INSPIRED LIFESTYLES NEWS February, 2014 Issue #225

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Promotion of the Month
  • Healthy Quote for This Issue
  • The Top 10 Reasons for Creating Daily Rituals
  • Can You Be Happy with Only One?
  • Will Greenwashing Ever Subside?
  • The Prank Than Changed the Prankster
  • A Touch of Humor: Very Funny Very Short Stories

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INSPIRING QUOTE FOR THIS ISSUE:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead


THE TOP 10 REASONS FOR CREATING DAILY RITUALS

By Virginia L. Walz

This subject has been present in my life for some time. I am in the process of creating, supporting and acknowledging the value of daily rituals in my life to maintain balance, connectedness and consciousness. What are your daily rituals?

  1. Mainstream your life. Essential aspects of your daily life can be consciously created as ritual experiences… actions done on a daily basis to reinforce the unity of your will, spirit, and daily needs. They ultimately become acts of habit that mainstream your daily life.
  2. Discover your priorities. Once you’ve streamlined your daily actions, your priorities become clear.
  3. Face your fears. The quietness of rituals provides the space for your fears to surface so that you can face and dismantle them.
  4. Acknowledge your strengths. Daily rituals are personal acknowledgements and are a gift to the self. They recognize inner strengths and act them out on a daily basis.
  5. Recognize your common humanity. Daily rituals remind us of not only our individual spirit, but of our connectedness to all human spirit.
  6. Discover what calms your soul. Rituals transcend through consciousness to sub- and even un-consciousness and allow you to connect to your deepest inner self.
  7. Identify with your spirituality. The rituals which you choose allow you to connect with your personal meaningfulness.
  8. Reinforce your creative consciousness. Each deliberate movement connects you with your creative self.
  9. Develop your instincts. Your consciousness enables you to connect with your natural instincts.
  10. Create incredible well-being. I connect my physical, mental and spiritual selves through rituals of well-being: dietary choices, movement, meditation. Each of us chooses our path(s) for well-being. Daily rituals support our path(s).

CAN YOU BE HAPPY WITH ONLY ONE?

By Helen and Peter Evans

There was a love advice column in the paper suggesting that we should never expect to be pleased with “just one other” all our life. We’ve all heard the phrase, “one man or one woman could never make ME happy”.

In our conscious relationship class one of the main points we stress is that our small self, our ego self, is never happy all the time with another, and guess what, not even with ourselves. It’s that voice that says, “have that piece of cake, it’ll make you happy” and ten minutes later that same voice says, “I wouldn’t have done that if I were you”.

Would you base a relationship or the choice of your life partner on that voice? Will you even take that small, ever-changing part of yourself as the authority on anything in life? When we grow and expand into our consciousness we can view our narcissus as a child we enjoy having around, but we certainly don’t indulge it’s every whim, nor do we make decisions based on the whim of a child.

When we look for happiness “out there”, from another, we’re never satisfied. Their acceptance can’t make us whole, only we can accept ourselves. When we stop asking them to give us what we can’t give ourselves, such as happiness, then we can be happy with one other. We can want to be with them instead of fearing them through our neediness to “make us happy”.

We don’t have to trade them in for a “new model”, every time our small ego is dissatisfied by the reflection it sees in its partner.

Yes, you can “be happy with only one other”, if you’re satisfied with yourself. Then your ego is no longer looking for it’s identity in the passing parade of reflections from “someone better”. For when happiness is within us first, then we can see it in another, if joy is within us first, then we can see it within another. Yes, when “other” is not a threat to your imagined self because you’re living from a Self-consciousness; then you can be happy with one other.

Let’s stop following the old advice that keeps us looking for the “perfect” partner, that keeps us on the hamster-wheel of love, going round and round and round the same old dissatisfactions.

What are you asking another to give you that you haven’t already given yourself?

Author Profile: The above is from Helen and Peter Evans book “Freedom through Contemplation” [ISBN 0-595-15161-2]. Helen and Peter are teachers of on-line classes and workshops are also founders of OneCenter, a non-profit dedicated to developing human potential.


WILL GREENWASHING EVER SUBSIDE?

By Tom Closser

All of us are getting bombarded with thousands of messages every day that are doctored and spun by media experts. Greenwashing, like “whitewash” and “green sheen”, are all forms of marketing spin in which positive language or claims are deceptively used to promote the perception that an organization’s products, aims and/or policies are environmentally friendly. Evidence that an organization is greenwashing often comes from pointing out the spending differences: significantly more money or time is spent advertising being “green” (that is, operating with consideration for the environment), than is actually spent on environmentally sound practices.

