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Thursday, 16 October 2014

Thursday, 28 August 2014

GLOBAL MINDFULNESS - Or Why I Won't Be Participating In The Ice Bucket Challenge

Recently, I re-shared this photo on Facebook:


I received some backlash from friends about it, emphasizing the need for ALS to receive charitable funding and that I shouldn’t be promoting one charity as more deserving of funding than another.

I can see how this could be the perception given from this photo, but in fact it is a statement of statistics – open to interpretation.

First, I would like to state that ALS is a shockingly horrifying disease that strips the sufferer of all dignity and causes extreme hardship on the families of those affected by it.  It DOES deserve funding and a cure!  Never have I begrudged the donations being made to research into the disease.  For more information on ALS or to make a donation, go to https://www.als.ca/.

The reason I posted this image was because it provided an opportunity to raise global mindfulness. 

When is the last time you flushed your toilet and thought “I just defecated into 3.5 gallons of fresh, clean drinking water”?  If the answer isn’t “all the time”, then that is why I posted this photo.  The argument can be made that because of our plumbing, we can’t choose to exclusively have dirty water go to our toilets, but much like my reasons for posting the image, that is not the point.  The point is awareness.  We should be conscious of the impact our actions have on the planet.  We need to think about what we are doing as we do it!

Saturday, 23 August 2014

WRITING SNIPPET - The Sun In The Trees

As I sit here, I see the sunlight on the trees and I'm taken away.  The green is so vibrant that it reminds me of the moments before dusk in some tropical country, where I have been awestruck by the vivacity of the greens against a bright blue sky.  The sun highlighting rich tones that lie invisible at the height of day.  I'm in cottage country in northern Canada in August, but I could very well be sitting in my lovely hostel in the Ecuadorian rainforest.  It is usually a scent that will take me travelling to another time or place, but tonight, tonight, it is the way the sun hit the trees.  It was there for the briefest of moments and then as the world turns, it is gone and I am back to where I am.  Time travel complete.  But I was there...

Saturday, 9 August 2014

HOW I LEARNED TO LOVE FROM MY CAT

As I lay here tonight
I think of you
Of how you sometimes leap into my arms
Despite yourself
How you stay there and purr
Half purr
Despite yourself
Because I’m holding you
Because I love you
Because despite yourself
You love me
You love being close to me
Even when you don’t like being held
You like that I’m near
Despite not liking what I do
You like that I want to hold you
Even if you don’t want to be held
You let me hold you
You complain but never bite
Because
Despite yourself
You’d rather be in my arms than anywhere else.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

LEVEL UP #1 - Master of the Wash Cloth

Recently, I have been traveling and staying with friends who are gracious enough to provide me with towels and wash cloths for bathing.  I had brought my own towel and loofa for when I was staying in hostels, but have opted to take advantage of the kindness of my friends and use that things they offered.  This posed a problem.  People have moved from bar soap and wash cloths (the bathing system I used while growing up) to body wash and loofas.  The problem occurs when you try and merge the systems.  How do you get a good lather using a wash cloth with body wash?

This  has plagued me on previous journeys, yet they have always been brief enough that repeated applications of the body wash to the wash cloth has sufficed for overall washing coverage.  It was only today that I mastered the art of proper wash cloth/body wash lather!

For this, I have been awarded a Life Skill Level Up!  When using bar soap, you usually envelope the soap in the wash cloth until you work up sufficient lather, then release the soap to whence it came.  Body wash is trickier.  To reach full lather potential, I applied an ample amount of body wash to the cloth (approximately the size of a Canadian Loonie – the size of a quarter just won’t cut it) and then went about the same process of rubbing the wash cloth until it was frothing with lather.  This was enough to remain sudsy for the entirety of the shower (well, at least the part where I was washing myself).

I now feel like I am the Master of the Bath!


(PS – Random Observation: Mint Body Wash is really popular in the UK!)

Saturday, 10 May 2014

A Cat Story

I woke up and asked my cat today, “Why do you keep living?”

She said, “For the sun.”

I woke up and asked my cat today, “Why do you keep living?”

She said, “For the full moon.”

I woke up and asked my cat today, “Why do you keep living?”

She said, “For the mouse I chase.”

I did this for many more days.

And she said, “For the birds out the window.  For naps in the afternoon.  For a scratch behind the ear.  For a lap to call my own.  For snowfalls, for rain.  For the afternoon breeze and smells in the evening.  For the sound of the world and silence at night.  For the bug on the radiator and water in the sink.  For the leaves in the fall and flowers in the spring.”

“But those are such simple things.” I replied.

“It is the simple things that make life worth living.” She answered.  “If I live only for big moments, I miss the beauty of the small ones.  Happiness is found in the little things, like sitting in the sun or grass beneath your feet.  We must remember, we are small creatures.”

“You are very wise, my cat.” I said.

“I am very simple.” She replied.  “Will you play with me?”

“There are many things to do today.”

“Will you play with me?” She asked again.

“I haven’t much time.”

“Will you play with me?” she said for a third time.

“Yes, I will play.”

And we did.  

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

RANTS & RAMBLES - Misrepresentation of What This Guy Did...

To understand what I'm ranting about, you will have to read/view this pictorial article on EyeOpening.info (it's really short):

Now for my rant...

My problem is with how this post is named (because it is simply not true!): “This Guy Started with Nothing.  What he had just 6 weeks later is amazing.”
A.      A couple lines into the article it says: “With a Thai friend’s guidance, his son-in-law’s masonry skills and a lot of work, the team made progress quickly.”
a.       What part of “a Thai friend’s guidance” and “his son-in-law’s masonry skills” are nothing?  Clearly, that is something.  Those are both two very important things to have to build a wonderful house from scratch.
B.      The SECOND line of the article is: “When Steve Areen thought about building his dream home, all he had to do was find $9,000 and a place to build.”
a.       He had to find $9,000! NINE THOUSAND DOLLARS! – That is ALSO not nothing.  That is $9,000.  It’s not like he built it out of found materials.  Sure, the next time I have $9,000, I will move down to Thailand to build my wonder hut.  Which brings me to my next point…
C.      What is he doing in Thailand anyway?  I’m sure he is employed in some way – otherwise, where did he get $9,000 to build his house.  Also, he had to GET to Thailand – that must have cost money as well, unless he fashioned a boat out of sticks and navigated down, or walked (or, if he is a native of Thailand – he lives in Thailand!  Materials & labour are sooooo much cheaper down there.  The rest of us who live in places with things called Labour Laws may have a harder time finding land and money to do the same.)
D.      I still think the house he built is super cool and deserves the attention, but SERIOUSLY, the guy did not start with NOTHING!  He knew some people and had some contacts and made it happen for cheap.  Still pretty cool, but not something the bum on the street corner can go do.
E.       Also, who designed the thing?  The article doesn’t mention that or how much that cost… unless the dude is an architect (in which case, excellent education is also not nothing – that is a very valuable something).

In short – this guy did not start out with NOTHING.  It should be named "Look at the super cool house that this well-educated resourceful man with lots of cool contacts used his savings to build" (but I realize that may not be as catchy).  Let's actually evaluate what it means to have nothing and start putting the proper value on the things we do have.