This article from Banyan Botanicals by Barbara Sinclair contains good advice for all of us during the holiday season. No matter what your dosha is, this is the time of year to pacify vata. So if you're feeling your shoulders creeping up towards your ears, and your heart beating a little bit faster, take a time-out and read this.
Oh, boy. Did someone just say the H-word?
Long before I knew anything about Ayurveda and vata dosha, I sensed the palpable anxiety that would arise in me towards the end of October/early November, knowing that the holidays were fast approaching. I remember commenting to my friend that, although fall was my favorite season, I always felt a bit out of sorts. Edgy. I used to also say that I wished I could be more organized, but I didn’t have the tools. Talk of Thanksgiving, travel plans, and Christmas music playing in the background everywhere I went, chipped away at my already-frayed nerves. And the days seemed to fly by.
It only got worse when I had a young family and needed to orchestrate all that the holidays entailed. Baking cookies, Christmas cards, shopping, wrapping presents, decorating, parties, school events, etc. etc. There were many meltdowns and hiding-in-the-bedroom moments. I was an adult with a husband and two kids, but all I wanted was a time-out or a nap.
I have a lot of vata dosha in my constitution, and planning ahead and organization are not typical vata traits. It’s the dosha that embodies movement, change, creativity, and often a propensity to fly by the seat of our pants. It also rules the nervous system. Honestly, just typing this blog post and thinking about the holidays is making my heart race a little faster. Not in a good way. I have to remind myself— “Just breathe.” It’s kind of a cruel joke that so many major holidays happen smack dab in the middle of vata season (at least here in the Northern Hemisphere where I live). But knowledge is power.
It wasn’t until my body got my attention around age 48, with a little something called fibromyalgia, that I serendipitously learned about Ayurveda. My life and perspective changed forever. Ayurveda was key to healing the chronic pain and gifted me with a deeper understanding of the mind/body connection. Now that I realize the cause of my heightened anxiety (fear and anxiety are manifestations of unbalanced vata dosha), I can make a plan to get through these months relatively unscathed. Because, it’s not a pretty thing to have a nervous breakdown during the holidays.
At age 62, I’m now in the vata time of my life (50+). So, for me, it’s the perfect trifecta. Vata dosha, vata season, vata time of life. But over the years I have learned more and more about Ayurveda, and I have discovered ways to keep balanced during these times of stress. Looking back, I wish I knew then what I know now. Here’s what I’ve learned.
This is definitely a time to reach out and receive. The holidays are the perfect time to ask for help from organized pitta-type friends. They thrive on planning and executing and love to be in charge. I treasure my pitta friends!
Yes, I felt guilty the Christmas that my about-to-deliver-any-second pitta friend (with two young children) had a big feast and invited me. But she totally had it all together (she loves to entertain), and didn’t deliver for another whole week! I did bake an apple pie from scratch, crust and all. That counts for something, right?
And where would I be without my kapha friends during the holidays? Kapha-types usually love anything to do with family, and they give the best hugs. Perfect for anxious vata folks. They also tend to be the most grounded (earth/water), and airy vata-types can always use a dose of grounding. And touch. We love (and need) to be touched.
It’s also a time to try really hard to stick to a daily routine. This is not an easy thing for those of us who change like the wind. Routine. Routine. Routine. It’s become my daily mantra, especially during vata season, and can be the difference between a calm day and one that’s frazzled and disorganized.
Many days I feel like I’m swimming upstream trying to discipline myself to follow a routine—going against the flow of my constant movement kind of nature. But I never stop trying. I figure the least I can do is wake up and go to bed at (roughly) the same time. I eat my biggest meal around noon (gently cooked and warm is most vata-pacifying), and make sure to take time out for an abhyanga oil massage. And I meditate and breathe. I cannot emphasize enough how a meditation and breath practice changed everything for me. Everything.
I lived a life of such high anxiety that it’s a wonder my nervous system didn’t short circuit. Well, actually, I guess it did, when I developed fibromyalgia. In my pre-meditation days, I was afraid of so many things—flying, speed, confined spaces, water, you name it—I was afraid of it. And then I began (twice daily) to sit in blessed silence, relax my breath, and let go. One by one, my fears and anxieties began to drop away. When the day came that I could walk onto an airplane and actually look forward to a long flight (well, kind of), I knew I had made huge progress. So, meditation and breathwork during the holidays? Most definitely! If I start to feel the H-word anxiety arising, I sit down, close my eyes, and let go. It’s medicine for the soul.
