Building a Sustainable Future through Community, with Vicki Robin
1. Please share what you do in 10-15 words:
I am a writer, speaker, activist, and coach.
2. Why do you do what you do?
I love this world — the interconnected living system that is our home. I know that we humans have it within us to work for the greater good, while still being our perfectly imperfect selves. I love using my gifts to help awaken people to our responsibilities and the possibilities. I want to encourage people to build societies based in respect for all life, allowing the old world order — based on greed, profit and separation — to fall away. I believe that community is the fundamental building block of a sustainable future, and that we can achieve it through love and grit.
3.What are you currently fascinated by in your work?
As the titular matriarch of the FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) movement, I love getting to know the younger people and bloggers who are living with intention to free themselves financially. I think about what they will do with the freedom they earn in service to the greater good — and I write about that.
Locally I work with a dedicated team to alert our community and politicians to the cost of a four-fold increase in fighter jet pilot training over our farmland and beautiful beaches, towns and small businesses. Protecting this tiny part of the world is teaching me about political power from bottom up.
4. How did you come to your path? Any aha moments or key teachers?
Joe Dominguez was my key teacher in the ways of money and the world, as well as my coauthor of Your Money or Your Life. Donella Meadows, co-author of the revolutionary “Limits to Growth” Club of Rome report, taught to think about systems infused with love.
My big aha for my current work was at the 1989 Globescope Pacific Assembly when I learned about overshoot … and that consumerism is the biggest driver of ecological destruction. I then saw I could do something about it. Practicing prayer, meditation, ceremony, self honesty, and inquiry for many years has shown me the reality of love and given me compassion for our human dilemma.
5. What book(s) did you like reading this year?
I’m studying Universal Basic Income as a strategy for economic fairness and fundamental security for all. I’ve read Fair Shot by Chris Hughes and Raising the Floor by Andy Stern. I also recently listened to Dark Money by Jane Mayer, and I’m enjoying Consolations by David Whyte.
6. What surprised you about Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat Bahamas?
I have never felt so relaxed while keeping a full teaching schedule. Also the contrast between the spirit at the ashram and the commercialism of the Atlantis hotel complex was stark. And I loved swimming in the warm turquoise sea.
Vicki Robin is a prolific social innovator, co-author of the perennial best seller, Your Money or Your Life, and author of the new book, Blessing the Hands that Feed Us: Lessons from a 10-Mile Diet. Called the “prophet of consumption downsizers” by the New York Times, she has been featured in hundreds of media outlets, including Oprah, NPR, NYTimes, WSJ, Utne, and People. Her popular TEDx talk is on “Relational Eating.”