Soil and Shadow centers relationship care in economic development and ecosystem restoration.

We’re a boutique firm creating tailor-made projects for our clients and partners. We know that relationship care accelerates and creates the foundation for effective systemic change. We curate opportunities to demonstrate this process at work.

 

Our Values and Process

Creating the world we want to see now requires more of us. It’s not enough to work toward external change in our environment and in our communities. We must must also work toward transformation within ourselves - facing our own resistance to compromise, our fear of change, and our grief of what we are losing. We use "Soil and Shadow" as a values statement, a touchstone, and a process for our work.

 

 Photo by Elaine Patarini

Photo by Elaine Patarini

Soil is a metaphor for complexity, and thriving in the midst of rapid change. There are more micro-organisms in a teaspoon of soil than there are people on earth. Inspiring abundance, right? Yet creating this booming richness requires death, destruction, and countless loss of life to keep the cycle flowing. Soil reminds us that rapid, sometimes overwhelming change is the essence of new life. It reminds us that creating nourishing conditions for the cycle of life to occur is the way to stay grounded. In these times, when destabilization is becoming the norm, we need this wisdom more than ever.

Soil is a literal tool for regeneration at the center of ecological restoration. Soil is at the center of life on this planet. And while one can unintentionally degrade other ecosystems when focusing on water, animal welfare, carbon emissions, etc.,  it's almost impossible to degrade the ecosystem when building healthy soil. Starting with soil requires humility, attention to detail, and the willingness to re-write entire worldviews in the pursuit of true regeneration.

 

 
 Photo by Elaine Patarini

Photo by Elaine Patarini

Shadow is a reminder to seek what is hidden, so that it becomes our ally instead of our downfall. Much of the time, great initiatives fail not because of poor ideas, but because people can't play well together in groups. Our drive for control and dominance is central to why economic, social and ecological destruction continues against all reason. Attending to our core motivations, fears, and desires as humans is key to building the world we want to see.

Shadow is a commitment to integration. As we have seen in our last year of political upheaval, just revealing hidden pain isn't enough to weave a constructive path forward. Surfacing long-ignored issues is a moment fraught with danger, as it can lead to indiscriminate and shockingly destructive behaviors. Creating pathways to integrate what has been hidden is the difficult, confronting, and life-changing work of new leadership.

 

Emergence emphasizes critical connections over critical mass, building authentic relationships, listening with all the senses of the body and mind.
— Adrienne Marie Brown, Emergent Strategy