Category Archives: Inner Ecology

Taking a Break and Trusting the Flow

Trusting The Flow Photo Credit:  Holly Kempe

Trusting The Flow
Photo Credit: Holly Kempe

As some of you may have noticed, I haven’t written on my blog for over two months!  I never foresaw this happening.  However, as I embarked upon some big changes in my life, (namely, preparing for and then carrying out a cross-country move to Portland, Oregon) there was no inspiration towards blogging.

At first, I tried forcing a few blog articles, but that didn’t feel too good. I began to feel uncertainty and fear around NOT blogging.  I had nurtured a deep dedication to my blog and had big career plans with it.  And then, suddenly, NOTHING.  Was my whole blog project just a temporary dream? Did I yet again start something and not finish? Was I back to square one again?

Yes.  No.  I don’t know.

All I know is, that over two months later, I have the inspiration again AND that I have been exploring a new way of approaching life.

You see, like many of us, I have an inner critic and authority figure in my head (the proverbial, internalized parent), that seemingly attempts to guide me in my best interest.  However, it often clashes with that deeper, wordless part of me that simply doesn’t jive with its imposed order.

After years of trying to make my life work by the authority figure’s plans and having  it never really work for me, I have decided to give it up, piece by piece, chunk by chunk.  It’s so scary because what if, left to my own organic rhythms, I discover that I am an inherently lazy and an unproductive person?!

What if?

I can’t say that I know the answer yet.  At the very least, I know what doesn’t work.  I am willing to see what following my own organic flow looks like and take a leap of faith that it might have my best interests at heart- even if it doesn’t look like what I think it should.

Something’s got to change and I am ready to take the plunge.  Are you?

Please share in the comments section below how you’ve handled change, gone with the flow, taken a break and dealt with uncertainty. I would love to hear from you.

The Magic of Summer Rain Dances

Photo Credit: Daxe09

Photo Credit: Daxe09

Who Likes Dancing In the Rain?

Apparently, I do.  For the first time ever in over 37 years, I willingly threw myself into a downpour.  No more of that timid stuff– mists and sprinkles (although, they are amazing, mind you.)  I was ready for the intensity of a gorgeous, full force rainfall.

Stepping out of my apartment, with my semi-broken umbrella (i.e. security blanket), I gently got used to rain drops hitting my skin, where my tiny umbrella did not protect me.  I, then, pulled away the umbrella to feel the rain on my skin and then shielded myself again.  I went back and forth like this a few more times, until I ditched the umbrella altogether.

The rain briefly lightened– not so bad.  But then, the deluge returned, and just like jumping into cool lake, where at first it is slightly unpleasant as my body gets used to the temperature of the water, I soon adjusted, feeling the pure watery bliss.

Okay, so I never, literally, danced in the rain, but I was dancing in side.  I tilted my head back, letting the rain slide down my face, down my arms, down my back, down my legs, soaking my dress completely.  Ahhhh, cleansed by water– joy free flowing.  I opened my arms wide to the sky, letting the rain beat down upon my heart.  As I walked down the street, I saw a few people dashing to get out of the rain and a few more people standing in doorways waiting for it to pass, but I was loving being in it 1000%.  So much so, that I ran in it, like a child expressing glee.

It’s moments like this that I realize that more rain dances and expressions of joy are in order.  Next time, I want to go deeper and wider, and not stop and go home to take my laundry out of the wash, but keep going, allowing the moment to fully blossom and awaken my life.

 

Go Green 8 Week Challenge

RESIZEgogreen

This is not my usual blog post, but I hope you will join the fun and spread your green wings with me.   The parameter of this challenge is to pick one green goal per week for eight weeks.  Your goals may be things that you have been meaning to do, but keep putting off.   They may be goals that are a little out of your comfort zone.  Or, maybe, you just want an inspiring launching pad to take your green journey to the next level.

Why Do An 8 Week Go Green Challenge?

Sometimes, our personal journeys can get a little stagnant.  This challenge provides an inspiring structure for us to play our edge and create new possibilities in our lives.

Going green also means taking better care of ourselves.  This is an opportunity to nourish our bodies and souls with healthy, sustainable choices.

