A newsletter, from Tim Falls (#one)
From the heart: community, consciousness, climate, and Tim-bits
Delayed delivery 📮
Depending on when you subscribed, you may or may not have noticed several months have passed since my stated commitment to write this newsletter (last year). The “coming soon” post landed September 2020. I wondered how and where to begin, repeatedly resisting the urge to rant-write in reaction to the disturbing things unfolding in front of us. Needless to say, I delayed.
Originally, I envisioned this newsletter as a source of positivity and brightness to your (and my) pandemic-y days. With that in mind, I reflected on why it’s taken me 3+ months to write and send something: I suppose I had no excess goodness to share…what little positive I possessed, I was selfishly preserving for myself, my partner, and my pup.
I was recently (again) invited to acknowledge the reality that living through a pandemic has its subtle effects — almost imperceptible mini-impacts that build on top of one another over time and are mostly (if not only) recognizable through hindsight’s lens. I did what I could in 2020; turns out, writing this newsletter wasn’t part of “what I could”. Enter: 2021...
This (inaugural) week, I breathed out a grateful sigh of relief when the leadership of America changed hands. Holy shit, we elected a woman of color to the White House!
For the first time in four years, the world around me started to make (some) sense again. I saw the government picking up the pieces of its four-year rampage of environmental destruction and social disruption. A tiny bit of haze cleared from my visions of a harmonious future and habitable planet, which now seem less naive. We (humans) might actually be able to pull this off and preserve ourselves.
I’ve noticed the winds of my emotional state shifting toward equanimity, no longer blowing fiercely in the opposite direction. I found a message rooted in love to share with you, and a surplus of energy with an abundance of goodness in it.
To balance out this week’s grateful sigh, I took a healthy gulp of fresh air to put fresh wind in the proverbial sails. I wrote a lot, so I invite you to take a deep breath, too, before reading on. 😂
This first edition is a journey into the heart of this newsletter: introspective insight into where I’m coming from as I write to you.
From: heart 💌
I was recently exploring guided meditations and landed in one called Journey Into Your Heart. It was a lovely experience, and it inspired me to begin this newsletter by journeying into its heart.
This newsletter is from: my heart. “What to write about?” and “How to write about it?” will be decided with my heart’s guidance. This doesn’t mean I’ll write in only rosy hues; the heart has its shadows, too. It means I’ll do my best to write from a place of love. In my experience, “love” has never been the wrong answer.
Three things, each of which conveniently start with the letter “c”, encapsulate the fundamental experiences and inputs that inform my ever-evolving worldview, which in turn spill into these writings:
Community helped raise me when I couldn’t take care of myself. Community has supported the pursuits of my life’s passions. Community has been my profession, paying the bills since 2010. And, according to my observations, community has been our species’ source of strength, as a pandemic rolled across the planet and the boiling climate crisis became less ignorable than ever. I’m convinced that community is key to humanity’s survival, resilience, and happiness.
At its heart, this newsletter is a community. I’ll craft each edition with the intention of offering a felt sense of community: connectedness, belonging, a flow of shared energy, resources, and support (a la mycelial networks.)
My thirties, ~80% of which I’ve now experienced, led me to expeditions through consciousness. My travels have included a daily commute via meditation practices (including yoga), weekly therapy sessions (individually and alongside my partner), occasional psychedelic-assisted journeys (with guides by my side), and maximizing time spent in natural environments.
As I’ve integrated all these experiences together, I’ve developed a stronger sense of the interconnected nature of the universe and “my place” in it. I feel more accountability to live sustainably, even when it’s not convenient. I’m more determined to be deliberate about playing a harmonious role in the “grand scheme”.
In this newsletter I’ll draw from my spiritual adventures, share personal stories, and invite community members to explore this dimension of the human experience along with me.
In 2020, I crossed over my “personal tipping point” (a nod to the nine climate tipping points that threaten our existence.) My mindset shifted from a state of passive denial and disavowal to one of active acknowledgement and constant consideration of our environmental reality (read: emergency). Undoubtedly, this shift was a response — an adaptation — based on the basic truths that I heard (and eventually accepted) as I tapped further into our shared well of wisdom (consciousness).
Mother Nature pulled my attention to how we humans are treating her and implored me to change my ways. I adjusted my daily habits; organized climate action with a group of coworkers at my (former) place of employment; enrolled in and completed an (online) climate education course; volunteered dozens of hours to support climate candidates in the U.S. elections; and planted seeds for discussion about climate change in communities from Puerto Rico to San Francisco (virtually).
