Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Think Different

"Think Different." Beautiful video is worth the viewing.

I think of courage when I think "different"...and beauty, and reverence, and the joy of exploration.

Who does not know that we are all unique - we are each different - yet trying...wanting...desiring to fit in and find our place.

For some of us, the "fitting" can signify ease...for others, it is the area of greatest struggle. Humans do all sorts of convoluted things for the sake of being accepted...

Over time the balance that is struck between the individual and the tribe offers a path to success in the journey.

May you find yours.

"Here’s to the crazy ones.

The misfits.

The rebels.

The troublemakers.

The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently.

They’re not fond of rules.

And they have no respect for the status quo.

You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them....
Because they change things.

They push the human race forward.

And while some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.

Because the people who are crazy enough to think
that they can change the world… are the ones who do."

The ‘Think Different’ campaign featured many people whose lives and thoughts are inspiring – Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Mohammed Ali and Richard Branson.

Originally written for Apple Computer.

Repeated today for you.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Food and The Power of Choice

I'm usually attracted to writing about optimistic issues - at least from the perspective of empowerment.

Change what you can and have the wisdom to know what you can't.

So on the subject of nourishment - the basic foundation of fueling ourselves with energy-producing food that will add to our lifeforce - we have all sorts of empowering choices.

Don't we??

The documentary movie Food Inc takes a deep look at the subject of choice and offers us lots to think about - much of it clearly upsetting. We are in the dark kids, when it comes to food processing, contents, management and control. If you think you know what's going on, or that it doesn't affect you and your family, then watch this movie and see if you really know.

The picture is grim, and the results of our current actions (or non-actions) are felt by all. Yet I do believe we CAN change the way our systems work - and that the way we are likely to do that is to be effective at the individual level.

If you wish to exercise your own power of choice at this most basic level of your own health and wellbeing, then -

First: Knowledge is power. Get educated. Go see the movie and/or go to the website to get filled in.

Second: Don't give up or give in! It is likely that you will see, as I did, that individual action counts. Vote with your choices. Vote with your habits. Vote at the checkout.

Third: Recognize what the best result for all concerned actually means.

"What Would a Mystic Do?" Why act for the benefit of the greatest number while inflicting the least harm, of course!

If you browse the website you will see highlights on the following issues:

"In Food, Inc. we meet Barbara Kowalcyk, whose 2 year old son, Kevin, died from E.coli poisoning after eating a hamburger. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 76 million Americans are sickened, 325,000 are hospitalized and 5,000 die each year from foodborne illnesses. Although Kevin's law is not pending in Congress right now, there are other important national food safety legislation pending now for you to support.Some of our most important staple foods have been fundamentally altered, and genetically engineered meat and produce have already invaded our grocery stores and our kitchen pantries."

"Cancers, autism and neurological disorders are associated with the use of pesticides especially amongst farm workers and their communities. Learn about what pesticides are in your food and their effects."

"Approximately 10 billion animals (chickens, cattle, hogs, ducks, turkeys, lambs and sheep) are raised and killed in the US annually. Nearly all of them are raised on factory farms under inhumane conditions. These industrial farms are also dangerous for their workers, pollute surrounding communities, are unsafe to our food system and contribute significantly to global warming."

"High calorie, sugar laden processed foods coupled with our sedentary lifestyles is growing our waistlines and contributing to serious health issues like diabetes, heart ailments and cancers. One-third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese."

So what can you do??

* Know what's happening.

* Care enough for yourself and others to choose wisely.

* Act.

See for yourself. The movie Food Inc is on DVD now.



Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Dare I Be Me?

Photo credit: Bob Alba.

I went to see the movie Julie and Julia the other night with three women friends. The four of us are an interesting blend of ages (early 20s through late 50's) with lots of differing life experience in between, but one thing is for sure - we ALL love good food. The smell - the feel - the taste...unanimous yum!

Julie and Julia is the 2009 comedy film, written and directed by Nora Ephron, which depicts events in the life of chef Julia Child, contrasting her life with Julie Powell, a woman who aspires to cook all 524 recipes from Child's cookbook.

I'm no movie critic, so I'll leave that alone, but the lessons I learned from Julia Child herself struck my heart a long time ago.

I remember seeing her on TV when I was very young. Her authority - her humor - her voice!...and I thought she was certifiably weird - but attractive in that genuine weirdness sort of way. Little did I know she was becoming the beloved icon she is.

The memory that lingers for me now is the feeling that she was different, and my emotional response to it.

As a youth I was uncomfortable watching her in some undefinable way, but attracted nonetheless. Attracted to what exactly? Not the ducks and chickens she would parade around the kitchen. It was something about HER, and I know now that when we witness what is truly authentic in the human spirit, and it is displayed so openly, it causes both attraction and a sort of fear.

We are "different" from others - somehow "outside" the tribe.

If it scares us too much, we will disparage it.

Look closely at this. If it scares us too much, we will disparage it.

Could it be then... if others have seen "it" in us... we have been disparaged?

A quandary exists, and it's a biggie.

Less than three years ago, when my husband told my Dad he wanted to marry me, my father stood up to shake his hand and said "she's a little bit loud you know."

A disclaimer! I come with a family disclaimer!

ahhhh...let me understand here that I've been "a little bit" of a discomfort for my parents all along. Explains a lot.

Now I watch my beloved friends and respected colleagues - my students and my neighbors, and I've got to tell you - hardly anyone is really really happy. What's up with that?

Perhaps it's the quandary.

We regularly visit the places in ourselves that say "I can" or "I can't" DO that, or BE that, and I guarantee you some part of you measures it against that trickle of fear that accesses the response of the tribe, and this will include your own inner judge that you too might be seen as weird in that uncomfortable sort of way.

Somebody won't like this - and you might suffer.

And yet...is it not this exact difference that we must be and do and have in order to demonstrate the abundance of joy in a life well lived?

OK - so I'll put my own disclaimer here that I'm not talking to psycho-killers or mean streaked folk, but to YOU - the well-meaning person who is intending to live their truth:

If you are living from your heart, and you have the Golden Rule as your guide, GO for it!



Stop waiting for permission!

And you don't need more therapy. You need more authenticity.

Have faith!

Go find your inner Julia and do what needs to be done.

Happiness will be waiting for you on the other side.

"Bon appetit!"

Till next time