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Originally published April 14 2009

Personal Message to NaturalNews Readers from the Health Ranger

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

(NaturalNews) For over five years, NaturalNews has served the interests of the natural health community, bringing you important news about natural health, medicinal herbs, nutrition, Big Pharma and the FDA and even covering important, timely issues like financial protection, bailout money and the housing bubble crash. For most of these five years, we've spent considerable time focusing on criticism of the FDA, drug companies, medical journals, conventional medical doctors and others who operate from a limited view of health and healing.

As you may have noticed recently, that focus has begun to shift in a meaningful way. Fewer stories are now focused on criticism of what's wrong, and more stories and projects are focused on solutions and positive experiences. As one reader stated, we're "upgrading our vibration" to be more positive and constructive.

It doesn't mean we won't still cover important stories about dangerous developments at the FDA, USDA, FTC or drug companies, but as I've learned from personal experience over the last few years, griping about what's wrong gets you nowhere.

The best way to make a positive change in the world, I've learned, is to demonstrate the solutions yourself. In other words, be the change you wish to see in the world (to quote Mahatma Gandhi).

It's a simple concept, of course, but it can take a lifetime to truly embrace. As the editor of NaturalNews, I've found embracing this concept quite challenging until just recently. For many years, I allowed myself to be distracted by what's wrong with the world, and I focused a considerable amount of energy highlighting those problems and urging readers to take action to combat them. I can already hear the followers of the Law of Attraction snickering, because you already know what I'm going to say next: Whatever you give your attention to becomes larger and more powerful!

I don't claim to be some sort of Saint. I made mistakes along the way, and it took me a lot longer to learn this lesson than I would have liked, but I get it now: The truest path to helping others learn about natural health and green living is to demonstrate it through our own actions and words. Nothing more really needs to be said about Big Pharma and the FDA. Instead, what we need to be focusing on here at NaturalNews are solutions for living with outstanding health, with compassion for all living things, and with respect for the Earth and our environment.

As a shoe company slogan once said, "Just do it."

Walking the path instead of just talking about it

My recent move to Vilcabamba, Ecuador, was a significant part of my personal shift in the direction of natural health authenticity and "walking the talk." It's one thing to sit in an office in front of a laptop and talk about what's healthy; it's something totally different to actually move to a country with the highest biodiversity density in the world, launch a botanical refuge, grow your own food and medicine and LIVE the lifestyle you've been promoting.

It's an important point of authenticity, however. When I work to teach others about the benefits of juicing organic vegetables every day, I'd better be demonstrating it every single day myself, in my own life, right? Advocating such things only carried credibility if you're walking your own talk.

Similarly, it's easy to run a website from a city in the U.S. and talk about "being green," but in reality anyone living in a city has a huge eco-footprint merely due to the importation of the food they eat (if you eat celery in Chicago in January, you're not really green!).

It's also easy to talk about being non-materialistic, but frankly many of the better-known people who are the most "successful" in the natural health industry are quite materialistic, driving luxury gas-guzzling vehicles, living in million-dollar homes, collecting expensive jewelry and the like. There's nothing technically wrong with that, but I don't think materialism is a very useful path for global transformation. So instead of just talking about making a change, I decided to sell my house, give away many of my belongings in the U.S., and trade what dollars I had left for usable land in Ecuador.

In Ecuador, I drive a 2-wheel drive stickshift Mazda, I do my work on a simple makeshift table, I live in a modest home and grow the majority of my food within walking distance, making my day-to-day fossil fuel footprint quite minimal. I'm also working on ways to use renewable construction materials (bamboo and earth bags), to save electricity (I have plans to solarize my well pump) and to improve the biodiversity of the land I own by planting large numbers of trees and shrubs. So far, I've planted over 200 trees, which is only a small start, but I've already noticed a huge increase in butterflies, bees and other insect pollinators due to the gardens I'm growing.

