This month, I’m happy to share my third interview with one of several of my mentors. There are so many mentors that challenge us to understand ourselves, grow our spiritual practices and cultivate our lives. This series is to share with you a few of my own personal mentors that whether they are aware of it or not, have made a huge imprint on my life, love and world.
men·tor : someone who teaches or gives help and advice to a less experienced and often younger person
teach·er : a person or thing that teaches something.
gu·ru : teacher and especially intellectual guide in matters of fundamental concern.
First, a little bit about Betsy. Four years ago, I opened a small locally-sourced health food store that shared a door with my nutrition counseling practice. Betsy Wild, walked into my tiny market with such gratitude and that started our beautiful relationship. Her passion for our environment touched my soul and inspired my personal and professional practice in so many ways. She connected me to educational experiences at her property and a field trip to her husband’s, Peter, biggest worm farm I’ve ever seen! I am so thrilled to share this interview, so you can stay in tune with her upcoming ventures on Cape Cod! (P.S. they will be having their first wedding on their property this year!)
She has been an environmental and an organic lifestyle advocate since the 1970’s. Her husband and her have owned several “green businesses” – Boston Tree Preservation, an organic based tree care company; Arborjet, which manufactures environmentally safer products and formulations for the control of exotic invasive insect pests in trees; and their newest venture converting a 35 acre seaside cranberry farm in Sandwich, MA to an organic tree farm. Formerly, she managed the promotional and educational materials for Boston Tree Preservation, as well as spearheaded efforts to make the businesses even greener. She is also the mother of 3 inspiring grown children.
What has been your journey into what you do?
I write a green living tips blog called “What’s Green with Betsy?” www.greenwithbetsy.com with a whole range of topics to live a cleaner, greener, healthier lifestyle such as tips on healthy cleaning, personal care products, organic lawn care, greener dry cleaning, calculating your carbon footprint, green travel, tips for kids, organic lawn care, green holiday traditions, etc. Ever since I can remember, I have always been passionate about a leading a healthy lifestyle and promoting a healthy environment. I of course shared my knowledge with my kids, but as they became teenagers and young adults, I felt like I was lecturing, so I decided blogging would be a better way to impart my knowledge not only to my kids but to others as well!
What have you cultivated along the way?
I’ve cultivated relationships with some of my readers who read and comment regularly on my blog, and with companies and organizations that are interested in me promoting their cause or product. It’s been great to have dialog with readers from far away who are trying to live a greener life.
What inspires you?
My desire to make a difference in the world and to inspire others to do so too inspires me. My tag line is Simple Steps That Make a Difference because I truly believe that each little step we take towards a greener lifestyle will benefit the planet and us. And it’s not really that hard to make green lifestyle changes without sacrifice. People just need education.
What are the biggest things you’ve learned?
The biggest thing I have learned is the importance and satisfaction of following your passions throughout your life wherever they take you.
What are your intentions?
I’d like to grow my blog and reach more readers. I’m considering doing podcasts too. I’d love to have an advice, Dear Abby type column or podcast for greener living.
How do you feel about your energy?
I have great energy! I eat well, exercise, try and get enough sleep, and keep a good attitude, all of which contribute to your energy level.
What is your relationship with food?
I love food, preparing and eating it, but the right food. I basically follow an organic, plant-based diet and avoid processed food as much as possible. After years of eating this way, I find my body can’t tolerate meat or poor quality food.
What’s your favorite meal to create for yourself or others or both? Tell the background story please and share your recipe if there is one.
Lately I’ve been following one of the Blue Zone diets. The Blue Zones are those five areas in the world – Sardinia, Italy, Ikaria, Greece, Okinawa, Japan, Loma Linda, CA and Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica – where the people live to be over 100 with their minds and bodies intact at a rate 10 times greater than in the U.S. Each of the areas has 9 characteristics in common, one of which is basically following a plant-based diet consisting mostly of beans.
Who are your favorite teachers? why?
I had a zany English professor in college who often talked about the importance of taking different perspectives. He urged us to walk to class a different way and look through your legs at the world to get an upside down view! Seeing different perspectives and thinking outside the box really does provide a clearer, more accurate outlook of the world. Also, over the years I’ve taken a lot of health food and international cuisine cooking classes and learned from each one of the teachers who taught them. I love trying new dishes and cuisines.
-What is your vision board for 2016?
My vision board for 2016 is to continue to grow and develop my blog as well as the beautiful farm we live on in East Sandwich, perhaps incorporating wellness weekends on our special piece of the planet. I also want to continue to meet interesting, healthy and like-minded people and have fun!
That’s almost impossible to say since there are so many, but one of my favorites is Barbara Kingsolver’s, Prodigal Summer. All of her books are well-written, beautiful stories with an environmental theme.
How do you balance your life?
Since my kids are grown and I work for myself, it’s not difficult to balance my life. But, I always make time to exercise, walking and doing yoga, see friends, take part in cultural activities and cook! Lately I’ve been doing short daily formal meditations.
How do you practice mindfulness?
Walking on Cape Cod with all its natural beauty is a special way to practice mindfulness, yoga and meditation another. I try to eat mindfully, slowing down and savoring each bite, and appreciate every moment, or ATM as my mother used to say.
With all the craziness and negativity bombarded at us daily, one can easily lose sight of the progress we have made in the organic movement. My oldest daughter is 30 now and when I think back to when she was a baby and how hard it was to find anything organic, when I felt like I was swimming up stream alone with my philosophies and way of life, I feel encouraged to see where things are heading now. Conventional supermarkets have large organic sections, mainstream America is understanding the dangers of GMO foods and Monsanto, fast food restaurants offer healthier options, solar and wind power are gaining ground, recycling bins are commonplace, composting is happening – there are so many advancements! We have a long way to go, but we are heading in the right direction.
Thank you for letting us Spread the Love with this month’s inspirational interview. Look forward to next month’s interview with love from, Sherry Dioti, my yoga teacher trainer. Let’s learn to love and be ourselves with the help of each other!