Jeff Domanski: It Gets Easier
In 2014, during a window between my high-pressure MTV News job and higher-pressure Facebook one, I visited my dear friend, Jeff Domanski, in his Hudson Highlands, home some 75 miles of New York City.
We kayaked and swam in the river, and watched a bald eagle devour its catch from just a few boat lengths away. The sky, water, sun and abounding wildlife was awe inspiring, and healing and restorative in a way that I hadn’t imagined.
Ends up, awe lowers stress by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which calms our fight-or-flight response.
Little wonder then that, just a few years later, when a product I was working on at Facebook became global news, I began sneaking away to the mountains on the reg. Jeff and I would meet before dawn on Breakneck Ridge or Storm King Mountain in all weather and all seasons. It’s an activity we’ve continued to this day.
We’ve counseled one another through all sorts of life and career drama in those mountains. Our hikes end too soon, and with much left to share.
As Executive Director of the Center for Environmental and Economic Partnership and Director of Hudson Valley Energy, Jeff leverages his skills as an scientist, artist, musician, and above all, a communicator, to help communities make the right choices for a sustainable future.
This week, as we mark another Earth Day with our planet under deep duress, Jeff shares his journey from the mountain in his backyard, to Princeton University, his pursuit of a PhD in behavioral science, and his vision for and actions toward a sustainable communities.
“When doing the right thing becomes the default,” Jeff says, “it becomes a very powerful anchor.”