Greenwashing efforts range from changing the name or label of a product to evoke the natural environment on a product that contains harmful chemicals to multimillion dollar advertising campaigns portraying highly polluting energy companies as eco-friendly. The rise of green and sustainable business practices has sent a ripple, maybe even a storm, heck more like a tsunami through the natural food industry. While many organizations have made an earnest attempt to become greener, it’s also no surprise that many others have attempted to use marketing to disguise feeble efforts and mislead consumers about what they’re actually doing.

While greenwashing is not new, its use has increased over recent years to meet consumer demand for environmentally friendly goods and services. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides voluntary guidelines for environmental marketing claims. However, the green guidelines were not created to be used as an enforceable guideline but instead were intended to be followed voluntarily. The problem is compounded for especially in the lifestyle category there are no guidelines. Manufacturers can still claim their candles are “all natural” or “100% vegan” when they contain hexane derived soy wax. In an effort to appear to use pure essential oils, manufacturers claim “signature perfume blends with essential and natural oils” when the fragrance is actually 99% synthetic. Candlemakers are not required to list all the petrochemical additives used in candle making or in their proprietary fragrances. Terms such as “Soy Candles” or “Beeswax” can be on a product label when in fact the contents are a blend of paraffin and other waxes.

Here are a few examples of myths used in greenwashing:

  • One type of wax burns longer, better, cleaner, and is drip less.
  • Beeswax candles are the purest. (They are full of pesticide residue.)
  • Only beeswax gives off healthful negative ions and cleans your air.
  • Commercially farmed, pesticide and heavy equipment intensive, annual soy crops are sustainable, eco-friendly, renewable, and carbon neutral.
  • Candles are soot free.
  • Pure essentials oils and synthetic fragrances are the same.
  • Any soy wax is non-GMO.
  • Beeswax and soy wax are healthier alternatives.
  • Palm plantations and not soy farms are destroying rainforests.
  • Palm production is killing off orangutans and other wildlife.

However, It’s Becoming Tougher to Hoodwink the Public.

Even if the rise of greenwashing, paired with ineffective regulation, contributes to our skepticism of all green claims, and perhaps diminishes consumer’s confidence in our power to motivate companies toward greener solutions for manufacturing processes and business operations, don’t give up.

A number of organizations, including Organic Consumers Association, TerraChoice Group, Green Peace, Cornucopia and CorpWatch have begun calling out companies for perceived exaggerations or outright fabrications. Thankfully, the press is increasingly picking up on these stories.

Check out: Greenwashing Index — www.greenwashingindex.com — attempts to keep advertisers honest; California’s right to know grocers highlights natural food stores that are organic and cites non-GMO advocates trying to make a difference; and UNFI’s Honest Green news is useful, because it rates fifteen-thousand products by what sells the best.

The Truth is Out There.

Truth in marketing is essential for sustainable commerce. However, because there are no US requirements for fragranced health and beauty products to source sustainably, the industry is notorious for false marketing claims and egregious greenwashing. You just have to ask enough questions. Honest manufactures always appreciate your questions about any global issues, so don’t hesitate to query the owner, president, or CEO. Your intelligent questions and sustainable choices will ultimately determine the health of your friends, family and our planet.

Here are a few tips on what to look for so you don’t get greenwashed (or if you’re a company, avoid involvement in greenwashing):

The Truth: If you see a green advertisement, take a look at the company as a whole. Can you easily find more information about their sustainable business practices on their website? Do they have a comprehensive environmental story? Is there believable information to substantiate the green claims you saw in the ad? If not, buyer beware.

You Have the Power to Change the World

As you and other consumers become more savvy and the downside for greenwashing becomes more apparent, smart companies will increasingly discover that it’s better to approach environmental issues honestly and make genuine efforts to improve rather than to try to fool us folks. What you spend your hard-earned money on determines what manufacturers produce and from whom they source their raw materials.

Who Are Your Purchases Supporting?

If you demand to know who and where the raw materials come from that a manufacturer uses in their products, you can decide whether you want to support global greed driven agro-conglomerates such as Monsanto or fair trade, organic, and Rainforest Alliance certified growers.

[Editor’s Note: This article comes from Aloha Bay, my main supplier of Himalayan Salt lamps, candleholders, body scrubs, bath salts and table salt. This is an example of the type of companies whose products I represent, honest, fair and high quality.


THE PRANK THAN CHANGED THE PRANKSTER

(Author Unknown)

Bill was a big, awkward, homely guy. He dressed oddly with ill-fitting clothes. There were several fellows who thought it smart to make fun of him.

One day one fellow noticed a small tear in his shirt and gave it a small rip. Another worker in the factory added his bit, and before long there was quite a ribbon dangling. Bill went on about his work and as he passed too near a moving belt the shirt strip was sucked into the machinery.

In a split second the sleeve and Bill was in trouble. Alarms were sounded, switches pulled, and trouble was avoided. The foreman, however, aware of what had happened, summoned the men and related this story:

“In my younger days I worked in a small factory. That’s when I first met Mike. He was big and witty, was always making jokes, and playing little pranks. Mike was a leader. Then there was Pete who was a follower. He always went along with Mike. And then there was a man named Jake.

