Earthing ~ False Bearers and Gifts

Earthing ~ A Journey 5

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My Personal Journey to connect with Earth (continued)

Christmas was around the corner and my boss came up with a ludicrous plan. I was to contact all our own suppliers, but she also gave me a list of outside businesses, to ask for promotional items. I was required to market the idea as beneficial to each business as a method to gain University clientele.’ I was horrified. In reality, she wanted the items for staff prizes at our departmental Christmas party. It was her effort to be seen as the ‘benevolent boss!’

She rejected my draft letter to our contacts as it did indicate the true delivery point for the sponsored items. She made me rewrite it (suggesting it was a promotion to the whole University community) and sign it. I was totally ashamed of the idea and outraged at the fact it would bear my name (her insistence as I was the Marketing Manager). It went out to 120 different businesses, some as unrelated to University interests as beauty salons, gift shops and clothing shops. This wasn’t marketing, it was grand deception.

Some of our supply company reps called me to find out what was going on. I’d known them for years. They also knew how demanding the new boss was. I had heard her scream at a few of them behind her closed door. I apologised saying it was out of my hands. They all sent in promotional items like clocks, umbrellas, golf shirts, calculators, and other quality goods. My office began to look like a collection depot for a charity. I wished it were for a good cause but it wasn’t. I was sick about it. This went against every fibre of my being. Some of the other Managers also knew this was wrong too, but kept quiet, except for one, who thought it was my idea and shouted at me for my unprofessional conduct, which she thought was disgusting. She later apologised when she realised I had been ordered to send the letters out.

The night of the party loomed and my boss asked me why I hadn’t indicated my attendance. She looked Angry! “I have an exam next morning… I have to study, ” I answered (it was true). She looked disgusted. “You should have allegiance to your work here,” she countered. I pointed out that it was a voluntary social event, and that not everybody would go (but actually they did because they were scared of her wrath) . At the party, the staff had to play games to win the prizes… There were just so many items, most staff ended up with at least two of the sponsored gifts. None of the staff knew the true source of their prize (as promised in the letter) and thought that it was the best Christmas party ever. My boss was not going to forgive me for not attending. I was the only person missing.

I needed an antidote to the shenanigans.

Our Receptionist had gone to the party (because she didn’t want to incur the boss’s displeasure), but confided to me that she was pretty disgusted at the money spent on it. I asked her what she was doing for the holidays? “I’m cooking a Turkey, to take down to ‘The Food Kitchen,” she answered.

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The Receptionist’s daughter worked for Amnesty International and also volunteered at the drop in centre for the homeless, known as ‘The Food Kitchen.’ All the volunteers were taking a cooked Turkey into the centre for A Christmas Eve Dinner Party for the street people. As her daughter was busy trying to get her baby well again, she was taking on the cooking of both Turkeys. “I can buy and cook one too, ” I volunteered.

Later, I also spoke with a friend working at a local’ Food Bank. ‘ She told me about a young Mum who had lost her job and just simply couldn’ t afford Christmas for her four-year-old.

So, on Christmas Eve, I gave my friend a food basket full of food, chocolates, a cooked ham, and a Christmas pudding, all topped by a giant Teddy and a few stocking stuffers to take to the young Mom. I never met her… I told my friend to keep it anonymous.

Then after cooking my stuffed Turkey, I bundled it into my car, still hot, and drove to the homeless drop in centre. My partner didn’t want any part of proceedings, describing it as a ‘complete waste of money.’ Bah Humbug.

There must have been 20 volunteers and at least 120 homeless people. I helped in the kitchen serving, and then we volunteers all sat down amongst the homeless to eat. It was a lovely party. One of the volunteers came in dressed as Santa and handed out homemade Christmas presents… Hats, scarves, gloves and items for survival on the street. Alcohol wasn’t allowed (for obvious reasons), but there was much laughter and lots of hugs. It was such a contrast to the work celebrations and actually my nicest Christmas Eve ever.

My own Christmas was pretty soulless but as always, I cooked a full Turkey dinner and all the trimmings. My ‘me’ time came later after I had finished washing-up. I would always ask my partner if he wanted to join me on an evening walk in the snow. The answer was always ‘no,’ and that year was no different.

