Talked with David, my stockbroker, whose specialty is socially responsible investments. He said when things are doing a little better, he’d like to get me invested in new start-up companies that are geared for sustainability. I like the idea. Talking to David reminded me of the relief I felt when I sold out the family inheritance and invested in socially responsible stocks. I hadn’t expected it. I’d always felt scared at the idea — I wasn’t able to do it until I’d started Somatic Experiencing and began to feel less fear. I’d made the decision for moral reasons, not practical or emotional ones. I had to pay a huge capital gains tax to the government, and I knew there was a possibility that I would have less income. So I was surprised at the enormous relief I felt, that I was no longer invested in “business as usual.” In fact, my socially responsible investments have performed just fine, sometimes better than the mainstream ones.
Another time I experienced that sense of astonished relief was when I went to Findhorn for the first time. Findhorn is a “New Age” community in Scotland on the south side of the Moray Firth, just east of Inverness. I stayed in a largish house that was available for guests. The first time I used the toilet, I noticed a sign on the wall that said “The Living Machine thanks you for your contribution. Please don’t put anything in the bowl but human excrement and toilet paper. The Living Machine can’t digest anything else.” I got a good laugh and thought “Good for them!” In the morning when I went down to make an early cup of tea, I was standing there waiting for it to brew, and saw a row of bins under the counter. They were labeled “PAPER”, “PLASTIC”, “METAL”, etc. And there was a bucket with a lid on the counter labeled “COMPOST”. Something deep inside relaxed in a way I’d never felt. I understood what it cost me to live “against the stream” in a culture that didn’t care about the earth and throws things away without thinking about where they’re going.
David Hills is a member of Veris Wealth Partners