Vata is also the dosha of depletion. This is another important thing to remember when the holiday season comes around and life gets busier. Back in my pre-Ayurveda days, I was aware of my propensity to crash and burn. I had mountains of energy only to be followed by a rapid decline, feeling as though someone had stuck a pin in me and let it all drain out. Looking back, it was always during the afternoon vata hours (2–6 p.m.) that the meltdowns would occur. While all of my pitta-type friends would use their kids’ naptimes to work on a project or clean the house, I would slap a note over the doorbell, daring anyone to ring it, while I napped along with my two little ones. If I had only known about Ayurveda back then, I would have been so much easier on myself. Now, when the H-word starts showing up, I’m armed and ready with all of my Ayurvedic tools.
If you have a lot of vata dosha in your constitution, please be gentle with yourself during these stressful months. Let go of all the unnecessary trapping of the holiday season (good advice for everyone) and focus instead on what’s really important.
Vata is often referred to as the spiritual dosha. This can become even more pronounced during vata season, as well as during the vata time of life. Take advantage of it and set aside plenty of alone time for reflection, meditation, and time in Nature, as this can help to bring about a wonderful sense of peace and calm—not to mention give more meaning to our life. It’s no coincidence that the vata times of day (2–6 a.m. and 2–6 p.m.) are considered the best times for meditation. My afternoon meditation has become a favorite part of my day.
So, here I am, in the more reflective time of my life, suggesting that you let go of the things that stress you out about the holidays. Focus on what’s really important to you. Each year my holiday to-do list grows shorter and shorter. Gone is the baking and holiday cards and gift giving to everyone under the sun. I still love to decorate my nine-foot cactus with twinkle lights and all of the ornaments I’ve collected over the years. I’m a sucker for twinkle lights! And I have friends and family who LOVE the holidays and all that they entail. For them, the more the merrier.
Wishing you all a stress-free, vata-pacifying holiday season! Did I mention how much I love the month of January?
May you and your loved ones be healthy, happy and joyful!
87 years young, Jane Goodall is a legendary animal activist, best known for her work that began in the 1960’s with chimpanzees. Her work, including 30 published books and at the non-profit Jane Goodall Institute has had a very powerful and positive influence on the welfare of all animals and habitat preservation. Jane can be seen on the cover of Time magazine, announcing her new book, which she co-authored, The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times
Below is a letter penned by Jane to a group that I belong to. It is a letter of hope and inspiration, which we all truly need right now.
Thank you for being part of the movement to heal our lives and our planet. Both are critically important, and the work you do is at its very foundation.
I'm writing today because we are going through dark times. Violence, hatred, discrimination, the pandemic, environmental destruction, and climate change all threaten our future.
Ever since I began traveling around the world in 1986 to raise awareness about the harms we humans have created, socially and environmentally, I have met so many people who have lost hope for the future. Probably the question I am asked more often than any other is: Do you honestly believe there is hope for our world? For the future of our children and grandchildren?
And I am able to answer truthfully yes.
What is this "hope" that I still believe in, that keeps me motivated to carry on, fighting the good fight? What do I really mean by "hope"?
Hope is often misunderstood. People tend to think that it is simply passive wishful thinking: I hope something will happen but I'm not going to do anything about it. This is indeed the opposite of real hope, which requires action and engagement.
I have four main reasons for hope for the future of our world: The Amazing Human Intellect, The Resilience of Nature, The Power of Young People, and the Indomitable Human Spirit.
Hope is nothing less than a crucial survival trait that has sustained our species since the time of our Stone Age ancestors. Certainly, my own improbable journey would have been impossible had I lacked hope.
Hope is contagious. Your actions will inspire others. Thank you and thanks to all your community members for all that you are doing to make a difference. The cumulative effect of thousands of ethical actions can help to save and improve our world for future generations.
It is my sincere desire that you will find solace in a time of anguish, direction in a time of uncertainty, and courage in a time of fear. I want to invite you to join me in a journey toward hope and to working toward finding solutions to the problems that threaten our world.
Together, we can do so much. And I believe we have barely begun to discover what humans are truly capable of, when we become engaged, when we work together, and when we take constructive action to build a world that is worthy of the dreams of our children.
With love, and with hope,
May you and your loved ones be healthy, happy and joyful!
What a great resource for all of us - Epsom salts are inexpensive and accessible!
