Blog: An Attitude of Gratitude: 3 Simple Steps to Take Today

 

 

My Native American elder friend, Grandmother Kitty, Nakota Sioux, who has passed, would often remind us to do everything with ‘an attitude of gratitude’. Being grateful for every aspect of our lives ‘in the moment’ shifts something deep within. Is it easy? Sometimes yes and sometimes not. We have to redirect that which bothers us for just a moment and when we do, our breath becomes our ally.

I woke up today realizing how the sun is traveling the morning sky differently from just one month ago. A kingfisher clicked across the backyard while other birds quietly sang their morning song. I usually begin my day with a warm glass of water with lemon juice. I felt grateful for the clean water I am able to easily drink. And that took one minute, maybe a few breaths of awareness.

Cultivating a mindful practice takes some diligent effort. Yet feeling grateful for something, our car, our job, our family, for being able to get up and walk where we choose and everything in between gives us an easy starting point. So here are 3 easy reminders:

  1. Choose to be grateful for this moment.
  2. Pick one area: grateful for the drink in hand, the food on your plate, your family. You get the picture.
  3. Focus on your breath, taking one inhalation breathing in gratitude for self and exhaling gratitude from your heart for others.

My podcast guest this week. Deb Sodergren, practitioner, teacher and author and owner of Up Vibrations, encourages her clients and all of us to breath deeply and

studioessen / Pixabay

be grateful. So stop right now and take a deep breath with me. Savor this one moment and breath again with the mindfulness of feeling grateful.

One of my favorite teachers, Caroline Myss, reminds us that every thought, word, and deed carries our name into infinity….pretty amazing!  Today I would like to end with gratitude. A reminder for me and a reminder for you….may the gratitude we feel for our precious life and all we share sail up to the moon and reach beyond the stars and bless all.

Remember, please comment and share. You are appreciated

Enjoy, Judith

Blog: Finding Our Destiny, Understanding Soul

We have many problems facing us today and our future. Many of us are tired, angry even with the lack of legislative action protecting water, food, air, and soil. It seems we take two steps forward and now we seem to be taking three steps back. Yet, much innovation abounds, often at the grassroots level. We are making a difference.  Yes, more needs to be done. Can we grow stronger more fulfilling communities without gangs, violence, with sustainable food, water, soil, and air resources?

My podcast series, Holistic Nature of Us seeks to be a voice, adding a contribution to our global community following my soul path. Yet how many of us are taught about Soul? We hear Soul referenced in specific work, as a common metaphor but what inner work are we doing to move from intense consumerism which is ego based to one that is ecologically based? Bill Plotkin defines soul as: “a thing’s ultimate place in the world”

My work with dreams, archetypes, the shadow from Carl Jung’s framework has helped me dig deeper into understanding my soul’s path and destiny in ways I could not have imagined. The podcast series was born, following my inner guidance and passion,  I enjoy interviewing, I do a lot of public speaking and so I combined two loves into one venue. I have to tell you I am enjoying the process immensely.

My podcast guest this week, Rebecca Wildbear, river and soul guide works with Bill Plotkin’s Soulcraft program. Bill founded Animas Valley Institute based in Colorado. He reminds me that the post-industrial world is collapsing. What can we contribute to the reinvention of a more healthy culture? He feels we are basically stuck in early adolescence. We need to help each other, get back to more soul-based, mystical work, honoring the natural world once. While this will take time, generations even, we, as part of this masterful world have our own unique contribution to offer. What’s yours? I offer this video to give you an overview of his timely perspective.

For me, this is exciting work. I have been a dreamer all my life and can only tell you how much I have grown doing the deep inner work. I have been privileged to partake in ceremony, deep rituals that have given profound meaning to what I do, who I strive to be, and what fosters my contributions.

What does soul mean to you? What inspired you about Bill’s message?

Have you discovered what makes you sing? get up and go to work from gratitude and joy? Dance with family and friends? What gift do you feel you are bringing to your community?  What do you think about Bill’s SoulCraft message?

