Self-Care in a Politically Charged New Year

Self-Care in a Politically Charged 2017
Loom and Doom?
 
With tomorrow’s inauguration looming on the horizon, it’s really easy for people to become weary of the ‘negativity’ in the air, caused by others obvious concern / angst / pain. With social media being such a prevalent ‘in your face’ release of expression and voice, the words that we speak hold a platform of power — even if for a millisecond, or 140 characters. Values and opinions are cast forth for all those who dare read, view and comment. And so begins the volley of expressed emotions often steeped with discontent, brewing with an undercurrent of milky self-interest.
 
For myself, the political campaign brought with it a spectrum of intensity that was divisive, far-reaching, eclectic and scary at times. Can we agree that it felt like reality TV gone awry? Even if one didn’t want to bear witness, the unfolding was in-your-face everywhere, everyday for nearly two years. It was exhausting as a Canadian to bear witness to the political slash and burn mentality; the demoralizing emotions stirred up within Americans reflected a polarity of beliefs and value systems that seemed to shake the political system to its core. After election day, many just wanted to forget about the political mud-wrestling match and move on with life. Unfortunately for the popular vote, the sludge had dried, and those who emerged from the cracked womb were probably feeling the pains of postpartum depression settling in. Too real for words, actually, and we are only 3 weeks in to 2017!
 
When I bear witness to the media frenzy extended through the constant drone of ‘news’, blog entries, facebook comments and twitter postings, I find it challenging to experience such constant distress. Peoples’ uncertainty and division continues to be transparently painful, volatile and palpable.  Words matter. Emotions and feelings matter. Humans in all their diversity matter. 
  
 
Political Charges
 
I believe that countries are not divided or defined by borders; humans of all nationalities belong under one umbrella. It’s my civic duty to make this world a better place, by pledging to be more authentic, accepting, peaceable and compassionate to all, regardless of ones birthplace or heritage. I truly understand how easy it is to finger point in this era of North American political charge. Strong opinions and political anxiety fill my social media feeds … many people have ‘taken sides’, per se. In essence, it’s our democratic right to choose. It’s how President-elect Trump came into being. And yes, I’ve been caught on the sidelines of the political camp with strong opinions, and in fact, I’m still there. I stand behind my values and notions of truth and goodness. But, for me, it’s time to draw in the claws of fear. I know where I stand. Others hold their own values. And that is perfectly ok. That’s what makes us diverse and human. Tolerance and acknowledgement is key. Self-care is so essential for weaving ones way through the messy web of political activism. Because we all want to be seen, heard and have meaning. However, violence, in its many forms is NOT okay. Displayed behaviour, whether its physical, emotional or mental, with the intent to hurt or damage another, is not acceptable. Accountability for inappropriate actions is vital.
 

When I read remarks such as: “get over it”, “accept the new normal”, “be one with Trump” and “be more positive”, my mind instantly jumps to the notion of my inner-core urgency to come together in our differences and heal as a society. What I’m most curious about is the question behind how can we become more empowered in this era of disempowerment and disengagement, especially in the face of violence, propaganda, homophobia, media frenzy, fake vs real news, political uncertainty and power struggle? With such widespread suffering, it’s challenging to think about what one can do, to think outside the box of comfort while keeping peace in ones heart as we move forward, one positive step at a time. 

 
I applaud those people who come forward with peaceful ways to address divisive issues and feelings within the community. For example, the initiative behind the #MakeItAwkward campaign put forth by Jesse and Julia Lipscombe is a vital rally for social justice. 100%, I’m standing behind their important efforts “to start difficult conversations and engage in honest dialogue about racism, prejudice and hate”. Thriving in a world of alarm, concern and political charge begins with Self-Care.
 
Lao Tzu quote

Self-care at its finest

Self-Care

Healing, as I know it, is a complicated process that often depends upon a greater supportive and inclusive community. But ultimately, the healing journey begins with self-care. There is great truth behind the fact that suffering is a self-imposed personal choice. To overcome the hurdles associated with any resultant feelings of fear, anxiety, disconnection and/or helplessness, its important to acknowledge ones own personal choices and culpability with emotions that arise. Sarah Schulman states it so eloquently in her book Conflict Is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility, and the Duty of Repair: “Sometimes, when we are hurt, our selves are so fragile and it is so hard to keep it together, that any request to rethink our assumptions feels like an “attack.”” And then all of a sudden, the mode of self-care becomes self-preservation. Dealing with change is never an easy task when there are external battling forces that go against ones values and beliefs. And that’s why, I suppose, they call it a journey.
  