We all know, somewhere deep inside of us, that we depend on a healthy planet to sustain us.  We also know that are a lot of environmental issues happening now like climate change, species going extinct, pollution driven health problems, habitat destruction and ocean acidification (to name a few).  This 8 Week Challenge is an inspiring chance to empower you too make a difference and realize how much you matter.

Instructions

Choose one green goal per week for eight weeks. After you complete your green goal, blog about it. Then post your blog link in the comments section below with a short synopsis of what your blog post is about.  This weekly challenge starts on Monday, May 26th and ends on Sunday, July 20th.

If you don’t have a blog, no problem!  Share a few sentences about your goal each week in the comments section.  Share with friends and family- maybe, they will even join you in taking the challenge.

Did you find out about this challenge a few weeks after it started?  No problem!  Jump in any time over the next eight weeks.  When the official challenge ends, you can continue on in anyway you see fit.

Types of Green Goals

The sky is the limit, but here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

  •  Personal steps to green your life: buy organic and/or sustainable local food,  start a veggie garden, shop with reusable bags and eliminate disposable bags , stop buying bottled water, convert to sustainable personal care products, buy minimally packaged or unpackaged items when possible, buy your next piece or furniture or article of clothing second hand or made with sustainable materials, conserve water, research renewable energy options to implement in your home, watch an environmental documentary, etc.
  • Activism: Volunteer at a local environmental organization, go to an environmental rally, inspire awareness and sustainable action in your community, contact your elected officials about environmental issues, etc.
  • Inner ecology:  We are part of the Earth and its ecosystems. Taking that concept further,  we are each an ecosystem onto ourselves.  We need to allow our inner gardens to flourish. What unnecessary clutter, time-consuming distractions and out-dated perceptions take you away from your well-being and doing the things that matter most, like living in harmony with the Earth?

Want more ideas?  Check out my goals below and click around my blog.  You can also check out other green blogs, books, documentaries and resources.

Tips

  • If a goal seems too large to do in one week,  it can probably be broken down into smaller, more manageable goals that can be accomplished over a few weeks.
  • In a non-judgmental fashion, notice what feelings, thoughts and reactions arise when you embark upon your goal.  This is an opportunity to get to know yourself better and find what flows for you.
  • Remember to not force anything.  Check out my blog post on finding the flow in your green journey.  

My 8 Green Goals

Just in case you’re curious (and also for accountability on my end), here are my green goals.  They will be in the category, “My Green Journey”. They may not happen in this exact order and I may change one or two:

  1. Take the Plastic Trash Challenge to get an honest look at the plastic waste I generate, so I can make better choices.
  2. Set up my green YouTube channel and post my first video.
  3. Go on a electronic diet to reduce unnecessary distractions in my life.
  4. Call or email a one or two food companies I like and suggest more sustainable packaging alternatives.
  5. Talk to the neighbors in my 54 unit building about enrolling in the Organic Waste Collection program.
  6. Start a microgreens and/or herb window garden.
  7. Lighten my load and sustainably get rid of items I no longer use or like.
  8. Go to a rally to stop fracking or some other environmental cause I am moved by.

Last, but not least, tell your friends and spread the green goodness!  And please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions.

 

Flow versus Force: Finding Ease In Your Green Journey

Sometimes Small Green Steps Create Bigger Change

orangebutterfly4resize

What Does Going Green Mean To You?

What started you on your green journey?  Have your reasons evolved over time?For me, my initial interest in going green was to reduce garbage.  The idea of mounds of stuff accumulating in landfills (some of it never biodegrading) really bothered me.

Over time, as I learned more about sustainability and evolved personally, my reasons multiplied and deepened.  For me, going green is about living in harmony with Earth, consuming from a balanced place and a wholesome, healthy and vibrant way of living.

On a global level, I care for about how people, animals, plants and ecosystems  are effected by pollution and habitat destruction. I feel part of a new consciousness taking root where every action considers the whole, where we feel empowered to create an abundant world that mirrors our hearts, where businesses and governments are created from a place that honors and nourishes all life.

Creating New Habits

So, what creates change?  Zooming back into to things on a more personal scale, I believe, that small steps can often be more powerful.  Perhaps, what applies on a personal level can apply on a global level.   Going green is no different from any other way you may change and evolve as a person.  For example, many years ago, I wanted to eat way less sugar for health reasons, BUT I was very addicted to sweets. A few times I made dramatic short-term changes, like going on a candida cleanse.   However, after such a dramatic change in behavior, my dominant habits that I had for many years, soon returned (albeit, slightly improved).

