The human race for “better”

I was watching a documentary style program last night about the earth and our impact on it. Very specifically it was showing how, in a very short span of the last 100 years or so, we have changed it so drastically. How our societies and demands on the planet have altered it and impacted it.

What struck me so deeply was my reaction to the sheer vastness of peoples consumerism and what it has done to shape industry. When you see the size of the ships carrying thousands upon thousands of containers of commercial goods it’s mind boggling. The expansiveness of its reach is astounding. The volume of goods that are “needed” to satisfy the demands made me feel sick. Resources of time and energy and commodities that are finite…all used to create, produce and deliver things that just sink us all deeper into suffocating under what we don’t need.

The show also captured “vertical living” and how our population has expanded and the impact of that. 20,000 people living within a 0.5 square km area…packed in cage-like apartments, walkways and foot bridges from place to place…people living there can literally walk for days without actually touching “ground”. Interviews with people who are merely existing. Going from day to day “getting through” their lives. The sadness is profound.

Farming has gone from cultivating herds of animals and fields of plants to sustain us less nomadically to billion dollar industries that view living beings as nothing more than product and plants as something to be designed to produce as much as possible as fast as possible. Genetically altered cows that mature faster so they can be “harvested” sooner. Animals that are born and live and die without ever seeing the sky or breathing outside air. Crops that are so modified that they now need specific other modifications so they can even grow to maturity. Any awareness of the relationship between our needs for consumption and the other living things we impact seemingly severed somewhere along the way. It spins the mind to see how blind we choose to be about how what we are nourishing (and I use that word loosely here) our bodies with is like a slow poison to ourselves.

How have we, as a species, as a culture, gotten to this point that life is something to be endured? Yes, there has always been (and still is in many many aes of the world), famine/starvation and disease and wars and natural disasters to endure. Life is hard and cruel at times. So it is for animals as well. But the existence we have ourselves in now is man-made, created by our constant “need” for more and better and excess. Now starting to fill up the ocean with wind farms because we realize the planet is being depleted of other resources to provide us with the energy we now need to merely survive. Starting to realize that the waste we produce is burying us in evidence of our excesses.

We hear all the time that if we each just made better choices and more earth friendly options then, collectively, it will make a difference. It’s a tough statement to believe when you take a clear look at the state we’re in already. All from the forward movement and “progress” of the human race. Some progress.

Finally moving day, aka, day three of three, new this time around

I’m a person who holds firm to the belief to not drag out something that’s stressful or difficult to get through. Rip that bandage off quickly, power through and just get it done, it’s better to do it and get it done than to drag it out. Yet right now, I’m trying something different.

It’s moving weekend for me. I say weekend instead of day because I’m doing this move a little more flexible-like and spread out. Taking the time to take advantage of a two week overlap of places. Moving in the little stuff, the fragile and awkward things this past weekend.. the big, actual move in date being today. It’s a new experience for me, being able to embrace the fact that I can do it the easy way. It’s not in my nature but I’m trying to expand my horizons in a healthier way. So, instead of the usual “I am going to do everything in one day and exhaust myself and hurt myself”. this move is more drawn out, and a slower pace.

My usual way to do this would have been to still do it all in one day, even with the overlap. A truckload, followed by numerous car trips with the pictures, the plants, the awkward things that don’t do well in the big moving truck; the fridge and freezer stuff; the last minute bathroom and kitchen things; a race to get the truck rental back on time and having to leave all those “little things” to get that done; fast food that leaves you feeling even worse than hungry… a day that would begin before the sun came up and end falling into bed late that night, exhausted and sore with a mind full of things to do as soon as I jump out of bed the next morning.

When I contemplated using to my advantage the fact that I don’t “need” to be out in one day, my initial thoughts were “no way”. Today, in the wee hours of the final moving day for me, it strikes me though that this has been good. Yes, it’s drawn it out. However, as I look around my soon-to-be old place and it is all simple furniture and boxes with none of the “little things” that seem to be the cause of most move day exhaustion and just-want-to-be-done-but-we-aren’t-yet feelings. True, it’ll still be a long and hard day but it won’t be as stressful. Hell, I even have time to write a blog post!

Not bad, it only took me 20 plus years and more than a dozen moves of my own planning before I figured this out. Better late than never. 🙂

What’s IN the vessel

We spend a lot of time and energy and money on our bodies. In one way or another we “feed” our bodies so much.