I was unexpectedly laid off from my job in February 2020; it was an overwhelmingly crappy situation. On the flip side, it freed me to dedicate 💯 of my work to climate change — answering the calls my heart had heard for months.
As cliche as it is, I experienced that “aha moment” wherein my life’s purpose was clear. And what do ya know, it rose from the ashes of unemployment during a pandemic. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I’m still figuring out how to earn an income while working on climate change. But by volunteering for climate-focused organizations, participating in climate communities, and making my intentions known to the universe, I trust a fruitful path will unfold.
So yeah, climate will be infused into future editions of this newsletter.
Long story, short stories ✍️
I’ve organized the newsletter in two segments:
Long-form writings — musings on the verge or well beyond the boundaries of verbose (see above)
Short-form writings — bits of info and inspiration on a variety of themes (see below)
Some editions will feature both, some may feature only one or the other, or it’ll morph into something totally different.
A batch of bite-sized morsels of information and inspiration, with a sprinkling of invitations to get involved (e.g., ⤺Comment).
🤠 Howdy, from Falls Ranch
Updates from our family’s (proverbial and literal) neck of the woods.
We’ve been riding out the pandemic in an Earthship-style home that sits on a sagebrush-speckled mesa at 7,000 feet above sea level a few miles from the edge of the Rio Grand Gorge in the mountains of northern New Mexico. It’s wild. And, thankfully, relatively COVID-safe.
⤺ Comment: what’s new in your world?
📔 Field Notes
Highlights from projects I’m working on at home and at the [home] office.
In December I worked on the organizing team for a TEDx event in partnership with ClimateAction.Tech. Brilliant speakers and an outstanding group of volunteer organizers made for an awesome show. I was proud and grateful to contribute in a small way.
⤺ Comment: how has your work-life changed due to COVID’s presence?
✅ Climate Action Challenge
Highly accessible actions we all can take to reduce and/or improve our environmental impact.
Learn something new about climate science; then share it with someone in your life, and invite them to share their thoughts about it.
⤺ Comment: if you accept the challenge, let me know how it goes!
🤝 Tryin’ to ally
Efforts I’m making to be an ally to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). All are invited to join me in solidarity.
29 December 2020 was the 130th anniversary of the Wounded Knee Massacre. I wasn’t familiar with its history, so I committed to learn more about it. I studied Ruth H. Hopkins’ documentation of the tragic event, and the film and book entitled Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. The march toward allyship (I think) includes steps to understand the cultural history of the Peoples I wish to support. It’s not always fun to learn the true history, which was hidden and/or misrepresented within the educational institutions I attended. But it’s an unavoidable part of the path toward justice.
🧘 Meditative Moments
Ways to welcome a moment of calm to your day.
The Nature segment of CBS Sunday Morning is a go-to for instant serenity when I’m operating within the confines of the internet.
⤺ Comment: do you have a daily (or any frequency) routine that you consider meditative?if so, what are its benefits? if not, would you like to?
⏯️ Now playing
Books, music, film, and other sources of amusement and enlightenment.
📚 My sister gave me a book aptly named Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times. I’m half-way through; I love it and fully endorse it. NPR’s interview with the author offers a nice preview.
🎧 I curated a playlist (on Spotify) of songs whose lyrics resonated and rallied me in 2020, and hopeful tunes that have begun ringing true in 2021.
🎥 Rooted Messages is a project its creators describe in this way: “In this time of Covid-19 we asked 16 indigenous wisdom keepers from around the planet: ‘What does the world need to hear right now?’” I’ve found Indigenous wisdom to be invaluable and highly applicable, particularly during the pandemic. The 16 messages are available to read, watch, and listen.
⤺ Comment: are you reading and/or listening to something you wish everyone could experience?
Comment below with a direct response to the prompts (see: ⤺ ), to share your perspective on a topic, to ask a question, to provide feedback, etc. My only ask is that replies come with respect and kindness.
📣 How as the first edition of the newsletter — love it, hate it, both? … Have you (or will you) consider sharing it with a friend? … Was it way too long? … What might make future editions better?
That’s all for now. 👋
I’ll be back in your inbox in February, 2021, assuming I’m still welcome. 😉
Peace & love to you & yours.
~ Tim Falls
💡sharing with a friend via word of mouth? ☞ www.timfalls.email