Over the years, however, my intake of sugar has naturally decreased without much force or will-power.  Why is that?  For one thing, I was working on myself to become more present, peaceful and clear in my life purpose. Shedding some emotional baggage in my life has made it easier for me to not emotionally eat and also to be more in tune with my inner rhythms and what truly nourishes me.  Plus, I was sincerely interested in eating wholesomely.  I believe any authentic dedication will eventually take root and blossom.  Also, when I chose the path of least resistance, the changes more likely stuck.  Over time, those changes added up to big results.

Going green is much the same thing.  Celebrate what you already are doing now and see what new steps you are ready to take next.  Remember, new habits form better in bite sizes.   Right now, I want to go to the next level in weening myself off of plastic.  After seeing this YouTube video and going to this website with plastic-free products, I felt both inspired and a bit overwhelmed.   I thought to myself, “well, I can do more to eliminate plastic from my life, but what about about supplements that are for my cat’s health condition that come in plastic bottles?  What about protein powders that come in plastic containers?  I don’t want to give them up.  Do I have to bake my own gluten-free bread?  I don’t like baking.  It takes too much time. ” And then, I saw the price of some plastic-free alternatives, and I was like “wow, I am going to have to earn more money to live plastic-free.” 

Let me share a little secret with you: when we feel overwhelmed, we are not in a peaceful and present place and, therefore,  not capable of making empowering decisions.   So, just chill.  Take some deep breaths with me and trust the process.  Ahhhhh, good.   So, how about this? Pick 3 new habits you can explore and incorporate over the next few weeks.  Make it fun and enjoy trying something new.

Here are my 3 new habits to explore incorporating into my life:

  1. Find a store that sells organic, bulk spices and get a few reusable spice containers.
  2. Try soap nuts for doing laundry.
  3. Grow my own sprouts to put in salads.
  4. I am adding a fourth as a bonus.  It’s not quite a habit I ready to form yet, but I  am curious to explore different types of snack-foods that are either easy to make or come in sustainable packaging.

After you’re in a peaceful place, feel into the inspiration and where the flow is.  As you explore new alternatives and develop new habits, you will become an inspiration for others.  Those that walk the talk in an inspiring way, without preaching, positively impact others. And for those others habits that may seem like a struggle to incorporate, take a step back and trust that you will be ready when the time is ripe or you will find an alternate way that works better for you.  This sort of attitude creates an open space for more powerful change and, ultimately, makes you a more empowered citizen of the Earth.

The Beauty of Less Stuff

home

As I look around at my humble abode that I share with my boyfriend in Brooklyn, I feel proud.  I feel like I have accomplished a mission.  My home is simple, low-clutter and artful with a beautiful clear energy.  I’m not a neat-freak, but because I have a lower amount stuff in a spacious apartment, I don’t have to be.

Severals years ago,  I read “Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui” by Karen Kingston and started getting rid of things, even old diaries that I felt held painful memories and old stagnant ways of being.   If an object inspired negativity or ambivalence, I often let it go.  Luckily, I am not very nostalgic, so this is was easy for me in certain ways. I peeled away layers and layers, disliking holding onto things that were not useful or beautiful to me.  My only stuck spot in this was if I couldn’t find a sustainable way to get rid of something like, for example,  used lipstick,  burnt-out incandescent light bulbs, broken candle votives,  etc. Did I ever regret getting rid of something?  Yes.  Admittedly, I can be a little get-rid-of happy. Three items comes to mind that I could totally use now.  Ugh.

Not only was I letting go of things, but many items in my home are sustainable (i.e second hand).  Admittedly, my initial motivation was the cost-effectiveness.  But later on, I also realized it was much greener and also began to purchase some new things, when in my price range, made of sustainable materials, like my bamboo drying rack for hanging my laundry.