I enjoy your comments, your stories. Please share. Thanks.

Enjoy. Judith

 

The North: Conscious Gardening

 

 

This blog continues to focus on soil and our relationship to the earth beneath our feet. I would like to share a quote from Michael J. Roads, from his book, Conscious Gardening, with you. A conscious relationship with the soil reaches us on a deeper level. Soil components react with our brain chemicals and create a feeling of peace. I hope that as your gardening begins you reflect a moment or two on the amazing world that exists in dirt. Soil, dirt, is the seat of all our fertility on the planet. Each of us can make a difference with the choices we make. Organic fertilizers, organic mulches, organic insect sprays fill the pages of our cyber worlds and are only a click way.

“Care for the soil with conscious attention. Be aware and conscious of the soil as a living medium. The soil is alive, and it is your responsibility as a conscious gardener to support and value that life. It is estimated that the weight of life in the soil far outweighs the weight of all humans, animals and creatures that live on the soil. That is a sobering thought. It is up to us, as conscious Beings, to support this natural balance, in however small a measure, by the care and intelligence of our actions in the garden.”

(P.80.) Conscious Gardening by Michael J.  Roads.

Can we walk more softly upon this earth, this soil, this dirt beneath our feet? I hope so. Remember we are caretakers here honoring our commitment to co-create with nature and all her aspects. Stewardship is a responsibility and a privilege.

Take a moment and walk barefoot if you can today. Touching the earth this way keeps us grounded and connected. Like the tiny Hummingbird, we can be conscious gardeners simply by  “doing the best we can.”

Happy Planting. Judith

 

 

 

Independence Day: Random Look at our Founders

 

Today I decided to take a random look at our founder’s diligence with gardens and homesteading. There is much to be gleaned from their wisdom and struggle to craft this country from a  set of ideals and passion  that we seem to have lost. I highly recommend Caroline Myss’s unique look at our Founders vision and I hope we can reclaim an inspired sense of our identity this independence holiday.

The founding Fathers and Mothers of our Country were amazing people, crafting a nation that stood for freedom. My sense of this country’s history , value and worth was renewed when I listened to Caroline Myss’,  The Sacred Contracts of America. I wondered about some of the founders garden passions and philosophy. The following are simply random facts I thought would be interesting this holiday.

Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, for example, gives one a sense of his passion for gardening. For example, he grew several varieties of peas and had contests:

“The English or Garden pea is usually described as Jefferson’s favorite vegetable because of the frequency of plantings in the Monticello kitchen garden, the amount of garden space devoted to it (three entire “squares”), and the character-revealing playfulness of his much-discussed pea contests: according to family accounts, every spring Jefferson competed with local gentleman gardeners to bring the first pea to the table; the winner then hosting a community dinner that included a feast on the winning dish of peas. Among the nineteen pea varieties Jefferson documented sowing were Early Frame, which was planted annually from 1809 until 1824; Hotspur, named for its quick, frantic growth; Marrowfat, a starchier and later variety; and Blue Prussian, which Jefferson obtained from Bernard McMahon. Twinleaf offers Prince Albert, indistinguishable from Early Frame and introduced into America in the 1840s.”

Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were scholars of classic thought, advocates of freedom and education.  Both were farmers and exchanged gardening information.

“The personal friendship of Madison and Jefferson was built on other interests as well. They shared a love of the Virginia countryside; the fertile lands of the Piedmont offered both men the opportunities to study and discuss practical and financial questions of gardening, agriculture and forestry. Both kept careful records of local temperatures and rainfall while they exchanged seeds and farming tips. “

Ben Franklin’s Poor Richards Almanac, featured much wisdom.  However Ben, the inventor, was always curious about nature and health. The following quote shows he too was an environmentalist, recognizing the interdependence of life and how limited we are at times in understanding the purpose of each species on this planet.

