Places to Find Respite, Hope, Rest and Energy

The Power of the Natural World
From the Good Folks at the Children and Nature Network

The Power of Poetry
We Need Art Right Now. Here's How To Get Into Poetry

The Power of Music
Troubadours of Divine Bliss Release Every Heart Beat
A Note and Two New Tunes From Joan Shelley

A Simple Tool From Louisville’s Peace Education Program

Virtual Connections with Interfaith Paths to Peace Online

Five Anti-racist Actions for White People in the Time of COVID-19

Growing Your Own? - Louisville Grows Curbside Plant Sale

In challenging times it is essential that we Identify and utilize our best strategies for not just coping but thriving. With this edition of Cultivating Connections we offer some resources for self-care, for community engagement and justice making.

Let us be reminded that. . .

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.
On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.
- Arundhati Roy

The Power
of the
Natural World
In times of stress or trouble I have found it quite helpful to center my attention on the awe and wonder of the natural world. Simple things like opening windows, getting a little sunshine, hanging with friends of another species and paying notice to spring’s emergence helps immensely. Taking the time to observe the small reveals of color and listen to the calls of birds are simple ways to allow spring to soothe us. If you can though, don’t stop there. Get outside. Take a walk. Work in the yard. Get that garden going. It’s amazing the degree to which getting our hands in some rich soil and carefully placing a few seeds can focus and whole us.

For simple and power guidance, follow the advice of Mary Oliver:
"Instructions for Living a Life"
Pay Attention.
Be Astonished.
Tell About it.

From the
Good Folks at the
Children and Nature

Dear Friends,

The children and nature movement works to connect kids and families around the world to the benefits of nature. We do this in cities, schools, within families, and through policies and programs that get more kids outside, more often. We’ll need to do this work differently while we navigate the COVID19 pandemic.

With each passing day of this crisis, it becomes more clear that too many children lack equitable access to nature. No single organization or expert has all of the answers right now. But together, we can find ways to keep children, especially the most vulnerable, both physically and mentally healthy. We'll need new and creative strategies for connecting to the natural world -- even if some of those ways are indoors.

With this in mind, we are launching a new resource: . Each week, we’ll be posting resources from incredible partners, tips, tools and blogs, along with the best and brightest ideas from the field. Please consider this your virtual gathering place and a platform for sharing and connecting with your peers.

We're also launching a series of Finding Nature webinars, which I'll be kicking off with our co-founder, Richard Louv.

Warm regards,

Sarah Milligan-Toffler
Children and Nature Network

of Poetry
This is an excellent opportunity to dwelve into some good soul poetry. Check your book shelves or use your search engine to explore the likes of Mary Oliver, Rilke, Adrienne Rich, David Whyte to name a few.

From NPR”s Life Kit Podcast
We Need Art Right Now. Here's How To Get Into Poetry
Listen here .

Listen, I know how this looks. An NPR piece about "how to appreciate poetry" reads like self-parody. I get it! But — in case you haven't heard — things are extremely bad right now. And if you're holed up at home and have burned through all the TV you can stand, you may just need some art to help you process that sadness or anger or fear. And this might be a good time to give poetry a try.

A great poem can be there for you — the same way other works of art you hold dear can. Franny Choi, an educator and co-host of the poetry podcast VS (pronounced like "verses" or "versus," get it?), says a great poem "makes me want to get out of my chair and pace around the room. It makes me want to throw my hands up and show it to somebody or say it out loud or shout it from the rooftops ... when I have [it], it's the only thing that matters."

But if you haven't flexed your poetry muscles in a while, or if you've always thought poems were the domain of clove cigarette smokers and adjunct professors, that feeling might be a little hard to tap into. Here are 5 tips that might help you get there. Read the rest here .

of Music
Deep Listening may have become something of a lost art. Seldom do we take the time to listen to new or classic recording with all of our focus. It’s true for me. I used to be so much better at zeroing in without distraction or activity. So I’m thinking it might be a good time to get out those long-time favorites, that new release or even something you may have never given the appropriate attention and focus there. Put on those headphones, press play, close your eyes and just listen. Let the rest of the world go for a minute, it will be still be there when the record's over.

of Divine Bliss
Every Heart Beat
Good music can help us get through the most challenging of times. How wonderful to have a new album from the Troubadours of Divine Bliss in this moment. It's a lovely mix of mellow and upbeat soulful tunes reflective of Aimee and Renee's big hearts.

