Saturday, April 22, 2017

A Contemplation for Earth Day



Today's Daily Prism, in honor of Earth Day, features a contemplation from a work in progress, "Connection: A Book of 48 Natural Contemplations."

Interconnectedness

“The ocean is impossibly complicated, interconnected, turbulent and nonlinear and it touches every part of life. … Every third molecule of carbon dioxide you exhale is absorbed into the ocean. Every second breath you take comes from the oxygen produced by plankton,” writes Alanna Mitchell in "Seasick: Ocean Changes and the Extinction of Life on Earth"

Take coral reefs as an example. Sometimes referred to as the rainforests of the sea, coral reefs are the most diverse of all marine ecosystems. Coral, a live animal, is complicated, fragile, and sensitive to changes in the sea. 

“Coral reefs are the largest structures of biological origin on Earth, and rival old-growth forests in the longevity of their ecological communities,” explains experts at NOAA.  A coral reef can be compared to a metropolitan city of interdependent species.

Thanks to this symbiosis of the sea, coral benefits humankind by not only producing some of the oxygen that we breathe, but by protecting our shorelines from storm surges, food production, tourism and even medicine.


The contemplation
I wish to understand the puzzle of life from the sea. I wish to understand the puzzle of my own complicated, interconnected, turbulent and nonlinear life. 

As I breathe in the oxygen from the sea that fuels my body, I will exhale the negative from my heart.

Each breath will be like every drop of water that becomes the sea — a vast pool of life worth living. The interconnectedness of water, air and life will help me solve the puzzle.

Enjoy this 2 minute seaside meditation moment






Friday, April 21, 2017

Free E-Book with Earth Day Sensibility




Sometimes it seems as if there is a clear effort by others to discount and revile all that is good on Planet Earth. It can overwhelm one's sensitivity -- until we're reminded of those who diligently work to correct a negative course.  EarthGratitude.org offers a free e-book with uplifting ways toward clean living that benefits the human and the planet. Click this link for the free mini-e-book: Earth Gratitude







Thursday, April 20, 2017

7 Steps to "Steady Ground"


C. Coimbra photo

These 7 steps to finding steady ground come from Finding Steady Ground.  The webpage writes:  To be in shape for the long haul, we have to get our minds and spirits ready, as well as jump into action.

When we’re in bad shape, our power is diminished — we’re less creative, more reactive, and less able to plan strategically. If we intend to stay active and effective in the world, we have a responsibility to tend to our spirits.

Here are 7 behaviors we can use right away to strengthen ourselves, so we can keep taking more and more powerful and strategic actions.

Every day
1. I will make a conscious decision about when and where I'll get news — and what I'll do afterwards.

What you choose to pay attention to during the day has an impact on you. Which news sources help you understand the world more fully, and which ones only leave you fearful and despairing? After getting your news, what works for you: moving your body, talking with friends, hopping onto social media? Make it conscious — and if it doesn’t work, don’t keep doing it. Read More…

Once a week
2. I will get together with some people face-to-face to support each other and make sure we stay in motion.

The goal is accountability, so that we don’t freeze up in the face of overload or despair. Check in to share and reflect on how you are staying in motion (like writing letters, volunteering, creating resistance art, preparing direct action campaigns). This may be in formal settings such as meetings or facilitated spaces, or informal spaces such as cafes, over dinner tables, or at the gym. Read More…

3. I will pray, meditate, or reflect on those I know who are being impacted by oppressive policies, and extend that love to all who may be suffering.

Learn to cultivate love. One starting point may be holding compassionate space for your own pain or the pain of those close to you who are being impacted by the policies and politics of the time. In that reflective space you can give yourself space to be, feel loss, grief, anger, frustration, helplessness, and conviction. Then hold your love and extend it beyond, to others you may not know who are also suffering. And lastly, take time to notice that this is not all of your reality: you also may have joys with your folk around you, be surrounded by beautiful music or nature, and take delight in creation. Joy in the face of hard times is not a luxury, it is a necessity.

4. I will read, listen to, or share a story about how others have resisted injustice.

Millions have faced repression and injustices and we all can learn from them. Stories may be from ancestors, contemporaries in this country, or lessons from those around the globe who have faced more severe and repressive governments. The goal is to become a student of history so that you can take inspiration and deepen your understanding of how to struggle and thrive. Read More…

5. I will be aware of myself as one who creates.


The goal of injustice is to breed passivity — to make us believe that things happen to us, events happen to us, policies happen to us. To counteract this, we need to stay in touch with our sense of personal power. One goal is to see ourselves as people who create, whether it’s cooking a meal, organizing a dazzling dramatic action, knitting a hat, making a sign, or playing the piano. We are more than consumers, and our humanity must be affirmed.

