Paul Hawken

Environmentalist & Best-Selling Author

Paul Hawken is an environmentalist, entrepreneur, journalist, and author. Starting at age 20, he dedicated his life to sustainability and changing the relationship between business and the environment. His practice has included starting and running ecological businesses, writing and teaching about the impact of commerce on living systems, and consulting with governments and corporations on economic development, industrial ecology, and environmental policy.

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What is your wellness philosophy?

I had chronic asthma from six months old until I was 20 years old. I took medication every day from the time I was a pre-teen. Then I read a book that said if you were sick it was your responsibility, and it made me mad. How was I “responsible” at six months old? Nevertheless, I went on a brown rice and tea diet for ten days and on the eighth day my asthma went away and I could breathe without medication for the first time since I was a child. I was hooked. My philosophy is simple. If you are not well, disease is a gift that can lead you to health if you accept the feedback and act. If you are not sick or have no disease, then wellness is the gift if you honor your mind and body as a daily, celebratory practice. Wellness is not rigid, conceptual ideas about what you should or should not do. It is the knowing that you are life, and that life, aka your body/mind/spirit, creates the conditions conducive to life every second. That is what life does and that is who we are.

What brought you into wellness?

Asthma. So grateful.

What does You.We.All mean to you?

You.We.All is the knowing that we are inseparable from all life. One might read those pronouns as pertaining to human beings but they pertain to the entire living world. The human body is comprised of 10 percent human cells and 90 percent non-human cells. We are a community of life cleverly disguised as a human being.