The Troubadours of Divine Bliss are friends of Cultivating Connections and long-time favorites of the local music scene who have played at many of our events including the Louisville Earth Walk and programs with Matthew Fox and Julia Butterfly Hill.

Get yours here !

A Note and
Two New Tunes
From Joan Shelley

Hello fellow creatures,

I hope your are getting to know the inside of your house, keeping friends and family safe. And yourself.

Here are two songs for you window gazers:

I hope this period gives you some time to be still, and to more deeply tune in to your surroundings.

What a stunning time.
Stay open and resilient.
Love to you all.


A Simple Tool
From Louisville’s
Peace Education
As we are spending more time cooped up together it is especially important that we have, and use, our best skills for resolving our conflicts peacefully. Here is a short video about a simple tool Peace Ed has been using for decades to keep the peace at school, in the neighborhoods and at home. Here are simple instructions for using I-Messages. Take a look and try it out at home. This simple “friendly formula” really works.
Make your own I Message video at home and share it on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #IResolveConflict and tag @PeaceEductionProgram to have your video shared by us! How are YOU resolving conflicts while at home social distancing?

with Interfaith Paths to Peace Online
During this time of "physical distancing while socially connecting" Interfaith Paths to Peace is hosting a variety of opportunities to gather online for meaningful connections, conversations, and co-learning. All online conversations will be conducted through Zoom Video Conferencing.

A variety of options are listed on their website .

Here are some samples

Seeing the Whole: Conscious Leadership in Times of Crisis
Friday, April 3, 10:30 - 11:30am

Everyone is right... the question is how? ” - Ken Wilber

During this online collaborative conversation, we will explore the wisdom of Spiral Dynamics and what it reveals about how different people and groups are reacting to the current crisis.

We will share the resources of second-tier integrative perspectives and how they can serve as resources for managing the complexities and paradoxes of cultural and systemic change. We will be exploring some of these questions and dynamics below.

Join us on Zoom:

The Mythic Journey into a New World:
Three Conversations to Harvest Collective Intelligence and Intention
April 3, 10 and 17, 3 - 4pm

Join us for online conversations following the three phases of the mythic journey of separation, initiation, and return. Together we will lament the loss of an old world, seek to understand what is emerging in the present, and imagine a more vital future. Utilizing the latest in online technologies, we will harvest and harness what is emerging for our collective future.  

April 3 - Liminality and Lament (Separation, Past)
Guiding Questions - What changes are you lamenting, inwardly, interpersonally and culturally/systemically? What patterns are you, or we, stuck in that you are lamenting?

April 10 - Exploring The Underworld (Initiation - Present)
Guiding Questions - What themes are emerging in your dreams? What new ideas and people are emerging in your life? Where are you experiencing synchronicities? What are you noticing pop up? How are you tending to the new growth?

April 17 - Idea Lab: Imagining A Vital Future (Return - Future)
Guiding Questions - What new possibilities can you imagine? What seeds are you sowing? What could we prototype in the next several days, weeks, and months?

Join us on Zoom:
For details and more options visit IPP at

Five anti-racist actions for white people in the time of COVID-19
In this moment, it is more important than ever that white people join anti-racist efforts. As we practice “social distancing” we must not isolate ourselves from the needs of our community. We can break our silence, move into action, and support people in our communities to do the same. Here are 5 ways you can show up powerfully that will contribute to winning the things we all need, now and for the long haul.

1) Join a group
or deepen your
to one.

Everyone “looking out only for themselves” is what got us into this situation, and only together can we create the solutions we need. Now more than ever, we must work together to force systemic change. Join your local SURJ chapter or other groups in your community that push systems (like the local, state and federal government) to protect and care for the most vulnerable, especially in these times.

2) Support efforts
in your community
to get people out of jails and detention centers

Support efforts in your community to get people out of jails and detention centers, and to stop local police from issuing new citations, incarcerating people pre-trial, and re-incarcerating people for probation/parole violations. Sign up for SURJ’s action updates on how you can take action from your home on these issues. Follow organizations that are leading on this issue, and find the groups in your community such as Color of Change, Dignity and Power Now, Justice LA, and Women on the Rise. If you’re a member of a group that doesn’t usually focus on these issues, bring them to their attention and encourage them to make these actions a priority. Here’s just one take on why this is so important.