Anyway, I think there is a beauty to having less that is both sustainable and liberating.  Here are some benefits of letting go of stuff and accumulating less:

  1. The energy and look of your home will be more open, spacious, airy and clear.
  2. It feels therapeutic and cleansing to let go of objects that carry ambivalent or negative associations for you.
  3. As your home becomes less cluttered and bogged down by stuff, you feel clearer and lighter inside.
  4. You’ll have less stuff to organize and clean, which means more free time and simplicity.
  5. A chance to look within and heal:  do you compulsively collect, hoard or emotionally shop rather than face some difficult feelings inside?  Perhaps, this is a time to nurture yourself in more healthy ways, like a yoga class or a nature walk, or find a therapist or insightful, caring friend to talk to.  There are also professional organizers  and declutterers that could be just what the doctor ordered.
  6. Freedom of movement: it’s easier to change residences with less stuff to pack and move.
  7. Sustainability: consuming less of the Earth’s precious resources means less deforestation, less habitat destruction, less mountain-top removal and strip mining for minerals, less pollution, less toxins, less endangered and going extinct species and the health and well-being of the human race for generations to come.  See if you can buy second hand or find a a more sustainable version of your desired or needed item.
  8. Less expensive: use that money for things that truly nurture you like buying  organic food, getting a massage,  an eco-travel adventure, taking an art class  or whatever makes your heart sing.
  9. Less stuff, less gadgets, less television and video games, means less distraction and more quality time to connect with the world around you, to connect more with friends and family, to engage positively with your community,  to follow your passions,  and to also cultivate a deeper relationship with nature.
  10. Getting rid of stuff is also an opportunity to  be generous.  Perhaps, your friends and family could use what you no longer need.  Doesn’t it feel good to give?  Perhaps, you could donate to your local charity.  Heck, you could be generous to yourself and make some money selling  your castaways on craigslist or have a yard sale.

Thank you for reading and happy spring cleaning!  Feel free to share your own inspirations on this topic in the comment section.

The One Thing Even More Important for Your Diet Than Healthy Food

Well being starts from within.

Well being starts from within.

Have you ever been fatigued, under the weather or in less than optimal health, for an extended time, in spite of a very healthy diet?

A while back, I had this on and off slight sinus infection or slight scratchiness of the throat for several months.   At the time, I was on a protocol for a non-related health issue, taking heavy duty immune boosters and antioxidants.  I had also increased my vegetable intake,  reduced my sugar intake and was eating very little gluten and dairy (I was supposed to have none, but I cheated occasionally.) As a health foodie,  in general, I eat predominately organic and unrefined foods. So, experiencing frequent under-the-weatherness did not make sense to me.

There were times that I thought I wasn’t eating perfectly enough.  I, also, thought that I might have a hidden food or environmental allergy/sensitivity.  I felt like the proverbial mule chasing the dangling carrot– if only I had more self-control and ate more purely.  If could limit my dark chocolate intake to twice a week and have gluten/dairy once or twice a month, then all would be well.  But something in that pursuit of perfection didn’t feel right to me.  It felt kind of like an admonishing authority figure taking up real estate in my head or like a skipping record playing  the same message over and over again, but not being effective.  It didn’t feel flowing and expansive.  I realized my focus was in the wrong direction in helping myself.

There have been times in my life where I have eaten more gluten, dairy and sweet treats while taking no immune supportive and antioxidant supplements.  And guess what?  I rarely got slightly under-the-weather or full-blown sick.  Connecting the dots and feeling into the natural intuitive gifts we all possess, I realized that my state of being was the prime cause of of my reoccurring experience of feeling “slightly” not well.

Our state of being (thoughts, emotions and, ultimately, the way we perceive reality) is something we eat 24-7.  Let’s face it, everything  is energy.  This is a scientific fact proven by quantum physics. So, when we are experiencing chronic underlying tension in our lives, that is a particular energy effecting our denser energy– i.e. our physical body.  I firmly believe one could eat the most PERFECT diet (whatever that means to you) and if your general state of being is not supportive and nurturing to you,  your body will be negatively impacted.  To me, while a healthy diet is very powerful, a healthy state of being is even more powerful.

That said, once I realized that perfecting my diet was not going to solve my sinus/throat issues, I started to look within.  I started to realize that I was experiencing a chronic, subtle tension in my life: not feeling nurtured by my romantic relationship.  Not sure how to deal with it, I focused on my life-purpose goals instead.  I didn’t want to say the same things over and over again to my beloved partner like a broken record to no avail, so I unsuccessfully tried to clear my frustrations on my own.  Eventually,  I noticed I wasn’t being honest with myself or my partner.  Being honest was scary and might have meant some big changes I felt unprepared for. Looking back, it’s no wonder that my physical symptoms were showing up in the mouth area, our primary means of expression.