Thank you for much of this information taken from a post on –The Alternative Daily.
It was fascinating to me to learn the amazing benefits of this super-mineral…
Epsom salt, which is not really a salt at all but a mineral compound comprised of magnesium and sulfate, gets its named from a saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England.
Epsom salt has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for a number of ailments, and also has many beauty, gardening and household uses.
Both magnesium and sulfate are readily absorbed into the skin, which makes their health benefits readily accessible. Over 325 enzymes in the body are regulated by magnesium, which also helps reduce inflammation, alleviates hardening of the arteries and improves muscle and nerve function. Sulfates improve the rate at which nutrients are absorbed and help to flush out toxins.
Here are 17 suggested uses for this versatile compound!
1. Soothe sore muscles
An Epsom salt bath is a great way to soothe sore muscles, cramps, bruises and joint pain. Because of this, it is a great after-workout soak. In addition, soaking in an Epsom salt bath is a wonderful way to relax and relieve stress. Add 2 cups of salts to a warm bath. Mix the salt in so it dissolves in the water. Soak for 10-15 minutes for best results.
2. Exfoliate skin
As we shed our skin naturally, the buildup of dead skin cells clogs pores and can cause blemishes. Exfoliation is necessary to keep skin healthy, glowing and vibrant. The best way to exfoliate with Epsom salts is to massage handfuls all over the body in the shower or bath. Your skin will feel soft and fresh with this homemade spa treatment.
3. Homemade hand wash
Mix ½ cup of baby oil with ½ cup of water, and add ¼ cup of Epsom salts and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Set this homemade mixture next to your sink for a nice bathroom hand wash.
4. Treat insect bites and poison ivy
A compress made with Epsom salts is a great way to treat mosquito bites, bee stings and poison ivy. Mix 2 tablespoons of salts with 1 cup of warm water. Soak a clean cloth in the mixture and hold on affected area to remove pain, burning and itching.
5. Clean your face
Your face need to be cleaned and exfoliated just like the rest of your body. Put a teaspoon of Epsom salts in your hand and mix with a little warm water. Scrub your face with the mixture then rinse clean. This facial cleaner not only exfoliates and rejuvenates but also helps remove blackheads and prevent acne.
6. Remove splinters
Splinters can be tricky and painful to remove. Skip the needles and soak your splintered skin in an Epsom salt bath. The salts will draw the splinter out and leave the area clean.
7. Lip balm
Dry, flaky, cracking lips are not only unsightly but also painful. Heal this uncomfortable condition with a homemade Epsom salt lip balm. Mix equal parts organic coconut oil and Epsom salts. Apply to lips generously to exfoliate and moisturize.
8. Tile cleaner
Bathroom and kitchen tile grime can be difficult to clean. Powerful tile cleaners are not only expensive, but also often contain harmful chemicals. Make your own hard-working natural Epsom salt tile scrub. Mix equal parts liquid dish soap with epsom salts. Scrub onto tiles with a sponge and rinse clean with water.
9. Insect killer
Mix ¼ cup of Epsom salts with 2 cups of water and place in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture around your home and garden to safely deter insects without the use of chemical insecticides.
10. Relieve constipation
Epsom salts are a great way to relieve constipation. Mix 2 teaspoons of Epsom salts in a glass of water. Drink entire cup for best results. If the taste is not appealing to you, try mixing with fresh juice instead.
11. Fertilize your lawn and plants
Epsom salts make a wonderful fertilizer for your lawn and potted plants. For greener grass, mix 1 cup of the salts for every gallon of water and spray over lawn area. To fertilize potted plants, simply sprinkle Epsom salts around the base of the plants once every week. This method of fertilizing also works great for tomatoes and other veggies.
12. Draw out toxins and reduce swelling
An Epsom salt bath is a wonderful way to draw toxins out of your body. Soaking in a bath for 10-15 minutes is also a great way to reduce swelling. Mix 1-2 cups of Epsom salts in a warm bath and mix to dissolve in water.
13. Boost your laundry
Epsom salts combined with a little essential oil makes a perfect fabric softener for your laundry. In addition, the salts will help remove detergent buildup from your washer. Mix 4 cups epsom salts with 20 drops of your favorite essential oil. Add ¼ cup to each load of laundry.
14. Kill foot fungus and remove odor
Soaking your feet in Epsom salts not only reduces swelling and draws out toxins, but also zaps odors and foot fungus. Add ¼ cup to a large container of warm water. Soak feet for 10-15 minutes.