This information isn't offered here to brag or to criticize those who live in cities (I'm happy with anyone who's taking active steps in the direction of living closer to sustainability), but I believe what you DO is at least as important as what you SAY. Authenticity cannot be earned through words alone -- it must be earned through a day-to-day commitment to the principles you espouse.

That's why I've come to truly respect people like John Roulac (, Seth Leaf (, Daniel Vitalis, David Wolfe (, Paul Schulick (, Mitchell May (, Dr. Gabriel Cousens (, Matt Monarch ( and many others (too many to name here). I see these people as being pursuers of authentic living, and even though there is a commercial component to all of their activities (as there is in mine), it is a fact of modern society that money is an enabler of many necessary things: Web servers, land, seeds, etc. So the existence of a commercial component to their activities is, by itself, neither good nor bad.

Whether people make money or not doesn't matter to me. What matters is what they DO with the money to help make the world a better place. And that's why I have pledged so much money towards projects like the Consumer Wellness Center nutrition grant program, which has donated thousands of dollars in grants to schools and education centers around the world (with many more to come). This all gets down to the concept of "mindful wealth" which I've discussed in a special report on this site:

Focusing on solutions, not problems

This new focus on solutions is also what led me to create the Health Revolution Petition, which has already received over 16,500 signatures and is a serious proposal for ending the "sick care" system in America and replacing it with a system that rewards good health while restoring freedom to American consumers and health practitioners.

This petition required countless hours to put together, as it was discussed and tweaked with the help of many health freedom pioneers in the industry, including the Life Extension Foundation ( If you haven't already signed the petition, find it here:

The Ecuador relocation is also about focusing on solutions instead of problems. As more fruit trees and medicinal plants sprout and grow on my lands there, I'll be videotaping, documenting and sharing all sorts of things we're learning about these plants. I even have serious plans to tag along with a local Curandero (medicine man) and document his own harvesting, preparation and use of the medicinal plants of Ecuador. These videos will all be placed on NaturalNews (or one of our sister sites), available for the public to view.

Keep it fun!

Meanwhile, I've also decided to spent a lot more energy just having fun with life rather than fretting over what's wrong with the world. Hence the launch of the Ancient Cities of the Sun adventure tour in Quito, Ecuador (

This tour is all about exploring the great unknown, peering into the very beginnings of human civilization and exploring ancient knowledge and wisdom that our ancestors developed (and then lost). This adventure tour not only promises to be awe-inspiring by itself, but I also greatly look forward to adventuring with NaturalNews readers in person, sharing meals, riding on the bus together, hiking the trails together and getting to know each other one-on-one.

Most importantly, we are keeping it FUN! If it's not going to be fun, then why bother doing it at all? You'll find that a lot of my new focus is about experiences that are fun, joyful and uplifting. You can find those experiences anywhere, of course (you don't have to go to Ecuador to experience fun), but Ecuador seems to be especially abundant in the "fun adventures" department. You could literally spend a lifetime in that country and still never see everything it has to offer.

Keeping it real

The reason I'm explaining all this is because I value your readership and your support of NaturalNews, and I want you to be aware that this shift in our focus is mindful and intentional. These things I've been announcing and covering are not mere coincidence. I didn't land in Ecuador by accident. There is a conscious effort to move my own life and the NaturalNews content focus into things that are more:

1) Solution-oriented.
2) Fun!

This doesn't mean I won't be writing articles from time to time about health freedom, or the FDA, or health reform issues. I'll still cover those issues as needed. But my primary focus is now more along these lines:

* Demonstrating healthy living and sustainable living (instead of just talking about it).

* Exploring real solutions instead of focusing on what's wrong. (Including reviews of health products that offer such solutions.)

* Sharing with others what we're learning or discovering (through videos, articles, tours, etc.)

* Encouraging open-minded experimentation of new ideas for sustainable living, medicine, economics, society and basic technologies.

This is the new focus of NaturalNews. Thanks for being a reader of NaturalNews all these years, and I promise you that it's going to get even more interesting and fun from here forward.

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