“In New England they once thought blackbirds useless, and mischievous to the corn. They made efforts to destroy them. The consequence was, the blackbirds were diminished; but a kind of worm, which devoured their grass, and which the blackbirds used to feed on, increased prodigiously; then, finding their loss in grass much greater than their saving in corn, they wished again for their blackbirds. “
— Benjamin Franklin
Letter to Richard Jackson, 5 May 1753. In Albert Henry Smyth, The Writings of Benjamin Franklin (1905), Vol. 3, 135.
Science quotes on:  |  Ecology (21)
Abigail Adams was left at home for many years to manage their farm and family while her husband traveled to England and France. She introduced a crude vaccination to her family to spare them from small pox. She was successful.  At home she was resourceful, resilient and outspoken. She is one of many women who contributed to the formation of our country through dedicated effort, self education and diligence.
These men and women were close to the land. They made detailed observations of soil, climate and problems. This connection seems an invaluable reminder today that they were more than just political visionaries but also stewards of the land.  Role models of long ago, can inspire us today.
Today I wonder what our founders would have to say? Any comments?
Enjoy.
Judith

Judith Dreyer, MS, BSN, Writer, Speaker, Holistic Health Consultant and Workshop Presenter, Master Gardener. 

Creating Solutions: 7 Ideas

 

 

 

I was browsing through Quora the other day and came upon a question that reflected a feeling I get from time to time. We have created so many problems on this earth it can be overwhelming and even depressing. It seems like big business wins. We lose homes, salaries and no matter what environmental efforts we make as individuals it feels as if we are peddling nowhere. Kind of like the mice we see spinning in endless circles. Reports flood us constantly about water pollution, storms, financial unsteadiness. I think we feel an underlying anxiety about our daily life. And even if we sign petitions, it seems practical, easy solutions take a back burner to legislative jams. The person asking the question was in environmental studies and felt such sadness over these problems.

bigstock-Basket-With-Irises-Garden-Flow-489206601.jpgWhat’s my answer? For me, I look to the innovative solutions happening around the world. I have written about one woman’s vision to save seeds in her country and the seed banks she has created : Vandana Shiva and her Navdanya project.

1. I look to the poets and the mystics who recognize that we must take responsibility for our actions. Remember Ghandi said we must be the change we wish to see in the world. We lost an incredible voice this week. Maya Angelou died but her message and her Spirit will inspire us through the coming times.

2. If I buy a product that contains GMO’s such as corn ( most of our corn is GMO either Bt or roundup ready seed) chips then I am not walking my talk. Every item I purchase today goes into a data base that determines the type and quality of food I buy ( as a consumer) and therefore contributes to perpetuating the growing and manufacture of those foods.

3. Popular Science magazine has great articles on the latest innovations: the possible and the futuristic.

4. Inc. magazine features innovative business ideas and the people who implement them. I remember one issue where a successful restaurant owner ( of one physical restaurant) decided to open a second one. He quickly learned he did not like being torn for a number of reasons. The message I got is that he did not let the seduction of more money interfere with a decision that was right for him.

5. I care about the children. I raised my sons on as much organic as I could afford and alternative medicine. The edible schoolyardfor example,  began as a way to get quality food into schools and teach the children about the food they were eating. It’s spreading. One teacher in Mississippi has literally changed the menu. Kids in Harlem hip hop to well being.

6. Bette Midler has picked up tons of garbage and replanted areas of NYC. Many folks who do not have her measure of success continue to help everyday in areas of Manhattan picking up garbage one piece at a time.

7. Politics: Marianne Williamson is changing the voice of politics. She speaks from wisdom, compassion and is a leader in the true sense of the word. I encourage you to listen to her message.

Today I was sent an article about folks building solar roadways.  They work long hours creating a template.  They use recycled materials and they have a great model and proto types in development. Their videos area amazing.

The antidote to being depressed about these problems is to take some kind of action: grow a vegetable; buy a rain barrel and conserve water, stop buying water in plastic, bring reusable bags to the supermarket, make mindful choices : how much packaging? can I reuse it? how long does it last in the landfill? can I give it away? do I really need it? adopt a pet and if you can’t, contribute towards the people who rehab one; sign a petition about whatever bothers you? We have so many opportunities before us and I like to remember that the time of adversity gets us off the couch and doing something. The road before us is lit with opportunity and choice. What will yours be today?

