Category Archives: False Buddha LLC

Soil Life: An Interview with Aaron William Perry

Some of my earliest childhood memories are of digging in the dirt in our yard. I would spend hours digging up worms and huge rhinoceros beetles, as well as unearthing rocks and breaking them open to find beautiful glimmering crystals inside of the otherwise unimpressive-looking slabs of rock. My very first experiences were with soil, rocks and creepy-crawly living things. Perhaps I was a lonely child, or, more likely, I instinctively knew that connecting with the soil can actually help one thrive.

I recently spoke with Aaron William Perry, the founder of the Y on Earth Community. The Y on Earth Community is an action-oriented educational non-profit organization that provides curated seminars, workshops, and immersive leadership retreats, as well as a diverse array of digital and print resources dedicated to the transformation of our culture, society, and economy toward stewardship, regeneration, and sustainability. They connect the dots between personal, family, and community strategies for enhanced health and well-being on the one hand, and global strategies for stewardship, regeneration, and sustainability on the other hand. The organization serves as headquarters to a growing global network of ambassadors, and hosts the Y on Earth Community Podcast, on which notable authors, scientists, business leaders, influencers, and sustainability practitioners appear as guests.

Mr. Perry has authored several books, many of them centered on the topic of well-being. Soil features prominently in many of his books, to include a set of children’s books, one of which is aptly titled Celebrating Soil.

Mr. Perry describes five key practices for feeling better, to include more movement like yoga and walking; eating organic, natural foods; connecting with and touching the living soil in our gardens (and houseplants); connecting with wildlife and nature; and cultivating special well-being practices like meditation, aromatherapy soaks, reading books, and socializing with friends and family. I asked Mr. Perry if he had to choose one thing that the everyday, average person could do to feel better, what that one thing would be.

His choice was the fundamental importance of connecting with the soil, which, when we touch and hold it with our bare hands, causes beneficial microbiology to pass through our skin into our blood, enhancing serotonin production, helping reduce depression, anxiety, stress, and even – according to recent scientific studies – helping boost immune system function and cognitive performance. Soil is central to our experience as human beings – hence the etymological connection between our Latin-derived, English term “human” and the term “humus” for soil, also related are “humor” and “humility” both of which we could all probably use more of in our lives.

Mr. Perry explained his five core Thriving practice themes: Soil, Movement, Food, Nature, and Wele (which is the middle-English term meaning “well-being,” from which our contemporary term “wealth” originated (giving us a clue that true wealth is rooted in well-being, wholeness, and a healthful life). He emphasized the importance of connecting with plants. Whether houseplants, foods and medicinal herbs in the garden, flowers in the yard, or trees nearby, these are all living creatures who possess the alchemical power that converts sunlight into food and life-force energy, which we too often write-off as some simple scientific process called “photosynthesis”. He says that when we truly connect with, befriend, and cultivate relationships with living plants, we open our hearts, minds, and bodies to the wonders of the Viriditas of which the medieval mystic and polymath Hildegard von Bingen spoke about 900 years ago – the “gold-green healing energy of the Divine life force that flows through the plant kingdom”. Human life is impossible without the plants, and at the personal level, thriving is not likely without a deep, intimate connection with living plants.

Mr. Perry talks about ways people can “get smarter”. He covers this in his books also, as part of overall well-being is related to using your brain. His number one choice to accomplish this smarter life? Again, connecting with the soil is key. Also, slowing down, gardening, and sitting with your flower patch and/or the trees, observing, listening, relaxing, and receiving the deep A.I. – the “Authentic Intelligence” that flows through the living biosphere of our shared planet Earth. He states that this connection is our birthright and is an essential requirement for any of us who want to truly get smarter – and feel better – in our own personal lives.

Reading to increase your brain health and well-being is something I truly believe in. Read, be curious, and always strive to learn something new. It does not have to be text book reading, fiction can also help your brain grow and thrive.

Mr. Perry’s latest book Viriditas: The Great Healing Is Within Our Power, has been described as an eco-thriller and a novel that makes serious topics fun to read.

This article was originally published on OpsLens.

Secret Agent Teach is Back!

I believe that many of the problems we see today in the US stem from an overall ignorance of history and civics. There is a true lack of knowledge of historical documents like the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, to name a couple. Many do not understand at all how our government works or know anything about our founding fathers. Having attended high school in California, I don’t recall learning very much about US History and the founding of this country.

One of my clients, Secret Agent Teach strives to bridge this gap in knowledge by offering educator-tested, student-approved teaching resources to teachers (and parents) at a cheap price on his store. For the past 3-4 years, I have learned more about US History than I ever learned in California public school as I have built Secret Agent Teach’s online storefront.

We had 250-300 teaching resources available on our storefront on Teachers Pay Teachers. It wasn’t going to make us billionaires, but it was an easy 30-50 dollars extra passive income each month. That’s enough to help out with groceries, school supplies, whatever.

Beginning in October 2020, Teachers Pay Teachers started picking at Secret Agent Teach’s store. First, Secret Agent Teach was told he could not post any lessons that mentioned Christopher Columbus. Then Secret Agent Teach was told to remove any lessons that had any “sensitive” content in them. Sensitive content was any lesson or activity that had role-playing in it because it might be upsetting to the students. Finally, after all of the offending documents were removed from the storefront, Teachers Pay Teachers came at Secret Agent Teach with accusations of “copyright infringement”.

