A newsletter, from Tim Falls (#five)
May we find balance.
"It's all about balance"
These are my father’s words. He has given me this reminder at times in my life when I needed to hear it. It’s one of the first sayings that come to mind when I think of wisdom that has been passed on to me by my elders.
And yet as emphatically as I understand it, intellectually speaking, balance remains an ever-elusive goal that I'm constantly eyeing and pursuing...seldom embracing it for a few fleeting moments, before it slips away again until next time.
The month is at its end, and here I am squeaking in May's edition of the newsletter just before June hits the Gregorian calendar. One may venture to conclude that balance has allude me since the last edition of this publication...and one would be correct.
The thing about balance
This month, I was reminded that I can bring my life into a state of imbalance by doing too much of something I love even when it's a good, healthy, positive thing.
I recognized that I tend to approach balance from a different direction: trying to avoid doing too much of something that I love because it's a bad, unhealthy, negative thing — like too much caffeine or sugar.
I mentioned last time that I had enrolled in an online course to learn no-code. Well, I jumped in to it, and I jumped in deep. We just completed the 5-week course, and I'm still jazzed. I learned and created SO MUCH and connected with a supportive community. I brought to life ideas that have been brewing as visions in my head and scribbles in notebooks. Now they're tangible and accessible, so others can co-create them with me. This experience has opened doors of possibility for me and given me a sense of empowerment as an entrepreneur.
But, all that awesome had its tradeoff: balance.
So enthralled by this work, I neglected other aspects of life that also bring me joy and contribute to my well-being: time with family, exercise, meditation practice, making music, and eating meals.
I consciously decided to work through lunch and not eat, and my internal conversation left me convinced that it was okay. I was exploring a passion and being creative; and that's always healthy...right?
I ignored the requirements for balance, which led to imbalance. And ultimately, as I believe a student of Buddhism would point out, imbalance leads essentially to suffering. I would concur.
Reel it back*
One of the beauties of this whole life thing is its cyclicality. Each day and each week is a cycle; an iteration; a do-over (almost). To find balance again, we iterate our way back to the middle, with balanced doses of the medicines that make us well and content.
In June, I may find myself going too deep into my next learning experience (see Tim-bits below for more). If so, I will do my best to remember May and do the things I know will balance me.
*Dad is also a big fisherman. 🎣
👋 from the Falls
Updates from our family’s neck of the woods.
We've settled in to our homestead in Northern California. I feel gratitude and privilege to be here and live on this land. The neighbors are friendly; the landlord provides free bulk mulch and compost; we're in the country yet walking distance to the farmer's market downtown; we drive through redwood forests and rolling hills for twenty miles to find beaches and an ocean.
I direct my gratitude to the Native Peoples who have always and still do care for this land, particularly the Graton Rancheria community, a federation of Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo Native groups.
📔 Field Notes
Highlights from projects I’m working on at home and at the [home] office.
Climate Friends launched, doors are open to community members!
🚀 An idea I've been thinking about for almost a year has finally come to fruition. I enthusiastically invite you to learn more at ClimateFriends.community. If you dig it, please become a member and join an already-growing group of friends! If you know someone else who may find value in a community like Climate Friends, please send them our way →🚪✨
Progress: Greywater Mastery + WorkOnWater.co
🚰 Greywater Mastery Design course: For the next five weeks in a course with GreywaterAction.org and Laura Allen, who wrote the book on greywater, I'll design a system to divert greywater from our washing machine to irrigate our garden. This is part of my continued work to discover and validate opportunities to make an impact on the water crisis.
Introducing WorkOnWater.co → an online portal where anyone can learn more, follow along, and get involved in my work with water conservation. 🚧
Learning and building with no-code.
🗞 I launched another newsletter → Community-building with No-code. It'll be more focused (hence the title) and more lightweight than this one. I welcome and appreciate new subscribers!
If no-code intrigues you, you want to build something of your own, and you don’t know where to start, I’d be happy to answer questions or offer guidance → book time with me for a Zoom call!
✅ Climate action together
I’ll only invite you to take action that I’m taking, too.
The fight to #StopLine3 continues...
Enbridge Line 3 is still under development, and Water Protectors are still standing ground and pushing for President Biden to step in and stand with them. We need to channel as much energy as possible toward the resistance in Minnesota.
I'm raising money to donate and support their efforts: 100% of proceeds sales of these "Water is Life" holographic stickers, which I drew by hand, will be donated to Giniw Collective and StopLine3.org.
For those ready to get on the ground for real, there's a call to join the Treaty People Gathering (June 5-8) in Minnesota. I want to be there with all my heart, but have decided to stay home and care for myself, while supporting the cause in other ways.
🤝 Aspiring to allyship
Efforts I’m making to be an ally to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). I invite others to join me in solidarity.
May Fifth (5th) was the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls (MMIWG).
The world just learned of a mass grave of 215 Native children in a residential school in Canada.
The brutality that white settlers brought upon Indigenous communities was and still is unconscionable on a scale so immense that it’s ineffable to me. 💔
In 2017 I had the honor of sitting in conversation with Dennis Banks, an elder and history-making leader in the movement for Native American rights. At almost 80 years old, he described to me his experience being stolen from his family at the age of six. He was taken hundreds of miles from his home to a boarding school, where they did all they could to strip his culture from him. They took his name from him; he wasn't allowed to speak his language; his friends were killed when he and they tried to escape and run home; he was lucky to only be beaten. There's more, but that’s a glimpse.
Dennis opened my eyes to a history that had been hidden from me throughout my education. Our true history is more difficult to learn than the narrative of lies we've told ourselves and our kids for generations. It's the work of allies to fully acknowledge our ancestors’ actions, to tell the truth and let truths be told, and to seek healing for the collective trauma.
You can learn more about Dennis's life in his book, Ojibwa Warrior. Sadly, Dennis Banks passed away shortly after turning 80. May he rest in power; big love to his family. ❤️
🧘 Meditative moments
Ways to welcome a moment of calm to our days.
One of the best parts about being in California is proximity to the ocean. Our most recent beach day was quite peaceful, so I captured some to offer it as a moment of zen in your day... 🌊 👉 timfalls.earth/moments
⏯️ Now playing
Film, podcasts, music, and other stuff I personally recommend.
📺 Streaming (on Apple+): The Me You Can't See, with Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry. → They explore mental health and trauma (including their own) at depths I haven't seen on television or from celebrities. Like every human, I’m on my own journey with mental health, and watching this series has started to shift my perspective on it.
🎙 NPR Morning Edition was covering the every-17-year emergence of cicadas on the US east coast, and rightly shone a light on Benjamin Banneker — one of the first people to document the cicadas' cycle in the late 1700s. His work was rarely credited because he was black. Both Benjamin and Mother Nature deserve applause for their work in the context of cicadas.
That’s our edition for May 2021.
I’ll be back in your inbox in June — maybe even more than once, with some extra special news! 😮
May you find balance and be well.