In his book, Beyond Civilization: Humanity’s Next Great Adventure, Daniel Quinn says, “If a team of Martian anthropologists were to study our culture, their initial findings might read something like this. These people have the strange idea that the thing they call civilization is some sort of final, unsurpassable invention. Even though vast numbers of them suffer in this oppressively hierarchical system, and even though it appears to be plunging them toward a global catastrophe, they cling to it as if it were the most wonderful thing (as they quaintly say) since sliced bread. That a more agreeable (and less catastrophic) system exists BEYOND civilization, seems to be entirely unthinkable to them.”

  1. Prepare Your Lifeboat.

In my vision, everyone needed to get in their own lifeboat and row away from the Ship of Civilization. It’s clear that there isn’t any “one right way” to proceed. If we open our eyes to the changes we see before us, we can get a pretty good idea of how we need to start preparations. There are still basic needs that everyone has to meet. We need to stay warm in the winter. We need water, food, and shelter. We know we face weather changes that impact millions of people. Preparing for big changes whether they are physical, emotional, personal, interpersonal, social, and planetary are important.

“Preparation is 75% mental, 15% physical, and 10% fiscal,” says Chris Lisle, author of How to Plan for Peak Oil on A Limited Budget.  Keeping our minds relaxed and focused is the key to success. In his book, The Zero Marginal Cost Society, Jermey Rifkin says we are moving past a capitalist system based on consuming more and more of the earth’s resources to embracing a collaborative commons powered by the “Internet of all Things.”

  1. Practice Stress Reduction to Stabilize Yourself in Rough Seas.

Handling stress is crucial for surviving and thriving. The truth is that everything is connected. If we are poisoning the Earth with pollutants, we are poisoning ourselves. If people are starving in Africa it impacts us all. If we are running out of clean air and water, we all suffer. In order to get through these times of transition we need some easy to use, yet powerful stress reduction tools.

In my book Stress Relief For Men I describe four energy healing tools that can help us. These include Earthing or Grounding, Heart Coherence, Attachment Love, and Emotional Freedom Techniques or Tapping. Keeping our heads above water and staying calm is absolutely necessary as we move ahead with our lives.

  1. Join a Tribal Earth-Community.

Not everyone is ready to survive and thrive. In my vision there were many people who preferred to stay on the Ship, even though it was sinking. They believed that the Ship of Civilization was unsinkable or if not, they were addicted to the “goodies” the Ship provided.

“People don’t seem to realize it that it is not like we’re on the Titanic and we have to avoid the iceberg,” says Rob Watson, CEO and Chief Scientist of The EcoTech International Group.  “We’ve already hit the iceberg.  The water is rushing in down below.  But some people just don’t want to leave the dance floor; others don’t want to give up on the buffet.  But if we don’t make the hard choices, nature will make them for us.”

We need to join with other kindred spirits to support each other in creating the kind of world we want. One of the groups doing that is the Transition Town movement. There are Transition Towns all over the world and throughout the U.S.

Please join me on Twitter @MenAliveNow

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