15. Sunburn treatment
Soaking in an Epsom salt bath is a great way to soothe skin irritated by sunburn. Mix 1 cup of salts in warm bath water. Mix to combine and soak in the bath for 10-15 minutes.
16. Hair conditioner
Epsom salts make a great deep conditioner to add volume and remove grease from your hair. Combine equal parts of organic hair conditioner and Epsom salts and apply liberally to hair. Let sit for 20 minutes, then rinse clean.
17. Soften your hands
You know that soaking your feet in Epsom salts is healthy, but what about your hands? Soaking your hands is a great way to soothe rough skin, calm aching finger joints, remove nail polish and remove any dirt from under your nails. Add 1/4 cup of Epsom salts to a large bowl of warm water. Soak hands in mixture for 5-10 minutes.
May you and your loved ones be healthy, happy and joyful!
Ghee (clarified butter) is well-known as a high temperature and delicious cooking ingredient. This golden gem with its milk fats removed also nourishes the body and intellect, penetrating deep into your being? Here are a few of the amazing benefits of ghee, known for its rejuvenating powers.
It brings forth a shiny glow. The Sanskrit word for ghee is ghrta, stems from ghr, meaning, “to shine.”
It builds and cultivates Ojas. Ojas is our body's reserve of energy, vitality and immunity.
It hydrates and lubricates dry skin. It can be used directly on the skin as a moisturizer on your face, hands, feet, lips, and nails.
It is an excellent carrier for herbs. Ghee allows the herbs to penetrate deep into the tissue layers.
It is an excellent healing aid. I've personally used this to heal broken blood vessels in the eye, and the healing process took half the time of letting the vessels heal on their own. A tiny amount placed directly in the lid of the eye before bed will relieve this condition. Ghee can also help styes.
May you and your family be happy, healthy and filled with joy!
The Little Soul & The Sun
by Neale Donald Walsch
Illustrated by Frank Riccio
Once upon no time there was a Little Soul who said to God, "I know who I am!"
And God said, "That's wonderful! Who are you?"
And the Little Soul shouted, "I'm the Light!"
God smiled a big smile, "That's right!" God exclaimed. "You are the Light."
The Little Soul was so happy, for it had figured out what all the souls in the Kingdom were there to figure out. "Wow," said the Little Soul, "this is really cool!"
But soon, knowing who it was was not enough. The Little Soul felt stirrings inside, and now wanted to be who it was. And so the Little Soul went back to God
(which is not a bad idea for all souls who want to be Who They Really Are) and said, "Hi, God! Now that I know Who I Am, is it okay for me to be it?"
And God said, "You mean you want to be Who You Already Are?
"Well," replied the Little Soul, "it's one thing to know Who I Am, and another thing altogether to actually be it. I want to feel what it's like to be the Light!"
"But you already are the Light," God repeated, smiling again.
"Yes, but I want to see what that feels like!" cried the Little Soul.
"Well," said God with a chuckle, "I suppose I should have known. You always were the adventuresome one." Then God's expression changed. "There's only one thing..."
"What?" asked the Little Soul.
"Well, there is nothing else but the Light. You see, I created nothing but what you are; and so, there is no easy way for you to experience yourself as Who You Are, since there is nothing that you are not."
"Huh?" said the Little Soul, who was a little confused.
"Think of it this way," said God. "You are like a candle in the Sun. Oh, you're there all right. Along with a million, ka-gillion other candles who make up the Sun. And the sun would not be the Sun without you. Nay, it would be a sun without one of its candles...and that would not be the Sun at all; for it would not shine as brightly. Yet, how to know yourself as the Light when you are amidst the Light--that is the question."
"Well," the Little Soul perked up, "you're God. Think of something!"
Once more God smiled. "I already have," God said. "Since you cannot see yourself as the Light when you are in the Light, we'll surround you with darkness."
"What's darkness?" the Little Soul asked.
God replied, "It is that which you are not."
"Will I be afraid of the dark?" cried the Little Soul.
"Only if you choose to be," God answered. "There is nothing, really, to be afraid of, unless you decide that there is. You see, we are making it all up. We are pretending."
"Oh," said the Little Soul, and felt better already.
