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Every summer I make my annual pilgrimage back to Maine. It is a chance to reset with the universe and connect to a place I know on a deep level: ecologically, socially and culturally. For a long time, I have thought of this journey as a rebalancing of my mind with nature. An intuitive connection with the patterns in the landscape strengthens me, especially when hiking in Acadia National Park or kayaking on Branch Lake. On my last trip, I discovered another aspect of this connection. One day I was driving along the coast to meet a friend for coffee, and I was struggling with a decision. Like many decisions, there were two paths: one was logical and felt planned and safe; the second was risky but felt right. As I drove, I passed a sign with this quote from Shakti Gawain: “When the universe gives you a sign, read it.” We all have within us a deep wisdom, but education and training have invalidated our intuition. Our culture emphasizes rationality, reason, and everything that is measurable. Yet our intuition can guide us toward inspiration and meaning, two elements of life that are impossible to measure yet crucial to our happiness. Of course, sometimes our intuition is wrong, and making decisions based on what is not measurable can be very difficult, but these leaps of faith are part of being a connected and intuitive human being. Real power and innovation come from transcending the polarity of intuition and rationality. We should listen to our minds and our intuition, and integrate the two. This is the creative mind, and it’s the kind of thinking that we need to achieve a Living Future. It won’t be easy and it won’t feel safe, but to all you risk takers, rule breakers, and innovators, I say: Go forward. Act boldly. The universe needs its green warriors now more than ever.


RICHARD GRAVES is the Executive

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Director of the International Living Future Institute, and an architect who combines design thinking and transformational community leadership.


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