The crisp air made the snow crunch underfoot. Tiny ice crystals were drifting in the air, looking like glitter in the glow radiated by street lamps. I could see my breath and felt it freeze on my scarf wrapped over my mouth. Christmas music wafted from houses lit up with neon pink, blue and green fairy lights. Occasionally a door would open and jolly voices would say hello or goodbye. But the magical bit always came with the stars. I could see Orion, the Plough, and the Pleiades group twinkling brightly above me as I moved to the darkened street end overlooking fields. There the universe spoke to me and always filled me with the best energy ever. It was and is the gift that keeps on giving. I felt I was changing and all that I once thought important, was just false and meaningless. It was as though a veil had been lifted and I was truly seeing the real face of real life for the first time. I was tempted to take off my boots and ground my feet, but it was just too darn cold! I counted my blessings and revelled in my great new experiences. The night felt magical.

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(To be continued…)

Ecological Future

Our Earth is losing more resources than can possibly be replaced. We consume far too much and it is unsustainable. Governments worldwide will do nothing about this because they are only interested in tackling economic growth, taxation and export income, to pay down equally unsustainable national debts.
 
So, it is really up to every individual person to consciously decide to reduce consumption and find alternative solutions to promote health, welfare and happiness.

Earth Resource Analysis posted by http://www.Macat.com

Lots of course, can be done to live sustainably

Posted by Rob Greenfield Sustainable Living
Rob’s website is a really good resource for growing your own food and reusing materials in creative ways.

http://robgreenfield.tv/sustainableliving/
That’s easy enough for us who are working and living in a wealthy society. 
But what about those people who live in poor communities in other parts of the world?

Jon Jandai’s story is inspiring

Posted by TED talks
Pun, Pun Farm, Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand. Jon Jandai: ‘Life is easy. Why do we make it so hard?’
You can find out more about volunteering at Pun Pun Farm here: 

http://punpunthailand.org/

And there are opportunities to help other sustainable world projects. Here is just one of many links

http://wwoof.net/

Organic farming and sustainability programs

But what of our individual consumption…where do we start at home and can we make a difference with our purchases? The answer to that is YES, we can make a huge difference if we know what is wasteful!

The Carbon Footprint of Consumption TED talk 2016
So buying local, unprocessed food from sustainable sources is going to make a huge difference. And so is reducing material goods that we don’t really need.
Making your own toiletries, household cleansers, and food will keep you healthy, reduce chemicals, packaging and waste and lower your carbon footprint exponentially.

These following websites offer lots of advice, ideas and help with awareness of do’s and don’ts and how to source goods sustainably.
http://www.onegreenplanet.org
http://www.naturalhealth365.com
https://www.esa.org/esa/education-and-diversity/what-does-ecology-have-to-do-with-me
https://www.treehugger.com
http://m.huffpost.com/us/news/environmental-issues
http://greenlivingideas.com

And here are some household Tips on how to improve your daily ecological living from Clare Delaney @ecoexpert1 (on Twitter)
http://www.ecofriendlylink.com/blog/

Here is one of Clare’s many examples of how you can replace household purchases with inexpensive eco friendly alternatives.

Posted by Clare Delaney

Let’s start joining the conversations, listen to the thoughts and ideas of other change-makers, and get in touch with what really makes us happy, healthy and free of pollution, waste and greed.

Posted by Anne Brown
http://www.cellonline.org

We need to start thinking about ecological futures for every country around the globe, so if you want to study ecological living for sharing with others, find out more about this promising venture and earn university credits towards your degree through informative worldwide study programs
http://www.cellonline.org
You may have exciting ideas for new ways to cut our ecological footprint.

James Greyson of the United Kingdom, has been developing a circular economy plan for many years. He can be found on TED talks and on his own website where he shares his ideas about creating new ways to leverage global change, far beyond what we all can do individually.

http://blindspot.org.uk/about

@climate_rescue (Twitter)

@blindspotting (Twitter)

James Greyson won the 2016 MIT Climate CoLab contest with this invention of a wood drying chimney to cut carbon emissions produced by wood fueled cook stoves (much of the third world still cooks and heats homes using woodstoves).