With this premise of self-care and healing being my mantra for 2017, I am standing behind my resolution to take power back, by way of exemplifying what’s good in the world. How you may question? By being more compassionate, respectful, loving, understanding and connected to those who feel pain, anxiousness, hatred from others, marginalization and discrimination. My role as a community volunteer is huge in keeping me on track. A greater perspective on life is tremendously grounding. Many people are certainly tired of the political rants, the lobbying and volleying of threats and opinions (think Twitter and Trump). As am I. It’s truly time to shift from a stance bathed in volatile emotions for a political system I personally have no vote or control in, and be the voice of change in my community where action speaks volumes, and all lives matter!
 
A New Year brings the opportunity to say yes to delving deeper into the things we can control in our lives. Who cares to join me in this march forward, committing to a campaign of self-care? Let’s start 2017 off right with steps forward to peace and ease, self-driven with care and love, beginning with ourselves. I’ll begin to write blog entries that focus on self-care in this ever-changing environment. 
 
What are your visions and concepts of self-care in this political climate?
 
 
P.S. Please feel free to offer comments and suggestions on self-care articles that you’d like to see me explore more, and I’ll proffer what I can, with a yogi twist in mind :).

A New Year

My 2014 New Year BlessingFor weeks now, I’ve been receiving emails and newsletters about the impending New Year. Messages transmitting peoples’ immense desires and wishes for 2014: the potential for starting a clean slate with set goals and resolutions; tips on how to keep and maintain them; habit changing 21 day programs that’ll establish a lifetime of wonderful healthy choices; etc, etc. I’ve glanced over them, trying not to get sucked in by the enthusiasm and propaganda, taking them in with the finest grain of salt. I know that humans, for the most part, have the best of intentions. Excitement kicks in at the thought of starting anew, refreshed by the reset button of a new year upon us. Giddy with enthusiasm and positivity, many people kick their proverbial butts into high gear and start the marathon of a lifetime with a sprint rather than a casual trot. I’ve witnessed it all too often, within my own life and within the context of those friends and family around me, the habitual pattern and results of setting too many lofty goals all at once. The end result? I’ve gleaned that we can all be highly fallible in our choices and actions when resolutions are set and established. Without the enduring and subtle commitment necessary to be at the core foundation of our resolve, we tend to set ourselves up for failure. With this in mind, I’m choosing to continue life as per normal: open to receiving this new year with an open mind and unwavering forward motion.

My life as a teacher and student has me consistently on the lookout for ways to propel my life forward to higher heights of health, wealth, renewal, integrity, generosity and empathy. Human as I am, I fall down (far too often for my own liking). But after the lesson is (hopefully) siphoned, it’s important that I pick myself up and brush myself off (both mentally and figuratively ~ oftentimes with tears and cries of pain), so that I may continue on this amazing life journey, with forgiveness and love in my heart. For this, I need and resolve to move inwards (meditation and journaling are perfect tools in this internal pilgramage). It’s critical that those insights are conceptualized, contextualized and garnered from within, or I will find myself continuing to propagate an unhealthy pattern ~ sometimes leading to destruction of self and relationship. It’s vitally important to remember that I have all the information within my being that I could ever need or want in sustaining a healthy and happy life: I am my most perfect role-model and mentor (Nelson Mandela and Mother Theresa aside … RIP). If anything, religion and spirituality (or lack thereof) has taught me this greatest of lessons. Positive momentum in an imperfect world is renewal enough, regardless of the outcome.

For me, this decline from the winter solstice is a time to excavate the deepest bowels of my wisdom, and tap into the intelligence of intuition. Such a challenging task, especially when nigglings and nuances of fear, uncertainty and trepidation get in the way. But I know that my well is full. It’s time to seek clarity at the deepest roots of my core.

Whoa. Looks like 2014 might be a rocky but highly rewarding year of deep channeling and discovery!

Missed Opportunities

The brave may not live forever, but the timid never live at all.

Today, I was unwinding and enjoying some quiet time, shopping at the local market, intent on a selection of delectable dinner fixings. Food for the soul: mundane but comforting after a flurry of activity over the past week. Sadly, what really elevated this day into a strange cataclysm of emotions was a simple interaction at the checkout counter.

