Roz Savage Rowed Across 3 Big Oceans.
“It felt as if everything that had happened so far in my life had been leading me to this point, preparing me for this task,
and that I was uniquely equipped to pursue this quest.
It was a perfect collision of personality, past experience, purpose, and timing.”
Roz graduated from Oxford.
She had the great job, the great house, the little red sports car.
She claims it was the commute that got her, provided the time to reflect on an equation that wasn't adding up. She had the things, but lacked satisfaction and wasn't living aligned with her values.
Roz said it was writing two versions of her obituary that was the impetuous for change.
One version was about the woman she most wanted to be, and included a life of adventure.
The other version was of the life she was living.
Moved out of her home.
Listened for what was next.
"It became clear to me, intellectually and emotionally and intuitively, that we have to look after our planet if we want it to look after us."
"I accepted that mistakes are a fact of life, an inevitable consequence of being adventurous and trying new things."
Roz eventually sailed across the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, and used the voyages to raise awareness about the state of the oceans.
It wasn't easy.
Her boat capsized.
Her equipment failed.
She battled with loneliness and depression.
I met Roz when covering the Copenhagen Climate Talks for Current’s Green Channel. I interview Roz, along with policy makers, climate scientists, and activists. I wanted to offer our audience a full spectrum perspective on the state of the climate change.
When given the chance, guess who people chose to listen to.
Believe it or not, it wasn't the dancing penguins.
The fact that an audience of climate change enthusiasts preferred to listen to Roz's story made a lasting impression.
...and was the fuel for a significant pivot change in my own career.
We have so much information.
But we don't have a big story that holds us through these times.
And stories...provides context, meaning, wonder, and though it's inherent nature weaves us into the web of a lineage that weaves us into a timelessness.
I was in the midst of my own classic story of leaving a corporate job to discover the thread that was mine to weave into the universal tapestry of our times...
When The Whale Dreamer came for me.
How this story came for me is tale worth telling. But not for this moment.
The Whale Dreamer is a young adult book series (I am writing) designed to engage young people in the times we are living in. The story follows Kelley, who is the only Anthribian left on the planet (she is equal resident in the ocean as she is on land.) On land she is known as The Doorway to Death as animals that are going extinct pass through her. In the ocean she is known as The Key to The Garden of Life, as she is the only one who can access something the whales have been protecting for a very long time, The Dream of our future. And then there is May, who is The Keeper, like Kelley, animals on their way to going extinct pass through her, except she holds on to all of their medicine and knowledge, giving her a unique perspective on the state of the planet.
As you might imagine, the story faces the 6th mass extinction, the state of the oceans, and dares to ask, who owns the dream of our future?
Sometimes a story isn't enough.
Hence, the creation of The Whale Dreamer Engagement Pathway.
This is a strategy that combines a story with an engagement strategy to engage readers with taking action about they things they care about after readig the book. The engagement pathway motivates and mobilizes the next generation of ocean stewardship and land protection be connecting them to the organizations doing freat work, and providing an action plan we all take part in together.
In 2017 we welcomed 17 organizations, allies, education partners, and ocean advocates to support getting the word out about The Whale Dreamer and it’s mission. Together we will:
- Empower youth to understand how they can influence the world around them
- Provide Action Kits that youth can bring to their schools and local restaurants that educate about the impact of plastics and provide solutions for alternatives
- Measure our collective impact: so we can see how all of the drops of action can create an ocean of change
- Incentivize youth getting more exposure to the natural world through awards from partner organizations for their environmental activism
- Educate and support through an alumni activist training program
- Foster their genius, creativity, and imagination to flourish in the face of changing planet
The plan is extensive. It includes key partnerships with organizations such as Monterey Bay Aquarium Sea Watch program, The Plastic Pollution Coalition, and allyships with GreenPeace, 5 Gyres, Mission Blue just to name a few.
It's how we live with the story --- that allows the story live through us.
YOU CAN GET INVOLVED WITH
THE WHALE DREAMER
This spring we are launching our pilot program. Four schools across the country will read the book and test the engagement campaign. We’ll test our plan to help youth influence their local communities and measure their collective impact through our unique measurement tool.
* Get a front row seat when you join me to launch this pilot program. *
We're raising 60K to hire two staff members, pay teacher stipends, develop the restaurant report card with Montrey Bay Aquarium Sea Watch Program and develop the Action Kit that educates restaurants on planet forward solutions.