Resources allocated to make it slimmer, bigger, stronger, faster, more flexible…better. Now don’t get me wrong, that’s all important. Our bodies are, after all, the vessels that we live our lives in and through. Having a healthy and capable body means we can do more, and enjoy doing what we do with less pains and aches and, hopefully, for as many years as we can squeeze out of this matter that makes up what carries us around. But, there’s always a “but”, if we look at that phrase that our bodies are just vessels, then that leaves the issue of what’s inside the vessel? Isn’t that what’s being protected and encased and isn’t what’s IN the vessel, very simply, MORE than what’s carrying it? Shouldn’t we be putting just as much, maybe even more resources to nourishing that?

I got to thinking about this personally lately as I’ve been musing decisions to make and paths to follow coming up. The truth struck me that some of the choices I keep putting off relate directly to the care and feeding of Me. Not my body, but Me. The Me that resides inside the vessel. Paths and actions that will nourish and grow and embrace the journey of Me are being sat on the shelf and given a pat on the proverbial head and told to be patient… while I put my resources to the gym, running, biking, trying to eat healthier, moisturizing…sigh. What gets done for the inside?

I thoroughly enjoy all of these things – or I wouldn’t do them. I love running and biking in the early morning. It does make me feel good on the inside as well as physically. But where is my Yoga practice that I had for years? The practice that filled my being with a feeling of unity between the inner and the outer… a practice that brought me a sense of being connected and a sense of knowing, deeply knowing, Me. It’s sitting on that shelf.
Sitting there along with time for reading books that make my mind tingle with new information and points of view… books that challenge and inspire and make me cry and laugh and look at the clock and see that I’ve lost 3 hours and my tea has gone cold. Reading for pleasure and for the pleasure of learning. Something else for Me that’s been sat back there.
My lust for travel, for exploring and seeing and experiencing. A drive to feed the hunger that sits and yearns to drink in someplace else…filling Me with sights and sounds and feels that expand who I am and what makes Me, Me.

Beyond goals and dreams, deeper than that. The fundamental neglect of cultivating growth. A sometimes, but not always, subtle ignoring of what is needed to tend to Me. Needs that just simply aren’t valued. That’s the base of it all.

It’s easier to take care of what we see and what can have “success” more easily measured. What we fail to recognize though is that eventually, the neglect and ignorance of feeding the spirit will become just as visible. What’s inside of this vessel will either shine brighter or grow dimmer as the years meander along. Which of those happens is up to how it’s tended to.

As I contemplate where to put my resources of time, energy and money this coming year, it’s clear to me now the changes that need to be made.
a soft blow on the embers and a smile to see a flame

2015 Won’t do’s

Day one, blank page

It’s a start of a new year and with that comes all of the resolutions and goal making. I’ve always hated resolutions. There’s nothing quite like making the same ones year after to year to make you feel great about yourself and your accomplishments, is there?

Yet, I have to admit that I’m a sucker for the build up and the sense of renewal and the chance for a fresh start and the inspiration that comes along with it all. Add to that the fact that I am an unapologetic lover of lists and charts and spreadsheets… I have the perfect storm for New Years goal setting…sigh. So, in the interest of feeding that need *and* feeling like I’m not just sitting down to make another list of things that I’m “absolutelygoingtodobutwillonlykeepupforatbesttwoweeks”; here is my anti-list of resolutions.

Things that I won’t do in 2015

I will stop reinforcing beliefs of myself that are wrong. plain and simple. using the words that give more power to internal beliefs that need to stop, needs to stop. “I can’t” are two words that carry a lot of weight and I have let them creep into my internal vocabulary far too often.
I will stop putting my desires on the back burner. the years tick by and with every one that does, the time left to achieve what I want to grows shorter. It’s time to remember to put what I want to do back on my priority list.
I will stop forgetting that I am the crafter of my life. I very often tend to let it slip that every choice I make is a choice. If I am tired of something or fed up, I need to remember that I’m the one I take my problems to. And I’m the one to solve them.
I will stop accepting “good enough”. I deserve outstanding and amazing and wonderful in ALL aspects of my life. I only have this one (so far as I know), it’s time to stop accepting less than spectacular.
I will stop doing things that make me feel less than I know I am. I am my own worst saboteur. Time to stop that.

I have a list of the usual things that I want to achieve, and those are important as well, but not as much as these are to me.

Interestingly enough, NOT doing just a few things, will make my ability to DO the things I want to, that much more achievable. Trying to tick off the resolution list of things that I want to achieve won’t be possible if I keep doing these behaviours. Plain and simple. Somethings have to be not done to clear space to get other things done.

Blank page not so blank. Intentions set and feet are on the ground running.