As I approached the Cashier who was assisting the Gentleman in front of me, I overheard the employee sharing an unfortunate incident that she had experienced earlier in the week, all the while elevating her voice so that the whole checkout line could share in her harrowing tale. This Lady had hit a motorcyclist, almost changing the destiny of the young man involved. Fortunately, both lucky souls walked away relatively unscathed, although the motorbike was totalled and the Rider was undoubtedly shaken AND stirred. Who knows what emotional scarring may have been experienced by either party involved? All I could do was listen intently with compassion. Until the Cashier blurted out that she had no idea why this bike or Man was on the road at this time of the year. She started purporting that motorcyclists should stay off the roads in the Fall & Winter, and the Gentleman with whom she was conversing exclaimed that they should ban motorcyclists entirely. She nodded her head in agreement, smiling & exclaiming at the craziness of her misadventure. I was thinking … what next? Ban pedestrians from crossing the road? Outlaw cyclists from ever being a nuisance? Hinder any attempts at free will in a democratic society? What really blew me away was the Cashier’s total neglect for taking responsibility. She had in fact hit the motorcycle, seemingly (and obviously) unaware of her surroundings and of him.

Yet I suppose, what really stirred me were the emotions coursing through my soul at remembering my brother who had lost his life in a motorcycle accident, 22 years ago. One of the less lucky ones. 🙁 My family crawled away, scarred for life, losing a son, brother, artist and mentor.

As the transaction was completed before me, I remained calm, quiet and somewhat terse when the Cashier asked me if I was okay. I nodded numbly, turned away quickly in the midst of my tears and briskly walked away. In this moment of quiet angst, I had lost an opportunity for sharing my story. Such was the potential for education that could have ensued on a matter that wreaked of crazy bias and self-righteous indignation. But I was too afraid to speak, lest my emotions runneth over into something uglier than what I was witnessing and hearing.

Sigh. A missed opportunity to be sure, but this was a point of reflection for myself that shifted me. Surprisingly, I moved into a sense of compassion for the checkout Lady, once I was able to step away from my trigger point, assessing what had actually transpired before me on this beautiful Fall day.

Have you ever missed such an opportunity for growth in conversation where you held your tongue, for fear of emotion overtaking your sense of duty to educate and communicate? Or worse, spoke your mind in anger or judgment without really allowing room for conversation? Life truly does begin at the end of ones comfort zone.

I feel that it’s so important for all the involved parties to take a figurative walk in the other person’s shoes, rather than expressing theoretical proponents of insight that are most likely non-relevant to the situation at hand. Informed insight is a far better way to educate oneself, learning through experience, than by espousing our self-imposed belief system. Knowing that we are all imperfect, human and hopeful allows room for growth, trust and the potential for mutual understanding, in a life worth living, with every sense that we can muster.

The brave may not live forever, but the timid never live at all.

As Colin Wright has quoted: “Think. Do. Learn. Share. Grow.” Add in ‘Breath’ and ‘Repeat’, and here I have myself a winning formula to a life full of exploration and positive development.

I feel that it’s our duty to humankind to create a better AND kinder world for those around us, one loving and compassionate breath at a time. What do you think?

Trashing Stupidity is Ok

Emptying the trashI remember the times growing up when not wearing a seatbelt was pretty common, gravel running with a 2-4 was a Friday night gig, smoking in a vehicle with the windows up or in an office and bar was acceptable, and throwing one’s garbage out the window was a recurring sight. Times have certainly changed, and for the better, in my opinion. People and their health are ‘better’ protected, the environment is being considered, and all around, such changes have left a marked impact on many lives.

All these thoughts are trailing through my mind this morning, as I’m marvelling at the gorgeous Autumn weather being blessed on us as I pole-vault into my daily walk. Sadly, a few minutes in, I stumble across an empty Tim’s cup {with the non-biodegradable plastic lid intact} haphazardly thrown from the window onto the road. And I think, REALLY?

What kind of person still throws their garbage out the window? I am truly mystified. Delinquency indeed comes in all shapes and sizes. Moreover, I think said actions stems from a combination of laziness, self-centred stubbornness and climate change denial. Ignorance about one’s own actions, in this case, is certainly not an excuse. Such careless and disrespectful actions leave me sad and a little bit seething. Just because it’s convenient certainly doesn’t make it right!