James has also begun a new  ‘Virtual Think Tank’ to tackle Climate Change and Global sustainability on Patreon, if you think you may like to take part brainstorming in this new community offering your research and ideas, you can find out more at 

https://www.patreon.com/blindspotting
 

If you are a Twitter user, try a search using ‘#EarthOptimism’ as a starting point to find out what else you can do to encourage, and engage with others in the discussion on an an ecological future!

What Have We Done & What Will We Do?

What have we Done?

There is an animation called ‘Man’ by Steve Cutts, wwwhttps://youtu.be/jid2A7ldc_8.stevecutts.com that accurately sums up Man’s impact on planet Earth. This three and a half minute video is possibly the most damning portrayal of our abuse of the planet, its animals and its environment, for our own selfish gain. See for yourself:

What Will We Do?

It is up to man, (humans), to make reparations for the mess we have made of the Earth. Our planet cannot take any more of our unconscious polluting, killing, abusing or selfish lifestyle that we have adopted through all human history. We have become parasites, and when parasites are too numerous, they kill the host, which in this case, is the supportive, biodiverse ecosystem that gives us life. Earth.

The Gaia foundation commissioned Steve Cutts to produce this short animation as a wake up call to all of us on our constant demand for material goods. The lesson is clear…it might already be too late if we do not wake up! We must reduce our demands and our waste. See for yourself:

And, one of the biggest problems we have, is the sheer numbers of humans on the planet. If we are going to survive as a species and still continue to grow our numbers we really need to look at our eating habits, because our food choices are actually making the planet evolve to one that will no longer support life as we know it! It is sick, the temperature rising, and we are not doing anything to make it well again.

See for yourself: A Video posted by Socioecological Researcher on Youtube.

Bee All: End All

When Anna Breytenbach (Interspecies Communicator) asked a Sunflower buzzing with bees collecting nectar and pollen, ‘how it felt?’ the answer she received was, ‘The bees kiss me with their awareness!’

Many varieties of bees have existed on the earth since the first flowering plants evolved millenia before humans ever walked. They are some of the most social animals that exist but they are dying in numbers that are truly horrifying.

Martha Spivak, giving her Ted Talk in September 2013, shares her concerns:

The bee is not just an insect ‘without feeling or emotion’ as some of my friends have often stated to me. They do not sting for ‘no reason’ and they are not without compassion or intelligence. It is well documented by commercial bee keepers that bees communicate the location of nectar sources on a high level, they groom each other, cool and heat the hive together, and they sacrifice themselves for the good of the hive community.

I have often picked up drowning bees and let them walk on my hands drying themselves until they are fit to fly. I have never been stung by any of them.

Peter Nelson explains our relationship with bees in his video ‘Dance of the Bees.’

Recently, a cold and sudden winter wind blew foraging honey bees into the shade on my patio. The cold quickly disabled them (bees will die very quickly if their body temperature drops below 13.5 C) and they crawled helplessly, getting slower and more crippled by the extreme change. Some had already folded themselves up, trying to conserve what little heat they had but quickly becoming dormant bodies. I gathered dozens in my hands. Their stingers came out, but as soon as they felt the heat in my hands, and my damp breath trying to warm them, they stopped and became relaxed, their abdomens pulsing. I transferred them gently to a clear box, placing them on paper towel and put them beside a fan heater. After a few seconds, the strongest came to life, and immediately crawled over to those that had not. They put their mouth parts into the pollen sacks of the invalids and took much of the pollen, but they didn’t steal it. Instead they gave it back to the invalid by mouth and stimulated them with their antennae. There was much scurrying as all the bees revived each other and took part in this strange ritual… a caring rescue of saving their sisters and themselves. A short time later, after they were warmed and buzzing… I released them back into the sunshine so they could return to the hive.

We should learn that what we do to bees, we do to ourselves. The pesticides and herbicides are slowly killing them (something that will affect our health too). Commercial bee keepers take as much as 90% of the honey and pollen from hives, replacing it with high fructose corn syrup (a cheap and poor nutritional alternative) for the bees to use to feed themselves and developing larvae. The result is weakened bees that have no defenses against Varroa mites and bee viruses.

Without bees, a whole link in the interdepedent food chain disappears and we will have lost a very special animal. But worse, we will lose vast crops essential to feeding ourselves. It is time to be kind to the bees! Our future depends on it!

Finally, Michael Sutton sums up some interesting facts about Honey Bee Life in this amazing short video: