When Boundaries Dissolve

Each piece of land, each property in a town or city is a certain size with a certain colour wall surrounding it. Within these walls the workings of each family, business or organisation operates in unique ways. However, beneath all of the walls, fences, gates, roads and buildings, it is all just one big piece of land. Every town and city is ultimately just one piece of land. The whole world in fact, is just one giant sphere with a plethora of landscapes. It’s interesting to then consider how we draw arbitrary lines across the earth and assign one side to a group of people and the other side to another group of people, in very simplistic terms.

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We then turn most of our focus inward and develop our world within those borders. We call ourselves certain names, create our own songs and design flags and rituals as part of our identity. This I think is a positve thing. Cultural identity is something that perhaps we need to feel. A certain amount of ego is perhaps healthy and gives us a sense of unity and well being.

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If we zoom in and consider the family home as a microcosm of the larger outside world, we see similar patterns of identity; family names, values, ambitions and ways of behaving. These identities allow us to feel comfortable and give us a foundation on which to build our own unique story.

However, I think it is when we fail to see past the border, fail to recognise that we all live in the same neighbourhood but with different identities and beliefs, that we let our unity become potentially destructive. We then gather our forces to oppose the people on the other side because they are different, because we fear for the existence of our own identity. We forget that what seperates us is simply a border; a fundamentally imaginary line which allows us to enjoy our unique identities but which also divides us and acts as a catalyst to distort our feelings of compassion for our neighbours.

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I suppose what im trying to say is that perhaps the walls around our homes, our places of work or even our countries are there for practical purposes and not to serve as a boundary confining your curiosity or your compassion within. The walls are there to make us feel safe and united, not necessarily to keep out the percieved enemy.

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The earth and the sky run freely underneath, around and above all of the walls, gates and fences. Your imagination and your sense of connection with others do not have to be confined to the boundaries that physically surround you. We are not here for very long and there is only so much time to connect with those around you. Take a chance. Don’t let borders stand in your way.

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Realising potential

What good is a thought in your mind alone? What good is an idea or a concept if it is not met with expression? I believe that intelligence only truly becomes useful when its potential is realised. We have such powerful imaginations and an idea may seem amazing as we replay it in our minds but when it comes to stepping out into the world of action we find it far more difficult to translate that idea into something tangible. Once you start expressing an idea, articulating it to yourself and then talking about it with others, at least you can discover whether it is plausible or not. Once you have spoken or written about it you can then see it more realistically and decide whether or not it is possible or feasible for you at that particular time in your life.

Thinking alone can be a debilitating thing. Seeing the world through the lense of your thoughts without experimenting, without testing your ideas to see whether they have validity can lead to feelings of dissatisfaction and can further demotivate you. Instead of constantly thinking about something, it may be far more rewarding to put your idea to the test. Get out there and talk to someone about it and try out what you’ve been considering. Perhaps we should give thinking a break and experiment a bit.

Instead of wandering around in our minds we should try wandering around in the real world. That’s all for now ūüôā

How do we ensure a clean and sustainable water supply?

Water makes up the majority of our own bodies and the majority of the planet itself. It quenches our thirst on a hot day or when we have had one too many drinks the night before. But I find that in both the western and the eastern world (the limited parts that I have been lucky enough to visit) we waste it as if it were infinite and indestructible.

I think it’s strange how we pour the wastes of our world into the most pure, delicate and important substance we have. So important that without it we would die in a matter of days. So amazing that it quenches thirst and nourishes without any additives. Yet we pollute it with our own excrement, use it carelessly and mix it with chemicals so harmful we wouldn’t touch them. Only later to find clean, drinkable sources depleted. We may be drying up our planet and ourselves with our disingenuous means of waste disposal and our dangerous affinity for harmful chemicals.

Of course there may be ways to clean up our water supply and hey, the world’s seas and oceans are an abundant source, but I believe that nature will not be forgiving if we squander and abuse what we have now.¬†Surely there is a better way to use this life giving substance. Surely we could have a little more consideration for the importance and delicacy of this vital substance.

Water-less toilets? Organic dish washing liquid and other cleaning materials? Using grey water instead of pure and precious clean water? Paying attention to the amount of water one uses when washing dishes or showering and taking care not to be wasteful.

This is something that really affects the sustainability of our ever growing global society and simple changes we could easily make would transform our world.