Then God explained that, in order to experience anything at all, the exact opposite of it will appear. "It is a great gift," God said, "because without it, you could not know what anything is like. You could not know Warm without Cold, Up without Down, Fast without Slow. You could not know Left without Right, Here without There, Now without Then." "And so," God concluded, "when you are surrounded with darkness, do not shake your fist and raise your voice and curse the darkness. Rather be a Light unto the darkness, and don't be mad about it. Then you will know Who You Really Are, and all others will know, too. Let your Light shine so that everyone will know how special you are!"
"You mean it's okay to let others see how special I am?" asked the Little Soul.
"Of course!" God chuckled. "It's very okay! But remember, 'special' does not mean 'better.' Everybody is special, each in their own way! Yet many others have forgotten that. They will see that it is okay for them to be special only when you see that it is okay for you to be special."
"Wow," said the Little Soul, dancing and skipping and laughing and jumping with joy. "I can be as special as I want to be!"
"Yes, and you can start right now," said God, who was dancing and skipping and laughing right along with the Little Soul.
"What part of special do you want to be?"
"What part of special?" the Little Soul repeated. "I don't understand."
"Well," God explained, "being the Light is being special, and being special has a lot of parts to it. It is special to be kind. It is special to be gentle. It is special to be creative. It is special to be patient. Can you think of any other ways it is special to be?"
The Little Soul sat quietly for a moment. "I can think of lots of ways to be special!" the Little Soul then exclaimed. "It is special to be helpful. It is special to be sharing. It is special to be friendly. It is special to be considerate of others!"
"Yes!" God agreed, "and you can be all of those things, or any part of special you wish to be, at any moment. That's what it means to be the Light."
"I know what I want to be, I know what I want to be!" the Little Soul announced with great excitement. "I want to be the part of special called 'forgiving'. Isn't it special to be forgiving?"
"Oh, yes," God assured the Little Soul. "That is very special."
"Okay," said the Little Soul. "That's what I want to be. I want to be forgiving. I want to experience myself as that."
"Good," said God, "but there's one thing you should know."
The Little Soul was becoming a bit impatient now. It always seemed as though there were some complication.
"What is it?" the Little Soul sighed.
"There is no one to forgive."
"No one?" The Little Soul could hardly believe what had been said.
"No one!" God repeated. "Everything I have made is perfect. There is not a single soul in all creation less perfect than you. Look around you."
It was then that the Little Soul realized a large crowd had gathered. Souls had come from far and wide ~ from all over the Kingdom ~ for the word had gone forth that the Little Soul was having this extraordinary conversation with God, and everyone wanted to hear what they were saying. Looking at the countless other souls gathered there, the Little Soul had to agree. None appeared less wonderful, less magnificent, or less perfect than the Little Soul itself. Such was the wonder of the souls gathered around and so bright was their Light, that the Little Soul could scarcely gaze upon them.
"Who, then, to forgive?" asked God.
"Boy, this is going to be no fun at all!" grumbled the Little Soul. "I wanted to experience myself as One Who Forgives. I wanted to know what that part of special felt like."
And the Little Soul learned what it must feel like to be sad. But just then a Friendly Soul stepped forward from the crowd.
"Not to worry, Little Soul," the Friendly Soul said, "I will help you." "You will?" the Little Soul brightened. "But what can you do?" "Why, I can give you someone to forgive!"
"Certainly!" chirped the Friendly Soul. "I can come into your next lifetime and do something for you to forgive."
"But why? Why would you do that?" the Little Soul asked. "You, who are a Being of such utter perfection! You, who vibrate with such a speed that it creates a Light so bright that I can hardly gaze upon you! What could cause you to want to slow down your vibration to such a speed that your bright Light would become dark and dense? What could cause you ~ who are so light that you dance upon the stars and move through the Kingdom with the speed of your thought--to come into my life and make yourself so heavy that you could do this bad thing?"
"Simple," the Friendly Soul said. "I would do it because I love you." The Little Soul seemed surprised at the answer.
"Don't be so amazed," said the Friendly Soul, "you have done the same thing for me.
Don't you remember? Oh, we have danced together, you and I, many times. Through the eons and across all the ages have we danced. Across all time and in many places have we played together. You just don't remember."
"We have both been All Of It. We have been the Up and the Down of it, the Left and the Right of it. We have been the Here and the There of it, the Now and the Then of it. We have been the male and the female, the good and the bad; we have both been the victim and the villain of it."
"Thus have we come together, you and I, many times before; each bringing to the other the exact and perfect opportunity to Express and to Experience Who We Really Are. And so, the Friendly Soul explained further, "I will come into your next lifetime and be the 'bad one' this time. I will do something really terrible, and then you can experience yourself as the One Who Forgives."