These emails were never very clear, and did not provide much guidance. Secret Agent Teach believed he had done everything that was asked of him in order to bring his storefront into compliance, as he did not hear back after he followed the cryptic instructions in the email received. Secret Agent Teach complied, and thought he was in good standing once again.

Imagine Secret Agent Teach’s surprise when in November 2021, Teachers Pay Teachers took his entire storefront down. Unceremoniously, without notice, all of Secret Agent Teach’s hard work vanished. A few years of work, gone!

When appeals were made, Teachers Pay Teachers simply ignored Secret Agent Teach’s requests and refused to submit the final counter-offer that Secret Agent Teach had asked them to submit.

The worksheets and presentations, reading activities – they were all just straight history, no commentary, no agenda. Just simply a way to teach US History to middle-school kids.

Well, I have some good news. Secret Agent Teach is back online! Secret Agent Teach’s new, smaller storefront can be found at https://www.etsy.com/shop/secretagentteach.

If you know of any teachers who used Secret Agent Teach’s documents to teach US History to their middle-schoolers, please let them know! Secret Agent Teach was a big hit and helped hundreds of teachers do their difficult job, even during COVID shutdowns.

Additionally, if you believe in teaching history without an agenda, if you are not afraid of history because it might be “upsetting”, please support this store!  Please tell any educators you know- home schooling parents included- about this resource. Let’s make learning and teaching easier, not harder.

The Gatekeepers

Do you ever think about the creativity that was clearly present in the 1960s, 70s and 80s? The creativity that inspired the movies, songs and books that we all remember and think of fondly? Remember all those John Hughes movies? What about Ron Howard? And what about the movie stars we all remember – many of them are still around, but obviously getting older. Tom Hanks, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Eddie Murphy – I could go on and on. Names we all know.

How did Harrison Ford start out? He certainly didn’t just begin making millions of dollars as an actor. In fact, it appears he began as a pretty average guy. There’s no doubt now that he’s Hollywood royalty, the elite.

Where did Tom Hanks begin? It seems he started out pretty average also. He was certainly not a millionaire.

Some of these actors I have mentioned have gone on to become the super elite – very powerful in not only Hollywood, but the entire world, even expanding into being able to shape popular opinions and make incursions into the political world. On the other hand, some have been blacklisted, and pretty much badmouthed globally. You’ve gotta wonder sometimes, who decides who is worthy of praise these days? Who controls who gets to work in Hollywood and who doesn’t and what is the deciding factor? If someone of elite status decides they don’t like you for whatever reason, do they get to destroy your career?

Not too long ago I was talking to a colleague and she opened my eyes to some interesting information about the entertainment industry. The two largest talent agencies in the 1980s were William Morris and Creative Artists Agency (CAA). CAA was started by defectors from William Morris. At first glance, I would never really associate entertainment industry professionals with political figures. But, it seems they are very connected.

In the 1980s William Morris apparently had more of the moderate and conservative-leaning talent. The ones who defected and started CAA apparently leaned a little more left, as we would say today. Former White House Chief of Staff and former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel’s brother, Ari, worked at CAA. He ended up leaving and formed another company called Endeavor. Endeavor then took over William Morris. With this takeover came a housecleaning and consolidation of all the talent – to include sports figures, actors, actresses, directors, publishing, musicians, you name it. Other consolidations like this were previously shut down because of monopoly concerns, but this one wasn’t. Ari then took over IMG – the largest sports talent agency. What does this all equal? Pretty much complete control in one company of all media, sports and entertainment. And guess what? If you are a small agency, owner of a sports team or whatever, you probably better fall in line, not think for yourself and certainly do not question the accepted narrative, or you will no longer find work for your talent. See how that works?

If it seems like this might stifle any new creativity, that’s because it DOES. Have you noticed that in the past, say 10 years, or likely more, most of the movies that come out are all remakes of old successes? Take a look at what is out in the theaters now. Do you see many truly original new ideas? What about TV shows – sitcoms? Any new creative ideas out there, or mostly remakes of old ideas?

It’s not that I think remakes are bad. I just wish some new creative ideas and people – unknowns – would be granted entrance through the gates. I wonder how the new Tom Hanks or Harrison Ford or any other very popular star from the past could possibly be found in the current atmosphere of stifle. You’ve got to let new ideas – even ones you may not agree with – in or you muffle creativity.

Anyone who has tried to get an agent or have their book traditionally published, for instance, knows the struggle. If you are not a known quantity, it is not likely the gatekeepers will give you a chance. In fact, they will probably just shut the gate in your face. They don’t want to take a risk with an unknown quantity because they could lose money. But, if they don’t take a chance on new talent, how do we get new creative ideas out into the world?

How do we open the gates?

False Buddha

One of the things I’ve done since leaving the CIA was develop my own company. It has been through many phases, but has morphed into a successful content creation consultancy. I continue to add new clients every day. Whether you need content for a book, website, blog – whatever it may be, I can help you. I also do appearances!

You can check out the service here —> False Buddha LLC . Let me know how I can help you!