3) Interrupt
racist stories
about who is
to blame.

Push back on people who use coded or racist language to talk about this moment. Specifically, when you hear people use the phrases “Chinese virus,” “Wuhan virus” and “Kung flu,” have a respectful and clear conversation about the racist and factually incorrect nature of this harmful scapegoating . Shift the focus to how our healthcare system and federal and state governments’ decisions have made communities of color, particularly Black Americans, disproportionately vulnerable to the pandemic . Where we get our news is important. It shifts the frame of the issues. Pay attention to progressive-leaning news sources rather than only the corporate news media. Some examples include Democracy Now and the Irresistible Podcast. Seek out articles written by disabled & Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous and People of Color activists in your community.

4) Fight to
protect our
Fight to protect our elections. Events across the country are being cancelled or postponed, and in many locations, governments are implementing “shelter in place” recommendations or requirements. As a result, many states are taking measures to postpone elections rather than finding creative ways, like mail-in ballots, to ensure our democratic freedom while protecting public health. Meanwhile, the upcoming election still needs our attention. We still need to mobilize millions of voters across the country to vote against Trump. You can help by getting involved in your local progressive campaigns and/or calling and texting white voters in Georgia and Pennsylvania with SURJ. A simple first step is to take the Collect Our Cousins Pledge . If you are part of a local SURJ chapter, encourage members of your chapter to sign on to the Commitment Form .

5) Participate
in a mutual aid
project or fund.

If you are able, donate money to a mutual-aid fund or initiate mutual aid with your immediate neighbors. Mutual-aid funds link people with resources to those who need resources during a crisis. This can help cover costs of rent, medication, food, and other needs for people who lack a safety net. If you have a surplus of food or hygiene supplies, donate to a mutual aid group, food pantry, or a community organization that is distributing goods to vulnerable people in your community. (Please be sure that they NEED what you have - don’t assume!). Practice mutual aid by reaching out to three people on your street. Give them your contact info and let them know you can call each other to ask for help with groceries, prescriptions, etc. Here’s a template if you need a starting point. Join with local grassroots organizations led by people of color for mutual aid in your area or follow your local SURJ chapter for ideas.

This public health crisis is highlighting all the ways our economic system has been set up to fail us and others, hoarding wealth and resources for a few at the expense of the many. People who never believed it before are waking up and taking note. We have an opportunity to join in a shared struggle for our own health and survival, and for that of the planet. Join us

 Louisville Grows
Plant Sale
Gardening is the answer… when normal life takes a pause!

Play in the dirt!!
Plant some veggies, herbs and flowers! Become a happier person!!!

Pick up dates start April 4th - end of May
Tuesdays and Thursday, 2 - 7pm
Saturdays, 10am - 4pm
Order online at

Our plants look great!

Our selection of veggies, herbs and flowers are outstanding!

The prices are amazing!

Place and pay for your order online at  and select the date you want to pick up.

When you arrive at the greenhouse, call the number posted and we'll have everything ready to go. It's that easy! Louisville Grows is taking every precaution to keep our gardeners and staff safe!

Ordering details:
The first day for pickup will be Saturday. April 4, 2020 from 10am-4pm.
Orders will be able to be picked up at 536 N. 44th Street, Louisville, KY 40212 .
If you place an order before April 1st, your order will be ready on April 4, 2020.
Please allow 2 business days for your order to be ready. When you check out, you will be prompted to select the day you would like to pick up your order.

You must load all items yourself, staff will be unable to assist you.
All plants, fruit trees, berry bushes, and soils and mulches are online only.
You will not be allowed to "shop" or enter the greenhouse.
If you have any concerns or questions, please email Lisa at .

Curbside Pickup Instructions (once you arrive to the Greenhouse):
Call number posted out front, please remain in your vehicle.
A staff member will place your items onto a table by the curb.
If someone is already loading, please allow time for them to finish loading.
Maintain 6' of distance from other customers and staff.
Load your order into your vehicle.