Vote on the poll and let me know what you think the most effective solution to sustaining a clean water supply may be.

The Search For Quality

Are you in a good industry?

Well, do you mean do I work with people who do good things for their community or for the environment?¬†Or are you pondering whether are they smart and fun to work with? Perhaps you’are asking how profitable the industry is? You may even be wondering whether I work in a business which is in some way geared to improving society in some way.

Whatever you may be asking, I am confused. Your question was too vague. We as human beings have created language as a highly sophisticated means of communication. Words carry meaning and using words in whichever way we please gives us the ability to express ourselves in such a refined and specific way. This truly is a gift and is one of the reasons I started writing this blog. In an attempt to express myself as honestly as I can and to encourage others to express themselves honestly as well, leading to a more meaningful conversation about the world around us.

When we are lazy in the way in which we use language, we waste that gift. This reminds me of pop music. Pop music is all around us. We hear it in stores, on the radio, at parties, at events and on the television. Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Psy and many more. The melodies of these songs are all so similar and the lyrics are shallow, meaningless and repetitive. We are constantly subjected to this stream of low quality expression and as a result I think we accept that this is how we should be communicating and expressing ourselves.

I believe that with just a bit of effort, by really focusing on what we mean when we speak, being clear of our intention, we can articulate ourselves in such a way that we feel connected and we feel alive when we speak. The listener is also treated by the coherence of your words and that sound travels into them and activates that part of them that wants to understand deeper and will attempt to respond in an equally thoughtful and harmonious way. This is what we are capable of, not merely junk expression with a few severely overused words, phrases and even ideas. The times when we simply repeat stories of what we did on that vacation or what someone said to you earlier are disappointing and a waste of energy. Think about the cliches that run through endless streams of mainstream films, songs and music videos. All of these interactions train your brain to go sleep. There is nothing to figure out, nothing to wonder about, only new faces carrying out the same old plots.

Surely we can push ourselves to explore and to be on the lookout for quality and new ways of thinking, speaking and acting. This can apply to how you interact with people, how you express yourself and even how you live your own life, day to day. Do you say the same things to the same people in the same way every day? Or do you stay open as to what may happen if you do things a different way, choosing to see the potential of your words and actions to be more effective and more meaningful.

Don’t settle for the same old. Turn your back on low quality and embrace your ability to articulate yourself clearly.

Clarity in nature
Clarity In Nature

Health Tips For Busy People

Eat an apple. Go for a run. Drink more water.

We’ve heard it all before. But how many of us set out to make healthy choices only to forget why we made them and how to keep them up?

I find that while its relatively easy to know something intellectually, its far more challenging and rewarding to know it in your experience, to feel it and truly understand it. Knowing something in the mind is helpful only if it is a blueprint for the experience.

If something you have read or learned resonates with you, you should think about it, and try to incorporate even the smallest of changes into your life. I personally believe in a healthy diet and having as little an impact on the earth as possible, and here are some examples of how I think many of us may overlook some simple yet powerful tools to being a conscious consumer and achieving good health.

Why to eat fruits and vegetables

The colours in fruits and vegetables indicate the presence of phytochemicals and antioxidants which help to neutralise toxins which you take in daily. These toxins may be a result of exposure to pollution, cigarette smoke, chemicals in food or stress. Fruits and veggies are also rich in fibre which stimulate digestion and again, help you to get rid of those toxins. They are also rich in vitamins and minerals which are essential nutrients. Fruit is always delicious and vegetables can be too with a little bit of preparation.

It’s interesting to note that whole, unprocessed food like fruits, vegetables, milk, whole grains, seeds, nuts and beans are designed to release carbohydrates¬†slowly into the bloodstream leading to a balanced energy level throughout the day, allowing you to remain calm and be productive. Processed foods cause spikes in blood sugar levels which in turn makes your day a series of highs and lows. Whole foods¬†also have the nutritional edge on vitamin supplements or nutrition replacement drinks which don’t have the complementary fibre to aid in the absorption of the nutrients they contain.

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Pineapple and friends

Why to reduce intake of animal protein

Animal products usually contain large amounts of saturated fat which increases your risk of developing heart disease and increases your blood pressure. Most people consider animal products as their primary source of protein but most people also consume well in excess of their protein needs. This puts strain on the system as it has to spend energy getting rid of this excess or converting it into fat. Also, animal products may contain¬†hormones and antibiotics which don’t belong in your body. In addition, you’re not getting enough immune boosting antioxidants or fibre when you eat large amounts of meat and little fruit and veg. Personally I am not sure about being totally vegetarian or vegan but have been experimenting with these diets for about three years and have learned a lot so far.