"But what will you do?" the Little Soul asked, just a little nervously, "that will be so terrible?"
"Oh," replied the Friendly Soul with a twinkle, "we'll think of something."
Then the Friendly Soul seemed to turn serious, and said in a quiet voice, "You are right about one thing, you know."
"What is that?" the Little Soul wanted to know.
"I will have to slow down my vibration and become very heavy to do this not-so-nice thing. I will have to pretend to be something very unlike myself. And so, I have but one favour to ask of you in return."
"Oh, anything, anything!" cried the Little Soul, and began to dance and sing, "I get to be forgiving, I get to be forgiving!"
Then the Little Soul saw that the Friendly Soul was remaining very quiet.
"What is it?" the Little Soul asked. "What can I do for you? You are such an angel to be willing to do this for me!"
"Of course this Friendly Soul is an angel!" God interrupted. "Everyone is! Always remember: I have sent you nothing but angels."
And so the Little Soul wanted more than ever to grant the Friendly Soul's request. "What can I do for you?" the Little Soul asked again.
"In the moment that I strike you and smite you," the Friendly Soul replied, "in the moment that I do the worst to you that you could possible imagine ~ in that very moment..."
"Yes?" the Little Soul interrupted, "yes...?" "Remember Who I Really Am."
"Oh, I will!" cried the Little Soul, "I promise! I will always remember you as I see you right here, right now!"
"Good," said the Friendly Soul, "because, you see, I will have been pretending so hard, I will have forgotten myself. And if you do not remember me as I really am I may not be able to remember for a very long time. And if I forget Who I Am, you may even forget Who You Are, and we will both be lost. Then we will need another soul to come along and remind us both of Who We Are."
"No, we won't!" the Little Soul promised again. "I will remember you! And I will thank you for bringing me this gift ~ the chance to experience myself as Who I Am."
And so, the agreement was made. And the Little Soul went forth into a new lifetime, excited to be the Light, which was very special, and excited to be that part of special called Forgiveness.
And the Little Soul waited anxiously to be able to experience itself as Forgiveness, and to thank whatever other soul made it possible. And at all the moments in that new lifetime, whenever a new soul appeared on the scene, whether that new soul brought joy or sadness--and especially if it brought sadness--the Little Soul thought of what God had said.
"Always remember," God had smiled, "I have sent you nothing but angels."
May you and your loved ones be healthy and happy!
Life's ups and downs continue whether we've planned for them, anticipated them or not. Recent devastation from Hurricane Ida in Louisiana and torrential rainfalls in New Jersey and New York were not anticipated and wreaked havoc on the areas where they occurred. I have been amazed by some of the stories of gratitude and the resourcefulness of people, who helped their neighbors and communities in this time of need. The beauty of banding together in a common cause is truly inspiring.
Then, I listened to a spokesperson from FEMA tell a newscaster that with more money they could plan better for this new age of Climate Change. She expressed confidence that money and planning, plus acknowledging that climate change was the cause, were the key elements for the solution.
It struck me as human hubris to say such a thing and not based in fact. I'm a supporter of changing the mindset of humans to be more cognizant of our impact on nature and our planet. I believe that all living creatures contribute to the ecosystem of life and balance of nature. I also believe that caring for our soil, water, air and the living beings on our planet requires a heightened awareness of the delicate balance of life. Yet, the catch-all phrase used these days of "Climate Change" attributed to everything from hot weather to heavy rain to fires to tornadoes and hurricanes is misleading. The facts about the 2 degrees Fahrenheit increase in our temperatures on the planet since 1880 don't account for the ice age periods and the heat spike Cretaceous Hot Greenhouse and Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum periods occurring millions of years ago. The "Climate Change" cries also seem to disregard the fact that the planet is 4.54 billion years old.
I recall that about ten years ago after a World Climate Conference, the warnings came out that many of our landmasses would be underwater in a few years if we didn't address Climate Change. The Maldives, the Seychelles and other islands were given between a few years and 50 years, depending on the source. Many tourists rushed to these exotic and luxury islands to experience their beauty before they no longer existed. Yet ten years later, with supposedly "climate change" the number one unaddressed crisis today, these islands are thriving and none are close to sinking due to rising waters. Those predicting the catastrophic sinking of the islands ten years ago are now warning that they may sink in 200 years.
