Reducing our Footprint – One Step at a Time

The David Suzuki website has a wealth of information on how we can help the environment. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Re-gifting is a popular environmentally friendly gifting option. Check out re-gifting etiquette: How to re-gift
  2. If your blue bin is full to the brim each week, maybe you need a solution for reducing: Learn how to recycle less
  3. If something can’t be reused, repaired, refurbished or otherwise re-purposed, the next best thing is to recycle it. Here’s a list of resources in Canada (organized by location) to help you do just that: Recycle your unwanted stuff | What you can do

Every time we do something, even small steps to help the environment, is a step in the right direction.

Timing Our Day Consciously

Taking part in Oprah and Deepak’s 21 Day Meditation Experience Manifesting True Success has given me food for thought. In particular, today I am thinking about how I spend my day.

Too often I feel unsatisfied at the end of the day. Whether it was not having time for fun or not accomplishing something that I had planned to do.

Today’s meditation “Timing For Success” showed how we can look back at our day and feel good about it, if we follow the model for mastering time from psychiatrist, Dr. Daniel Siegel. His work shows the best way to have a healthy brain that supports a person’s well-being. He suggests dividing our time into seven different ways each day.  They are:

  • Sleep time – to get a full night restful sleep
  • Physical time – to move and let your body be active
  • Focus time – to be alone for awhile to concentrate on what matters to you
  • Time in – for meditation, prayer or self-reflection
  • Time Out – for simply resting or existence
  • Play time – for fun in a carefree mood
  • Connecting time – intimate private time between those you love and care for

Deepak goes on to explain that this isn’t just about having a well-planned day.  Each step optimizes different areas of the brain which leads to expanded awareness and a sense of fulfillment.

I like that. It makes sense to me.

We can strive to be masters of our time each day and have a map to help us on our way.

Turning Negative into Positive

We all have experienced negative people in our lives. Sometimes we become negative ourselves. It never feels good and can change our outlook on everything.

When that happens, I am reminded of the Native American Indian (Cherokee) wisdom of Two Wolves:

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

This is a great reminder that even in hard times, we always have a choice. Which wolf are you feeding?

Reflect and Rejoice

January 1 is typically the day that many people make New Years Resolutions.  While that can be a worthy practice, I prefer to do what I call “reflect and rejoice” in early January.

Allow me to explain.

The start of a new year provides us all with the opportunity to change our calendars to a new one. If you are like me, the old calendar will have birthdays, anniversaries and appointments scribbled all over it. Before you recycle that old calendar, take the time to go through each month looking at the various days and the notes written. Reflect on the memories that each one provides and rejoice or give thanks for the experiences they provided.

Whether the past year was happy or sad, each day provided an opportunity for growth physical, mental or spiritual. In the end, it’s all good.

Happy New Year!

Moving On Slowly and Gently

Sometimes life throws a curve ball at us. When it does, it can be hard to find any peace or happiness for a time. Life becomes a struggle.

But there is a way to get out of it. It takes only a moment in time.

Start by observing what you are going through. Don’t try to change it. Don’t act on it. Don’t judge it. Just observe where your thoughts are taking you and what feelings you are having.

Then, slowly and gently, make a conscious effort to look at something else in the room or outside. Pay attention to one item. It could be as simple as looking at a chair or a picture hanging on the wall. Really look at it, as if seeing it for the first time. Look at the tiniest details. Don’t judge it. Just observe.

Then, listen to any sounds that you hear around you. Perhaps it’s a clock ticking, the fridge humming or a bird chirping. Put all your attention on the sound. Again, just observe. Just listen.

Then, take a brief moment to give gratitude to whatever you observed – yourself, something in your home, office or outdoors, the sound.

Do this as often as you like throughout the day. Take only a few seconds to start with, then eventually allow it to expand into longer periods.

Observe the change over time. Be gentle with yourself and know that it’s all good.

The Healing Power of a Drum

Last night I experienced the comfort and loving sounds of what it must have been like to be in the womb and hearing my mother’s heartbeat.

It was during a community drumming circle where about 50 or 60 people were sitting in ever larger circles. Each person had a drum to play and were instructed to drum a heart beat.

BOOM… boom, boom… BOOM… boom, boom… BOOM… boom, boom…

I was invited to lie on a yoga mat with 8 other people in the center area for what was called a “rhythm cradle.” I closed my eyes and could hear the heartbeat around me.

More than that, I could feel the vibration of the drums throughout my body… all in time to the heartbeat.

Then people with native hand drums began to drum over top of my body. I could feel the power of the drum literally coursing through my feet, my legs, my arms, my entire body. Two men playing didgeridoos in the background came over and played their instruments right into my body. I could feel the rush of air and feel the amazing vibrations going right to my core.

Slowly the drumming over my body and the didgeridoos drifted away. I was left with the steady heartbeat of the drum in the background. BOOM… boom, boom… BOOM… boom, boom… BOOM… boom, boom…

Then all was quiet.

I lied there for a few minutes. The sensation was so powerful.

So healing!

If you live in an area that has a drumming circle, go experience the healing sensations of the drum. In Calgary, Alberta we are so fortunate to have Judy Atkinson’s Circles of Rhythm.

Today Is The Day We Decide

There are many things I love about my husband. One of them is his constant focus on doing the right thing with regards to the environment.

We recycle and compost everything we can, as many people do. We also donate and reuse household items so as not to throw them out. If an item is no longer useable, my husband takes the time to find out how he can still recycle the materials (e.g. metal, etc.)

Just this past week our gas lawnmower, which was over 20 years old, finally gave up. After asking around my husband realized it would be just too expensive to repair and he doesn’t have the knowledge or tools to do it himself. He decided the best choice of action was to give it to someone who can repair it and buy himself a new one.

He came home with a push lawnmower.

Yes, they still make them. Good choice honey! I’m so proud of being married to someone who cares so much about our environment.

That said, we both realize that there is still much we can do to protect our beautiful world. There is much we can all do to help our environment.

Today is the day we can decide to do better.

This is the biggest thing David Suzuki has ever done. Around the world, more than 110 nations recognize the right to live in a healthy environment, but not Canada.

Together, we can change that: http://www.bluedot.ca/join-us

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