Sign-Up to Host a House Party:
This is fun way way to bring community together, be the first to hear a chapter from the book, and learn about local environmental issues while raising funds for The Whale Dreamer engagement campaign.
The way is works: you gather your community, I’ll read a chapter of the book, we may bring in one of our local allies to talk about local ocean conservation issues, and we’ll do a few other things to make the evening delightful.
And…if you have ideas for partner organizations and environmental leaderswho would like to get involved, we are accepting allys and partners here.
And...if you'd like to make a tax deductible contribution directly through our fiscal sponsor, email me.
Or you can go to The Whale Dreamer website and read all about it there.
Green Gift Guide Part Three
In case you missed the first 2, this is the 3rd installment of the annual green gift guide. Designed to inspire joyful and out of the box life force enhancing ways to spend your money while in the act of expressing your love during this season. The recipe is simple: one part awesome human, one part awesome product, one art awesome experience, one part awesome book. I receive no personal benefit aside from the pleasure that comes with highlighting great things and people.
Matthew Stillman: The Creative Approacher
Matthew enjoys helping people think creatively about their life, work, and everything in-between. From gang members trying to figure how to avoid being killed to writers working on books; Stillman has a creative approach to what is challenging you. He's been a creative ally and story consultant for The Whale Dreamer. As a story consultant he's brave enough to name what isn't working, generous enough to provide good tinder for a new solution, and wise enough to get out of the way to let the wild fire of creativity he just inspired to burn through. PS: thanks to Stillman, adorable sand cats are now in The Whale Dreamer. Who wouldn't want a gift certificate to a creative approach?
A Plastic Free Life
The Plastic Pollution Coalition
To-Go Ware was born from the founder's desire to eliminate unnecessary use of single use plastic. Pop this cute thing in any bag or purse and say goodbye to needing a plastic fork or spoon when on the go again. And when you get them at this link...you support Plastic Pollution Coalition (one of education partners ofThe Whale Dreamer). While you are there you can check out all of their other suggestions on how to live a life without plastic.
The Shared Adventure: ALASKA!
Alaska Wildland Adventures
The famous naturalist, John Muir, wrote in his journal, "You should never go to Alaska as a young man because you'll never be satisfied with any other place as long as you live." So why wait any longer? AWA is one of those top notch eco-tourism companies you really want to support. They are locally owned, give back to Alaska, treats their staff great (yes, I was a natural history guide there over a decade ago) and is committed to teaching about the cultural history and the natural world that they are traveling through.
By: Stephen Jenkinson
The title is unfortunate because it makes it a hard book to gift for many. And yet....it's the kind of book that could save someone's life...or at least invite them into a rich conversation about reconsidering how they are living life. Stephen Jenkinson is an author, a teacher (although he prefers the term practioner), elder, and prolific writer and speaker. He has sat with over 1,000 people on their death bed and has a thing or two to say about how to live. Audio is also available on audible. You can also catch a feature article written about SJ in this month's Spirituality and Health Magazine (sold at Whole Foods) by yours truly.
I bring you 2 sweet treats…
Breakfast at Tiffany’s quarterly newsletter is the brainchild of award winning filmmaker Tiffany Shlain, and is always chocked full with goodies…books, films, events, and news about her next proect.
At the heart of it all are lots and lots of cultural goodies.
Your 2nd sweet treat is BRAIN POWER, From Neurons to Networks a short film made by Tiffany about how our brains are inluenced by technolgy.
“To live a fulfilling life is an endurance event,
and the only way to get to the finish line is to focus on the present,
checking from moment to moment that I am still heading in the right direction.
The Atlantic taught me that no matter how huge and seemingly impossible the task,
anybody can achieve extraordinary things,
by simply taking it one stroke at a time.”
― Roz Savage, Rowing the Atlantic: Lessons Learned on the Open Ocean
On a side note, Mountaineer Angela Hawse, upon nearly reaching the top of Mount Everest said, "It's amazing what you can accomplish when you keep putting one foot in front of the other."
May your days be filled with rowing, walking, skipping, and leaping, in the direction that most serves you.
Enjoy the images in this storyletter? See them and more via The Whale Dreamer’s Instagram and Facebook account.
PS: I'm thrilled to share that Roz is an ally of The Whale Dreamer. You can learn more about Roz and her book and podcast here.