I started to realize our lives are holistic.  If one part of our life isn’t flowing well, it effects the whole.  It was totally silly of me to explore following my heart in my career life while not dealing with my heart in my intimate life, as if they were separate entities. So, one day, I just couldn’t take it anymore and with mutually prayerful intentions, my partner and I candidly shared our needs, frustrations and what each of us wanted to create romantically, like really shooting for the stars, rather than just settling for “good enough” or tolerable.  As I shared from my most heart-felt authentic place and listened deeply,  I felt intense sensations in my upper chest and also where my neck connects with my jaw.  These sensations were sharp, like electrical currents that suddenly fired. I also started to feel a big pressure on the roof of my mouth.  Although a bit painful, all of these sensations felt positive, like a heavy weight was finally being released.  Ahhhhhh. I started to feel physically and emotionally better.

So, if your state of being can either nourish you like a healthy delicious meal or leave you feeling clogged, jittery and uncomfortable like eating a whole box of cookies in one sitting, how can you better take care of your state of being?  Do you take time to just be?  Do you meditate?  Do you give yourself time to digest and process the happenings in your life and to become present to what you truly feel? Do you take walks in the park or in nature?  Do you move and exercise your body in ways that feel good and free up the flow in your body? Are you able to express and explore your true feelings with both yourself and your loved ones? Are you a good listener?   Do you love the work you do? If not, are you committed to exploring what a nurturing work life would look like for you and to take steps to create that?

As you take time to nurture you state of being, be freely expressed, and listen more deeply to yourself and others, your thoughts, emotions and perceptions of reality will naturally change, thus making a healthy change to your energetic diet.  So, tune into yourself right now.  What, in this moment, would be the most yummy and supportive for you?  Maybe, you’re stressed and you just need to scream into your pillow.  Maybe, you just want to take some deep,  heart-felt  breaths.  Or maybe, you have an overwhelming urge to take a walk and gaze at the moon.  Trust whatever comes to you and enjoy a healthier life lived more fully, moment to moment.

Connecting With Nature In NYC

winter trees

It’s no secret. I live in the concrete jungle (a.k.a NYC).  Thankfully, however, I live in a relatively quiet, peaceful neighborhood in Brooklyn close to a large park and the bay.  Large beautiful houses, beautiful  gardens and the peaceful plant giants line the more posh streets of where I live. In warmer weather,  I can hear crickets at night.  They play music to my ears.  In my mind’s eye, I see stars and streaks of green light when I hear them and feel something  majestic and celestial.  Their sound surrounds me in 3-D, soothing my soul.

I have made it my goal to connect with nature as regularly as possible, even, while living in the most urban place in the USA. You see, I recently realized, that in spite of my passion for living in loving interconnectedness with the planet. I still know very little about nature and may be just as disconnected with it as many of us are.  It’s easy  to get lost in the fast pace and concerns of NYC life.  For me, I can get lost in financial survival, tight schedule logistics and other practical measures.  That said, I have decided to repair that broken bridge between myself and nature, realizing it to be essential to my own well-being and also to what I am passionate about sharing with others: creating our lives in harmony with the Earth.

Some of the simple things I do to connect with nature is to feel the breeze on my skin, look at people’s gardens, the river and trees.  Let me pause a second— the trees are like gentle giants of the plant kingdom.  I never tire of looking at them.  One look, and immediately, a peace reflected in their stillness befalls me.  My mind becomes calmer, my heart beats more slowly and my body relaxes.  It is the most awesome thing.  If I listen more deeply I feel something about them, from the quiet space inside me, that wordlessly tells me their purpose, their strength and their preciousness.

Now that it is colder and I no longer hear the crickets, I listen to what the sounds of autumn are- a dry, whispering crackle of wind through leaves.  It is a near seductive sound– sexy, smokey and ripe.  I think of pears, apples, root vegetables and deep, warming spices.  Twilight’s lapis blue descends earlier, making it all the more mysterious .

With all of this autumn splendor, why am I not outside much as of late?  My excuse– I get don’t like the colder and shorter days.  Well, that just settles it– autumn walk, here I come. . . .