When I was in grade school, I wrote a paper about the threat of overpopulation and the imminent need to limit the number of births. I was given the topic by the teacher, as this was evidently considered an area of great concern that would lead to poverty and decreased resources and eventual devastation for all living beings on earth. That paper was hand written (no computers in schools then) nearly 60 years ago. The hypothetical crisis, necessitating Chinese restrictions on births; forced abortions of females in some countries; encouraged birth control measures and the need for population control continues to be a narrative today that is closely tied to the Climate Change story. The world population in 1963 was 3.2 billion people. The current world population is 7.9 billion people. While there is poverty and lack of resources for many in the world, the number of people in existence has little to do with those problems. There is more food produced daily than would feed the entire planet, and yet due to logistics, people are starving. Even those eating our currently produced foods are often unhealthy due to poor soil, pesticides, GMOs and over processing.
Especially since Covid 19, we are a nation in turmoil and a world in disarray. Perhaps it all starts with that human hubris at the core of the issues.
Humility, simplicity and gratitude come to mind. If we acknowledge as humans that we are not the center of the universe, and are instead, one of many beings coexisting on the same planet gifted to us by God, that is a beginning. If we further acknowledge that natural disasters and weather phenomena will cause destruction as a natural part of the planet's cycles, whether we plan for them or not, and we need to simply work together to address each situation as it presents itself and make sensible choices about where we live and construct our businesses. Renewal comes after destruction and is also a natural cycle of nature. Feeling gratitude to be alive, living and working together in communities gives us strength as a nation and as humans living on planet Earth.
Instead of the name calling, finger pointing and insistence that nature and other beings can be controlled, our interconnectedness can renew our nation and allow all nations to live on this earth peacefully and in harmony. It is my hope that we begin refocusing on what is truly important - love, family, faith and relationships with other humans and all life on earth.
May you and your loved ones be healthy and happy!
From the Banyan Botanicals blog here's a great recipe for these last hot days of summer. This pitta-pacifying recipe will balance heat in your body and is a great way to use up the zucchini from the end-of-summer garden.
Puree mint, parsley, lemon, salt, water, and remaining olive oil with the cooked onions and garlic. Return the pureed sauce to the pan, add finely chopped walnuts, and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, skin and seed the zucchini. Slice lengthwise into long, paper thin strips, or use a spiralizer if you have one.
Place the zucchini strips into a bowl and toss with the warm pesto sauce. Garnish with chopped walnuts and a sprig of parsley.
Optional Extras:For added richness in the sauce, allow onions to fully caramelize.
Ever since watching The Need to Grow documentary, I've been compelled to read and learn more about growing nutrient dense, mineral rich food and the importance of soil in that process. Though my fruits and vegetables consumption is daily and plentiful, much of the produce that I consume travels hundreds and thousands of miles before it ever gets to me, regardless whether I am able to get organic. Harvesting unripened foods in order to allow for shipping and shelf life times means that my seemingly healthy lifestyle leaves much to improve on.
Knowing that there are solutions and methods that are simple, cost effective and quite achievable gives me an incentive to take the plunge to grow my own food at some point. I am researching and learning in preparation for this day, and I am really excited and looking forward to it. I think growing my own food will be fun and a positive step in my healthy lifestyle.
Eric Cutter and Alegria Fresh are particularly inspirational to me. I highly encourage you to check out their website, growing tips, videos and recipes. I've found them fascinating and invigorating! They also have a system for growing in urban areas and on small pieces of land that is quite amazing to see. Plus there is even vertical farming for porches and balconies.
Why does it matter?
"Find out today how you can boost your energy and improve your health by eating the cleanest, just-picked greens and vegetables from Alegría Fresh."
Click here to watch "Alegria Farms - Farm to Table in Minutes" video.
May you and your loved ones be blessed with health and happiness.
I’m inspired to write on this topic, after reading an interesting chain of comments lamenting that life today does not afford women to stay home and raise their children. A number of life circumstances were shared from the hearts of those who truly believed that they had been or were sacrificing in order to just get by in raising their children. I heard the sincerity in their feelings about life’s difficulties. They felt they had little or no support.
Rather coincidentally, a few weeks ago, I listened to a podcast that was geared toward ‘sacrifice’ and what that meant from a philosophical and financial perspective. I feel that this topic is one I was supposed to contemplate, and after doing so, I’d like to share some of my thoughts with you.