I try to think compassionate thoughts, but my no-nonsense environmentalist brain won’t stretch that far today. All I can do is roar an inner growl, pick up the offending rubbish and make a small prayer to Mother Earth for our transgressions. If only our Politicians were as thoughtful and caring in the roles that they fill, cleaning up the garbage and mess that they’re leaving behind instead of stomping all over terra firma and the law-abiding thoughtful citizens of our planet (most of whom are tax-payers supplementing government incomes).

roadstretch-cleanPerhaps if everyone in this world had a daily duty to clean up a mile-long stretch of an Adopt-A-Highway, and/or had the moral obligation to show compassion in some form to Mother Earth, we could literally bag all the offenders and realize that the tiniest of self-imposed actions can all make a difference. The snowball effect would be incredible!

Now if only we could clean up all the political trash, turning the wasteful actions of the delinquent into something positive to help those less fortunate and able.

/rant. Full-stop.

envirothief

Being Present in the Prep

menuDang, I almost cut my left thumb off in my first full-on kitchen shift today. I’m quickly discovering that chatting up a storm with my kitchen prep-mates while simultaneously cutting the greens is not a smart idea. I became a bit too involved in my skydiving conversation and wasn’t giving my immediate full attention to the task of vegetable chopping for the simple soup de jour.

This has turned out to be a very good lesson in being present, especially when working with sharp utensils! I know it’s hard to be on 100% of the time, but sometimes, I just have to prioritize what’s important and what is secondary.

Lesson #2: wash all vegetables before or after prep! You just never know what has graced the presence of your raw food (like blood and finger bits). Another title for this blog post could be: Finger Slicing Good Times. 🙂

One Week

What would you do if you discovered that you only had a limited time left on this planet, that you only had a day … a week … a month left to live. What would be the first choices, your first gut, heart-wrenching reactions? Would you flee in search of adventure, truth and answers? Would you hibernate? Would you share your news with the world, or would you sit with the information, trying to decipher what it all meant, truly? What wish would you fulfill? Would you express your love to anybody in particular? What book would you write? I can’t imagine anything more ground-shakingly real than a death sentence imposed in bright bold headlines screaming that your reality is suddenly and wholeheartedly finite and defined.

The Library of the Abbey of Saint-Gallen. Photo by Candida Höfer.Such is the premise behind the movie ‘One Week’. A treasure I found in the bowels of the teeny St Clair library here in Toronto. As is my normal routine in settling within a city for any length of time, I find the closest local library and become a member. This is of vital importance to me. That connection with community and knowledge, the ability to establish a routine of sorts where I actually feel a sense of stability and solace, where I can expand my education in whatever realm I pursue to explore. A home to endless pleasure and ever-expanding schooling. Libraries do this for me. Be that in the form of illuminating movies, fascinating reads, stunning moments of connection with the pages of a book or quiet solitude. From my experience, Toronto has one of the best library systems in the country that I’ve discovered. A sheer wealth of resources available, be it at the tiniest of libraries or in the heart of the giant 4 story building dead-centre downtown Toronto. I often stumble across fabulous movies I’d never ever consider renting or watching, and with free access to hundreds of thousands of titles, I grasp whatever theme I fancy to explore and examine.

As with any journey, whether it be on the road to discovery (in an Airstream trailer!), through the pages of a book, the chronicling of a documentary, or in the questions stimulated by a really good movie, I realize that any pursuit of knowledge and the very personal answers that journey reveals can be a life-changing event that forever shifts perspective, ideals, goals and dreams.

The beauty of journaling, about what comes up in the midst of this excursion, lies in the revealing answers about what I might consider doing when life is presented on a platter, in vivid black and white, and I must choose between the comfortable confines of my current existence or the uncanny rhythms of a road less travelled.

I highly recommend this movie ‘One Week’ not just because it is a gorgeous sampling of Canadiana unveiled (part road trip movie, part love letter to Canada) but because it might just present a journey into the unknown, asking questions you dare not even consider in the solace of your daily life.

“One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
~ Ulysses

Inspiring Dreams Within A Dream


yogaFLIGHT, yoga, skydiving and Airstream travel. What a heady package this life we lead. I am hoping that through weaving the tales of our adventures, we inspire people to pursue big dreams of their own. The last thing anyone wants to do is get to the end of their life and wonder, “What if?”. I am so blessed to be living this life dream with my soulmate and best friend.

Lessons in Acro Yoga

As the fluid business of the past week settles in to my core, and I sit with the experiences of our Acro Yoga intensive 4 days, I listen instinctively to the valuable lessons that i’ve been blessed with. The biggest being:

Happiness formula = Doing MY best and feeling good about it whilst finding the value in my worth and efforts.

