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Archive for January 2015

Next Path Awaits

When we go down a path with twists and curves, one that tests our very being in darkness, light, shade, brightness, gray, dingy…Where truth is hidden or being hidden from us, where trust is not given and false words are spoken trying to penetrate to the heart, breaking boundaries of love and kindness. Confusing the journey to the point of blindness. 


that in the blinding dark the light is still there, the journey will change, and strength will rise from deep inside and compel you forward, being greeted by those who were waiting patiently for your return.

Gratitude flows for this experience and rest assure that wounds will heal quickly as they are the points where the light enters.

No regrets

on to the next path that much wiser.

Remembering that trust and trusting are instincts, gifts from our Creator.

Without trust Love is just a word~

Peace and Love~Leslie Kolovich

Interview With Kristin Thomas

Standing Up for the Planet with Leslie Kolovich

Today I had the honor of talking with Kristin Thomas. She was awarded the 2014 Woman’s Planet Paddler by Bob Purdy founder of Paddle for the Planet.  I’ve known Kristin for quite sometime and she actually was the one who connected me to Bob Purdy back in 2011 when he had completed his first year of daily paddling. She currently is the Executive Director of the Stand Up Paddle Industry Association as well as a professional elite racer for team Infinity. Kristin and her family are involved with so many really cool programs that enable people to get involved in community and global ways. Kristin truly lives the way she talks, it’s always a pleasure chatting with her. Check out Bob’s blog that states so well why Kristin is the 2014 Woman’s Planet Paddler.

Enjoy the podcast now:

Kristin Thomas Woman’s Planet Paddler 2014

Standing Up for the Planet by Bob Purdy

Back in 2013 “Paddle for the Planet” created an award to recognize one Man and one Woman Paddler who made significant contributions during the year to “Change the Way we live on the Planet”! The first recipients in 2013 were Justin Riney for his work with “Mother Ocean” and “Expedition Florida 500” and Leslie Kolovich for her work as the original “Planet Paddler” and her “SUP Radio Show”! The Men’s recipient for 2014 was Norm Hann for his work with “Stadup4GreatBear” and his many contributions to the sport of SUP!

Today we announce the Woman’s Planet Paddler for 2014, Kristin Thomas!Kristin Thomas 2014 Woman's Planet Paddler

I first met Kristin at a Kalavida Surf Shop race in Vernon, I think it was in 2010! I was instantly struck by her vibrant personality, not to mention she kicked my butt in that race!

Kristin truly believes that everyone can make a difference. Even before SUP came along, she was a ‘joiner’ and a ‘doer’. A teacher by training, many of Kristin’s efforts earlier in life were focussed on education. Raising a family of three and working as a teacher, director of a non-profit, and educational consultant lead to a variety of outreach programs. After her whole family had the life changing adventure of helping to open a school in Eastern Africa, she served two terms on the board of directors of the Indigenous Education Foundation of Tanzania (IEFT).

More recently, Kristin was proud to be a founding member of Impact Giving, a women’s collective that pools their small amounts of money to give bigger grants to deserving organizations annually.

In the Standup Paddling World, she feels that her luck of living right in the middle of one of the hubs of the emerging sport has made it easy to be a part of bringing it to the World. Serving on the board of the currently inactive StandUp Alliance (http://supalliance.org) with its pillars of Environment, Education, Etiquette and Access, and helping to launch the Stand Up Paddle Industry Association (http://www.supindustry.org), a trade group for SUP businesses, have both been great experiences where she hopes she has made a difference.

Currently, through affiliations with Ocean of Hope (O2O), ECO Warrior Foundations and her local Methodist church, Kristin’s top priorities for ‘giving back’ include feeding the homeless, trash pick-ups and fundraising for Cancer Research. Not surprisingly, some of her favorite charities focus on water issues, from plastics and pollution in the ocean, to water access globally.

Kristin tries to ‘walk the walk’ and live her beliefs and passions rather than just talk about them. Her favorite quote from Ghandi, “Be the change you wish to see in the World” holds this message for her!

“Probably more important than the actual actions I’ve taken to try and make a difference is helping to empower people to realize that THEY make a difference. That, whether it is picking up plastics in the Ocean on your paddle or getting out to vote, what you do and how you live is important. I wish there was a way to help people realize that no effort is too small. Small efforts and actions can make a big difference”.

“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something, and I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do”! (Edward Everett Hale)

Bob Purdy Standing Up For The Planet

Bob Purdy founder of Paddle for the Planet and World Paddle

It is an honor to select Kristin for 2014 as the recipient of “Paddle for the Planet’s” “Woman’s Planet Paddler of the Year”! Unfortunately there is no large cheque to go along with the award, however there is a small gift. Again, unfortunately, as Kristin and I live a long way from each other, me in B.C. her in California, the best I can do until we get together is show a picture of the Ceremonial Paddle that I will present when we paddle again! I will also ask her to sign the Ceremonial Paddle that I travel with so that the “Spirit” of all the people she has touched can be represented through her signature!

Thanks for all you do Kristin, cannot wait to see you again!…


Can We All Agree On One Thing?

Standing Up for the Planet by Bob Purdy

Is there a possibility we all might be able to agree on one thing in 2015? If it is possible for us all to agree on one thing in 2015, is there a possibility we might actually be able to “Change the Way we live on the Planet”?