6. I will take a conscious break from social media.

Instead, fill the time with intentional and direct human interaction. You could take a full day a week away from social media as a healthy minimum, but you decide what is right for you. Read More…

7. I will commit to sharing with others what’s helping me.




Wednesday, April 19, 2017

3 Inspirational Films



Public Doman photo by Cristie Guevara



I don't know about you, but I'm done with all the less-than inspiring leaders who appear to have a single interest--them! I did a bit of research about positive persons who are true leaders without all the window dressing. I'm posting a few movie trailers of purchasable movies about such people here. You can visit YouTube or other sights to view the films in their entirety. Let's get inspired and leave anger and frustration behind. Inspiration is energizing.







Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Find Common Ground During Debate (4)



Our fourth and final post with excerpted ideas to bringing about a healthy debate, originally posted by the Chopra Center, 4 Tips to Have a Healthy Debate,  is the most obvious, find common ground. Common ground is basic and includes joy, health, and comfort.


Find Common Ground
Many debates, arguments, and protests all come from a good place. Although you may have your own ideas of how to achieve particular goals, these are basic human wants:


  • Safety.
  • Reliable work with fair pay.
  • Clean food and water.
  • Nice environment to raise children.
  • Health care for everyone, young and old.
  • Freedom to live how you desire.

When any group or person feels the above list is threatened, they become upset, depressed, angry, and often blame others. The 'others' that are blamed will more than likely be those of another group or race that they do not understand. Again, this is where the research and questions come into play. You cannot make another person research or even have desire to learn but you can ask questions that make them think while partaking in conversation.

Finding common ground can be found if you practice patience and love. We are here to work together, build each other up, and detach from the programming that has been placed upon us since birth. Whenever you find yourself in any debate, remind yourself of the labels you were given before you even take your first breath: your country, your sexual preferences, the clothes you wear, the food you eat, the religion you follow, your name—so many labels that you know as pure truth until you begin to adventure through life.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Research the Truth for a Healthy Debate (3)



The third post in The Daily Prism 4-part sharing of a Chopra Center article, 4 Tips to Having a Healthy Debate,  discusses knowing the truth and facts of your point of view. Becoming mindful of your information's source is extremely important to a healthy debate. You can bet that information from a highly charged one-sided political, ideological, or "news" website, will exclude facts and references that may well be germane to the discussion. For healthy debate with those who see an issue from another point of view, research is the key to a civil and mutually-satisfactory debate.


Research

People tend to be more emotional during the current state of humanity. This is wonderful, but also dangerous. You live in a tech age with information firing at you like a rocket full of confetti. Grabbing one piece and calling it truth or getting upset is not helpful to either side.

When it comes to your stance on any topic, I highly suggest learning as much as possible. Yes, this means you sometimes have to read or watch your counterpart’s favorite shows. For example, in sports one team watches the rival team’s previous games. Countless hours are spent playing back how they move, talk, run, communicate, etc. Anything you intend to change or achieve in life is the same. Here are some tips:


  • Go back into the history of the topic.
  • Ask older generations their perspectives as well as small children. How do humans see differently now vs. then?
  • Ask the tough questions to verify how much the other and yourself believe what is being said and how much is from the fear of being authentic. Authenticity can be a scary place when you are the only one in a particular environment who is on the opposite opinion.
  • What evolution has been made on the situation? Has the other side contributed in a positive way?

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Healthy Debate, Ask About Past, Present & Future (2)



Continuing a series on healthy debate as posted by the Chopra Center. The author of the original post, 4 Tips to a Healthy Debate, noted:  Humans continue to evolve, creating a deeper intuition and increased resistance against falsehoods. Generations prior to those alive today chose to be silent more often and stay in their safe zones by not letting neighbors know that they think differently or not talking about sex so that people won't know you engage in it.

Past, Present & Future

You have a past that has molded, programmed, and sculpted you into who you are today. You can only understand as far as your consciousness has been expanded. No, you are not “better” than another person if you have wider expansion—you are just different. Each of us has our moment in time when we are meant to evolve. Taking this into account, be that expansion for each other. Go deeper than the surface with your questions or thoughts.


  • What from our past molded us to these beliefs or opinions? How were our pasts different?
  • Where are we at currently in our separate lives? Do our lives parallel in certain areas?
  • What do we each desire for our future, the future of our planet, and our children?