Unhappiness formula = Comparing myself to others. Or as Baron Baptiste has said: “when we focus on the things we can’t do, we lose sight of the things we can do

The leaps and bounds in improvement and stability of my acro yoga (aka yogaFLIGHT) skills has been tremendous and somewhat overwhelming. If I were to compare myself and technique to others that participated in the throwdown, I was truly ‘nothing special’. A beginner at best. However, I still view the time spent with Eugene and Jessie and their acro crew and talents as inspirational models of beauty, grace and flight. I so admire their years of hard work in getting to where they soar effortlessly and beautifully. They are indeed all magnificent!

  • Acro Yoga may look easy and fluid, but only because there has been much repetition, learning and practice (and perhaps falls from great height).
  • engagement of the core and extension through my extremities makes all the difference
  • by coming in to my centre, both physically and mentally, I am able to focus and shift any energies of fear and discomfort
  • hand to hand does not equal death grip
  • Acro Yoga maneuvers with a broken finger is not the best of ideas (although I wasn’t going to let it stop me!) — see the hand-to-hand point above 🙂
  • success with Acro Yoga is similar to being on the Slackline. One needs to find both stillness and breath to keep balanced and focussed
  • it’s okay to stay true to my desires and needs
  • remember the laughter, the fun and the play! oh yes, and the FLIGHT!!!!
  • from the acroyoga.com website: “In the pursuit of excellence we sometimes lose sight of why we were attracted to something. The joy and excitement we experienced can easily be replaced by obsessive striving, and a strong desire to ‘strike the pose’. In so doing we move away from our innate sense of discovery in favor of our attachment to completion.”
To come away from the experience that I did with such a wealth of knowledge and new friends was a priceless adventure well worth the commitment which I at first feared due to injury.
Do you have any experiences that you pushed yourself beyond your comfort zone but were grateful to have participated in?

Reflections on Freedom of Choice, Speech and Opinion

Bring on the May flowers! From the time we left Houston, there was a marked and noticeable change in both temperature and season. The further north we drove, the season of spring showed it’s beautiful head, lagging in its completeness (compared to Texas) as we wound our way through to Illinois. The temperatures had dropped tremendously (feeling almost like winter at times) but it felt good to experience such a metamorphosis, reminiscent of seasonal changes that I’ve somewhat missed in the deep south. I certainly don’t yearn for the blustery and penetrating coldness of winter, but for the most part, I love the Seasons we weather in Canada.

As with any new adventure, if I’m open to possibility and awareness, the outcome could potentially be beyond anything I could ever recognize through daily living. Such was the case when slaDE and I agreed to attend our friend Barbie June’s evening of prayer and live worship at Christ Community Church in St Charles, Illinois. I never imagined the 2 hours to be like that of a rock concert. The ‘band / choir’ (aka Ignite) had all the makings of JC superstars, with a light show, speakers to blow your socks off (I desperately wanted earplugs) and a multimedia display flashing bright strobe lights and words of worship across 2 giant screens. I’m a spiritual person deep down in my beliefs, but religion of one specific name doesn’t resonate deeply. Rather, it’s the principles and ideologies of certain philosophies that remain my stronghold, my spirituality. Born and raised as a strict Catholic, any current thoughts of attending a church service per se (other than a wedding, baptism or funeral) has me flinching and running for cover. As an adult, it’s just not my cup of tea. The service at Barb’s church was kind of cool. I really enjoyed the music. Yet I still am reticent about such public devotional displays that seem somewhat hypnotically unwavering and righteous in their worship. The religious principles of kindness, sincerity, honesty and love sit well with me. Blind faith and devotion, not so much. And then I question, how many people will be offended by my public expression of religious beliefs?

Today, Osama Bin Laden was purportedly killed by a Navy Seals secret operative that left me debating the sanctity of human life. I, in my heart of hearts, believe that an eye for an eye (aka rationalizing revenge) is not the way to live our lives. Both the ecstatic celebration of death and violence, and the spewing of hatred in the name of fighting evil, regardless of the wrongs committed, seems so tragically wrong, on so many levels, in my opinion. Even the vindicated death of Osama which was intended to protect future innocent victims.