Share your ideas: what one thing have you undertaken recently to contribute to helping the planet in some way? Together we make a difference. In the meantime, worry, depression do not help create our future. Together lets hold a vision of pure water, clean air, healthy, vibrant organic food and more….a bountiful, beautiful planet.

Enjoy.

Judith

 

GMO”s: The Science and the Myths: Part 8: Let’s Shift

GMO”s: The Science and the Myths: Part 8: Let’s Shift

“Health per Acre” Vindana Shiva

“Full Earth, an abundant earth and a generous earth” Vindana Shiva, environmental feminist, in GMO-Summit

Vindana Shiva is one of my heroines. Courageous, intelligent, an “environmental feminist,” activist and defender, a female warrior against the propaganda machine of agrifarming run by corporations, is also tough and resilient like the seeds she is saving in her country and even around the world. Organic seeds can handle the storms and trials of farming, conserve water resources and build soil. She has had to be tough against ridicule and accusations. In standing up and creating solutions to devastating problems in her country she has made positive healthy changes. She has decreased farmer suicides in India by creating seed banks, saying no to  patented seed products and putting real seeds back in farmer’s hands.

She reminds me again that this planet is built on biodiversity. The more diverse our landscapes the healthier is the soil, the plants and ultimately the food we consume. In general, diversity creates harmony in ecosystems with natural checks and balances.

Seed freedom is related to food freedom. The right to know and chose is a part of a democracy. Uniformity and separation are the qualities of a dictatorship. She suggests that maybe the food/seed/pharmacy industries have created an “intellectual dictatorship” and are creating monopolies that hinder, obstruct our basic rights to grow and produce healthy food.

We’re catching on, we are mobilizing to have our food labeled, and we are signing petitions to stop the insane use of applying more and more pesticides as an answer to a problem created by pesticides in the first place. We are waking up to the connectedness of each other and all species and kingdoms that exist on this planet. We are diverse. We are connected.

So many of us believe that patenting seeds, designing food without seed so we cannot save that seed is wrong on so many levels.

Farmers noticed at the beginning of the introduction of Bt corn done in the early 1990’s that livestock and wild animals refused to eat that type of feed. Cancers, deformities, miscarriages increased and have been reported. I have reported in previous posts the work of current scientists who are proving that pesticide injected seed and application in fields is contributing to the increases in serious diseases on our planet.

Patenting our seeds creates uniformity, creates scarcity, and limits diversity and eventually freedom while meeting the needs of the corporate bottom line in the form of royalties.

In India, Vindana and her organizations have created farming diversity which has improved health and decreased the alarming rate of farmer suicides. Incomes have improved. She calls this “health per acre”.

I invite you to check out her programs, especially navdanya.org, vital and necessary not only for helping the nourishment of a country that admits to poverty but they are also guiding lights for the rest of us deeply concerned that Big Agra is allowed to get away with patenting our food, controlling the seed bank, increasing pesticide use all which contaminates our food supply and eventually deteriorates our health . I include all life in that statement; our livestock, insects etc, water and air etc.

Please join me in signing petitions that let our lawmakers know we’ve had enough and we have the right to know. There is a lot of fear out there about our ability to feed ourselves. Sometimes the stats are daunting. We live on a planet that can hold 2 billion of us but we are now a planet of 7 billion.

I think her reminder to shift our focus from “lack of” to “abundance” is worthy and necessary now: “Full Earth, an abundant earth and a generous earth”, Vindana Shiva, environmental feminist, in GMO-Summit.

Vindana Shiva inspires me to keep writing and getting the word out in any way I can. I sign petitions, contact my lawmakers, support organics too. She is an author of several books on this important issue.

navdanya.org: has a brochure on her practical application of fair trade, seed saving and education in her country. These are great models.

Enjoy. Judith

 

 

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