Some popular arguments in favour of cutting down on the consumption of meat and dairy products and subbing in plant food sources are:

  • It’s cheaper to eat less meat and more veg.
  • You’ll lose weight.
  • Expand your knowledge and appreciation of super nutritious fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds.
  • Help to clean the environment – Large amounts of manure, methane, ammonia and nitrous oxide gases from livestock accelerate green house gas emissions and pollution.
  • Decrease hunger – A significant number of¬†crops grown on earth are fed to animals instead of being used for human consumption.
  • Decrease the inhumane treatment of animals.
  • Avoid disease and sickness due to excessive consumption of meat and dairy.
  • Protect fish populations from being over-fished.
Yellow Beans
Yellow Beans

Why to exercise

Exercise is a natural anti-depressant, it can be very social and fun or it can be a personal challenge. It can be done indoors, on the road, on a mountain or in the sea. Whatever sport or activity you enjoy, it can be relaxing or invigorating. Also, muscles burn calories and therefore no diet is complete without an exercise program. As you start breathing deeper and more rapidly, your lungs will be filled with fresh air and you’ll begin to sweat. These processes aid in the elimination of waste and energise your cells. Take a break from the computer and get outside!

Why to read the label 

When you eat a carrot, you’re eating a carrot. When you eat rice, you’re eating rice. When you eat a Nestle Smarties chocolate bar, you’re eating cane sugar, full cream milk powder, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, non-hydrogenated vegetable fat, wheat flour, emulsifiers, (E322, E476), whey powder, flavouring, starch, colourants (E171, E163, E150c, E162, E160a, E160c, E100, E141) and glazing agents (E901, E903). That is quite an extensive list for a piece of chocolate.

Many packaged foods have undergone numerous processes to get to and stay on the store shelf and many of the additives that¬†go these foods¬†are toxic to our bodies. The more synthetic or highly processed ingredients there are, the more stress on your system and the harder your body has to work to digest or excrete them. This inevitably makes us fat and sick. I think it is safe to say that most of us don’t like the idea of being fat or sick.

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                                   NikNaks (40g)                          Carrot

Dietary calories                     217                                25

Carbohydrates                       21g                                6g

Total fat                                   14g                                0.2g

Sodium                                    400mg                          42mg

Additives       E262, E270, E260, soya,                 N/A

                         E110, E124, E551, E341c,

                         E631, E627, E621.

JUNK food

The above mentioned processed foods most likely fall into the category of junk foods. Junk foods are exactly that; junk, a fake version of actual FOOD, food provided by the earth to give us nutrients, help us grow and embrace our lives. Junk foods are a concoction of ingredients designed to delight your taste buds and keep you coming back.

Food and nutrition should be synonymous, therefore junk food cannot be called food because it has very little or no nutrition. When eating junk food is more than occasional, you are going take in plenty of toxins and you will overeat to compensate for the lack of nutrition, thus sabotaging any weight or health goals you may have. I reckon that there comes a time when we have to slowly let of go of comforts like coke and marshmallows. The time is now!

Why to eat organic food

Organic simply means natural, without chemical or other intervention. If it isn’t organic it means it is food+something else. All we need in our diets is food, naturally provided by earth, not the ‘something else’. Organic food is nutrient dense and chemical free and its¬†production does not degrade the soil in which they are grown. I don’t know enough about GMOs to go into depth but it is something we should all be aware of. Read up on Monsanto for more info and check out a book called Genetic Roulette by Jeffrey Smith¬†if you’re interested in finding out more.¬†

An amazing book and movement known as The Earth Diet talks about many of the eating and health principles mentioned above in much more detail and with expertise. I highly recommend checking out the website and the book.

Chili
Chili and sons

Embrace healthy living

Eat more fruit and veg, cut down on¬†meat and dairy, read the label of processed foods, go organic where possible and get physically active. You’ll feel and look¬†good, save cash and minimise the damage done to the one planet we know is thriving with life. Let’s not leave a trail of chemicals and disease behind us. Instead, let’s embrace healthy living¬†and leave behind a¬†cleaner and more sustainable world.