I posted a partial quote from Martin Luther King Jr. on my Facebook page that stirred many an emotion, from the gambits of fear and scepticism to excitement over Bin Laden’s death. Regardless of the opinions expressed, the beauty of this platform and the interweb rests highly on the ability to freely speak ones truth. Yet, comments ran amuck and emotions stretched to many levels. What I wonder is … why can’t my beliefs (whether religious, political or environmental) just be that …. my beliefs, without threatening the readers convictions? Why must we exist in such an either / or society? For example, can’t I express supreme sadness at the manner in which people are celebrating a human being’s death without being labeled as a betrayer or traitor of American values? It’s all a rather convoluted onslaught of emotional and sudden upheaval over news of a terrorist that personified incredible depths of pain for the families and friends of 9/11 victims. I certainly don’t want to appear insensitive to the pain nor the healing felt by many. This certainly isn’t my goal in expressing my sentiments online. I feel intensely for those who have experienced the torment of overpowering loss. I also understand that through the broadcast of Bin Laden’s death, a huge weight has been lifted from America’s shoulders, hopefully allowing for closure in the process, healing the hearts of many. It is through this desire to live in love that I pray for world peace whilst also honouring those who are left to mourn and those that serve their countries in the name of freedom. I pray that the spiritual and personal beliefs that we own as humans can be expressly unencumbered without fear of reprisal or acts of violence, in the name of freedom. I want to live authentically, speak fearlessly and love unconditionally through these changing times. It is by only experiencing peace within and through ourselves, that we can bring it forward in to the world.

There is a power in love that our world has not discovered yet. Jesus discovered it centuries ago. Mahatma Gandhi of India discovered it a few years ago, but most men and most women never discover it. For they believe in hitting for hitting; they believe in an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth; they believe in hating for hating; but Jesus comes to us and says, “This isn’t the way.
~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Zephyrhills: Not So Recycle Friendly

My friend Minna and I went in to town, looking to replenish our grocery supplies, whilst hoping to find a place to recycle our glass bottles (aka lots of beer from the New Year’s celebrations) and Minna’s plastic ‘Zephyrhills Water’ bottles. After much querying and driving around town, we found one sole lonely recycling centre. Sadly for us, they only dealt with recycling of aluminum, tin and other metals. On the Zhills water bottle and website, they clearly state: “We recommend that our water bottles be recycled, not reused. Every bottle produced by NWNA is recyclable, including our clear caps ….. Consumers can reduce the overall environmental impact associated with drinking a bottle of water by 25%, just by recycling the bottle after use. Recycled bottles are in high demand for use in products such as fabric, carpeting and other consumer goods.” Well big flippin deal! It seems that they’re are ALL talk, no action. There is NO public recycling facility in Zephyrhills to even deal with all the wasteful plastic product that this company is producing. I tried truly. I drove all over town, asking shops and manufacturers where I could drop off the plastic and glass recycling that we’ve been toting around for the past few weeks. Nothing, zippo, zilch. I’ve never been a big fan of plastic water bottles (I used to be a proud owner of a Sigg 100% recyclable aluminum water bottle (Lululemon baby!), but it went AWOL when I arrived at our current destination). Love the drop zone, not so fond of the city and corporate politics. Now I’m begrudging of the Zephyrhills Water parent company, especially now. They say:  ‘Less plastic, better environment’. Ok, if this were the truth, people shouldn’t be drinking from plastic water bottles period. And even then, if they do, this eco-logical slogan only works if there are recycling depots available that effectively deal with the burgeoning load of plastic trash mounds! The big recycling question that exists in my mind: where does our recycled plastic and goods go? Check out the 5 Gyres website to be truly informed. Plastic … the irresponsible use of our disposable and ‘plastic’ mentality is a weighty, unyielding incessant and often-hidden worldwide problem. I so want to scream at the top of my lungs: “Stop using plastic (and styrofoam — a whole other issue) wherever you can”. Make it a resolution if you must. Easier said than done, I know. Even the organic produce, the bread, the frozen fruit for our smoothies, the yogurt containers, etc etc that we purchase are often either contained or wrapped in plastic. There’s hardly any escape, even with the healthiest of food choices and options available. “Most of what we eat, drink, or use in any way comes packaged in petroleum plastic- a material designed to last forever, yet used for products that we then throw away.” What’s wrong with this picture?? What is the resultant problem of our persistent use of plastic? “The short-term convenience of using and throwing away plastic products carries a very inconvenient long-term truth.” Plastic is clogging up our oceans, contaminating the food chain and asphyxiating us with it’s toxic fumes and chemical residue.

Recycle FAIL!

It all starts with a mindset and an intention. My goal in this life // to walk softly on this earth. Through example and education, and to finding solutions when roadblocks pop up where I least expect.