“He was a little older than the rest of us – quiet, harmless, apart. He always ate his lunch by himself. He wore the same patched trousers for three years straight. He never entered into the games we played at noon, wrestling, horse shoes and such. He appeared to be indifferent, always sitting quietly alone under a tree instead. Jake was a natural target for practical jokes.

“He might find a live frog in his dinner pail, or a dead rodent in his hat. But he always took it in good humor. Then one Fall when things were slack, Mike took off a few days to go hunting. Pete went along, of course. And they promised all of us that if they got anything they’d bring us each a piece.

“So we were all quite excited when we heard that they’d returned and that Mike had got a really big buck. We heard more than that. Pete could never keep anything to himself, and it leaked out that they had real whopper to play on Jake.

“Mike had cut up the critter and had made a nice package for each of us. And, for the laugh, for the joke of it, he had saved the ears, the tail, the hoofs – it would be so funny when Jake unwrapped them.

“Mike distributed his packages during the noon hour. We each got a nice piece, opened it, and thanked him. The biggest package of all he saved until last. It was for Jake. Pete was all but bursting; and Mike looked very smug. Like always, Jake sat by himself; he was on the far side of the big table. Mike pushed the package over to where he could reach it; and we all sat and waited.

“Jake was never one to say much. You might never know that he was around for all the talking he did. In three years he’d never said a hundred words. So we were all quite astounded with what happened next. He took the package firmly in his grip and rose slowly to his feet. He smiled broadly at Mike – and it was then we noticed that his eyes were glistening. His adam’s apple bobbed up and down for a moment and then he got control of himself.

“‘I knew you wouldn’t forget me,’ he said gratefully; ‘I knew you’d come through! You’re big and you’re playful, but I knew all along that you had a good heart.’

“He swallowed again, and then took in the rest of us. ‘I know I haven’t seemed too chummy with you men; but I never meant to be rude. You see, I’ve got nine kids at home – and a wife that’s been an invalid – bedfast now for four years. She ain’t ever going to get any better. And sometimes when she’s real bad off, I have to sit up all night to take care of her. And most of my wages have had to go for doctors and medicine. The kids do all they can to help out, but at times it’s been hard to keep food in their mouths. Maybe you think it’s funny that I go off by myself to eat my dinner. Well, I guess I’ve been a little ashamed, because I don’t always have anything between my sandwich. Or like today – maybe there’s only a raw turnip in my pail. But I want you to know that this meat really means a lot to me. Maybe more than to anybody here because tonight my kids . . .’ he wiped the tears from his eyes with the back of his hand, ‘. . . tonight my kids will have a really . . .’

“He tugged at the string. We’d been watching Jake so intently we hadn’t paid much notice to Mike and Pete. But we all noticed them now, because they both dove at once to try to grab the package. But they were too late. Jake had broken the wrapper and was already surveying his present. He examined each hoof, each ear, and then he held up the tail. It wiggled limply. It should have been so funny, but nobody laughed – nobody at all.

“But the hardest part was when Jake looked up and said ‘Thank you’ while trying to smile. Silently one by one each man moved forward carrying his package and quietly placed it in front of Jake for they had suddenly realized how little their own gift had really meant to them . . . until now . . .

This was where the foreman left the story and the men. He didn’t need to say anymore; but it was gratifying to notice that as each man ate his lunch that day, they shared part with Bill and one fellow even took off his shirt and gave it to him.”


A TOUCH OF HUMOR: VERY FUNNY VERY SHORT STORIES

The Child and His Mother:

A curious child asked his mother: “Mommy, why are some of your hairs turning grey?”

The mother tried to use this occasion to teach her child: “It is because of you, dear. Every bad action of yours will turn one of my hairs grey!”

The child replied innocently: “Now I know why grandmother has only grey hairs on her head.”

———

Captain:

A navy captain is alerted by his First Mate that there is a pirate ship coming towards his position. He asks a sailor to get him his red shirt.

The captain was asked, “Why do you need a red shirt?”

The Captain replies, “So that when I bleed, you guys don’t notice and aren’s discouraged.” They fight off the pirates eventually.

The very next day, the Captain is alerted that 50 pirate ships are coming towards their boat. He yells, “Get me my brown pants!”

————-

Mouthology:

A Professor was traveling by boat. On his way he asked the sailor,
“Do you know Biology, Ecology, Zoology, Geography, physiology?

The sailor said no to all his questions.

Professor: What the hell do you know on earth. You will die of illiteracy.

After a while the boat started sinking. The Sailor asked the Professor, do you know swiminology and escapology from sharkology?

The professor said no.

Sailor: “Well, sharkology and crocodilogy will eat your assology, headology and you will dieology because of your mouthology.


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