Can we all agree that we need clean Air to breathe? If we had all agreed unanimously to clean Air in the past it follows that we would have clean Air to breathe today! I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but in my part of the World, Air quality has steadily deteriorated in the 50+ years I have lived here. The fact that our Air quality is failing tells me that we are not all in agreement about the need for clean Air to breathe.

Can we all agree we need clear and clean Water to drink? Again, every body of water I have been fortunate enough to visit has serious issues. Can anyone tell me why a person would not agree that clean and clear Water is important, not only for our survival, but to the survival of everything on the Planet?

Can we all agree that healthy Land is essential for growing food? Is our Land healthy?

Can we all agree that the challenges we face in today’s World are a result of our past and current actions, the result of human activity? If we are in agreement, it should be relatively easy to take responsibility for the challenges we face and take corrective action!

Step one! Can we all agree that however we got here, and whatever our beliefs are, we have all been given a range of qualities that either serve or block us? Given the right circumstances, can we all agree that we are all capable of any of these range of qualities and emotions at any given time? We all possess violence, love, hatred, compassion, sadness, anger, gentleness, happiness, etc., those potentials live in us all. Can we at least agree on that? If we can, it then becomes possible to see that people demonstrate varying degrees of these qualities based on things like upbringing, circumstance, etc. We all seem to have the ability to recognize happiness or murder.

Step 2! Can we all agree that we recognize the human condition, individually and collectively? If we can, then we can ask the question, what would make us choose one condition over another, what is the difference between choosing to be a suicide bomber or a rock star? If we can recognize that there is a difference, maybe we can explore our choices.

Step 3! Embrace all of the qualities we all possess. If a person can recognize that, given the right set of circumstances, one could choose violence over peace, maybe one could recognize that a choice is going to have a consequence, pretty sure choosing to be a suicide bomber will lead to death. If the suicide bomber can see another quality, stronger than the quality that led to the choice to be a suicide bomber, say a strong survival instinct, maybe it would be possible to make a different choice.

It would appear that our evolution as a species has been a slow one, we seem to be stuck in an infinite loop of violence, greed, corruption, and other qualities that lead to creating more challenges for future generations. Have we arrived at a point in history where we can consciously choose qualities that might move us away from this infinite loop and towards an evolution that is different than the one we have experienced so far? Could it be that our troubles are simply the result of disagreement?

Bob Purdy Standing Up For The Planet

Bob Purdy founder of Paddle for the Planet and World Paddle

Have we evolved to the point yet that we can all agree on at least one thing, and in the agreeing, move our evolution forward? Have we reached the point where we can recognize that things like war are not good for us or the Planet, and that things like getting along and looking after what we have been given is a good thing? Is there a possibility we all might be able to agree on one thing in 2015?…

Let’s start a New Year’s Revolution in 2015!…



Listen First And Build Trust

Christian Wagley writer of The Paddler's Planet on www.supradioshow.com

Christian Wagley

The Paddler’s Planet by Christian Wagley

With age comes a growing amount of wisdom. That wisdom has brought me an enhanced appreciation of, and ability to…listen.

Listening seems so simple, yet it’s something that many of us don’t do very well or in the right order. In some cases it’s the inability to concentrate, so we don’t hear all of what we should. There’s also the issue of listening thoroughly first, before we take action or set our minds on a particular course.

As a paddler, I listen intently when I’m on the water. I want to hear the natural sounds– of dolphins breaching, the rattling call of a kingfisher, the gentle sound of my paddle blade entering the water on a clean stroke. I also listen for sounds of danger, like an approaching powerboat or the rumble of thunder that marks summer afternoons in north Florida.

But really, the listening that has brought me the most benefits is that of listening to other people. Since I do a lot of work on bringing positive change to my community, the first step in making those changes is to listen thoroughly to people’s concerns and issues.

It also means spending a lot more time listening than speaking—especially in the beginning of the process. The practical reason is that one must first learn from those who know the issues best—those who live with them and experience them every day. That could be residents who live next to a polluting chemical plant, or fishermen seeing their catches diminish.

Just a few days ago I attended the first of a series of community meetings on stormwater runoff and flooding that plagues my city. I have lots of insight on the issue and clear thoughts on how to confront it in smart and effective ways.

But instead of rushing to the microphone to speak, I chose to sit back and listen to members of the community speak of their thoughts, ideas, questions, and concerns. There will be plenty of future meetings where I can speak, and having listened to the community first I’m now better able to speak to the issues they raised.

Listening first also builds trust, especially when working with people who do not know you. There is often much tension around environmental and community issues, with much of that coming from a breakdown in trust.

Residents might not trust elected officials, or government employees, or the officials representing a nearby industry or development project. Much of that lack of trust is earned, as promises are broken or concerns dismissed. When that happens, people rightly feel like others are not listening, and as trust goes away it can be difficult to regain, as memories can be long.

Or they may not trust somebody simply because they do not know them. There is no quick and easy way to build trust. It takes time to establish, and its most fundamental tenet, and starting point, is to listen.

Listen first and speak later. You’ll be better informed when you do speak, and as you build trust you build a foundation for solutions.

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