In a religious context, sacrifice means to make something sacred through an offering to God. To me, each and every moment of life is given by God’s grace, so to sacrifice to God is a personal commitment that can be seen as a virtue.
Sacrifice - to give something up is the usual meaning (often suggested for the ‘greater good’). Those in the military, who gave by serving their country and lost their lives or limbs in that service is a true sacrifice.
Too often the word is misused. People seem to wear sacrifice, almost as a badge of honor and virtue these days. Whereas, I do not believe some ‘sacrifice’ in the usual sense is really a virtue or quite often, even sacrifice.
Let’s take a couple examples of what we typically call ‘sacrifice’ that I once fell prey to myself.
I was a ‘stay-at-home’ mom, as were my mother and grandmothers before me. I learned from a young age that moms cared for their children and the home and dads worked to support the family, providing shelter, food, clothing and protection. Men were not expected to contribute in the duties of the home and child care and women were not expected to financially provide for the family's needs. I know that sounds old fashioned today. Yet in the chain of comments I read just yesterday, the women were yearning for what I and prior generations have had. The woman posting also did not recognize that staying at home to raise your children is still an option and choice made today by millions of women.
Given this great gift, and while I loved it, I still complained at times to others that I was sacrificing my interests, exotic vacations, more and nicer clothes, etc. for the benefit of my children and family. I envied the stylishness, daily Starbucks and more traveled women who worked. I thought I was making a sacrifice, and it actually was an investment in my family.
Parents can often be heard saying that they sacrificed nice vacations or a bigger house or newer cars to send their children to college or private schools.
While these actions are often interpreted as true sacrifice, I suggest that the parents traded high value items for more, not less - serving their own higher values. The parents valued more highly their children’s success than what they were giving up.
When I give a homeless person money, thereby rendering me with less money, I still have the greater value of feeling that I helped someone in need. It is true with all that is freely given to others, that more abundance will come our way. Creating value through our actions yields joy, fulfillment and quality of life.
I received far greater joy and benefit from having been an at-home-mom than I would have from nail polish or stylish clothes, Starbucks vanilla lates and exotic vacations. In my case, my entire family benefitted from my being home. I enjoyed teaching and spending time with my children, and I liked keeping a nice, clean home. I wanted us to eat well and so grocery shopping and cooking, cleaning were a part of the whole package of life. I certainly didn’t like all aspects of my role in life, but I didn’t sacrifice. I was blessed with the gift of family life for which I am grateful!
I’d also like to mention something about the support that those in the aforementioned chain of comments felt they lacked. Support in the past and still in many places in this country does not necessarily come from the government nor employers. I’ve witnessed first-hand how neighbors that are bound by geography and strong Christian values come to each other’s support. I did not have strong ties in our church when raising our children, but luckily we had family close by to help out. In my son’s neighborhood, whether it was Covid quarantine, newborn babies, car pools for school, support in the way of prepared, delivered dinners, unexpected needs for someone to watch another's children or any other means of general support needed, those neighbors stepped up and covered each others’ backs. They are a community that lives and prays together. They exhibit love in their daily actions. It has been a heart-warming experience to see these 30 and 40 somethings caring for and loving their neighbors - as they say, it takes a village to raise a child. That village has many children and is alive and strong!
While family life looks different for each person, and women fought hard to be able to work if that is what they choose to do, I understand much better now, how our choices truly impact and benefit us more than we often realize.
One of life’s greatest blessings is our family. If parents raise children to be good citizens, kind, compassionate, confident, caring, industrious and happy, then they become adults with those values. I’ve seen those adults in action in my son’s neighborhood. What an important and beautiful gift to give society!
May these thoughts bring you to deeper reflection on your lives, recognizing your many blessings.
Health, Happiness and Love,
“Since currency is a representation of value, the more value you provide for others, the more currency will flow into your life.” Garrett Gunderson (Killing Sacred Cows)
I like this quote and recently discovered Garrett Gunderson’s financial philosophies on living an abundant life. He connects life purpose with a happy and well-lived life, extending to providing for a legacy for future generations. Who knew that finance geeks (as he calls himself and his team) would have deep values and more than solely money on their mind?
Contemplating the quote, I realize how much truth there is that relates to other representations of value. The more happiness you provide for others, the more happiness will flow into your life. The more knowledge you provide for others, the more knowledge will flow into your life. The more healthy options you provide for others, the more health will flow into your life, and so on.
Along these lines I have some knowledge and healthy options to pass on for you to consider.