Archive for September, 2006

It Ain’t Hippy Being Green

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

Quick rundown.. for people that don’t know me, I don’t often get visibly excited about things..but man I am really enjoying this Yoga Teacher Training and I think it shows!

Sure I have almost no social life now, I’m a bit overwhelmed, I feel a bit disconnected from my closest friends and fam, my hamstrings are still holding a bit of a grudge against me, I have no clue when I’ll actually be able to do my laundry ..but right now I am totally fine with that.  It also helps knowing that everyone is quite supportive of my decision….thanks all!

Ok..so outside of yogaland…

What images do you conjure up in your head when you hear these terms?

green, hemp, eco friendly, organic, environmentally friendly, sustainable

The sixties..free love and peace?  maybe.

Or perhaps much more likely?

Do you envision a guy with one or more of the following: a bit of a beard, some birkenstocks, a tie dye shirt, a gilligan island bucket hat, a marijuana leaf patch somewhere on a backpack, maybe playing hackey sac in the local park? 

I used to and I know for a fact that other people still do (I just asked a few).

Talk about stereotypes right?

Of course there is also the kind of green celebrity type. You know, the anti-fur, only  raw food diet, but I think that is a very small percentage and not the majority of what most of us would identify as typically green.

Note: I am not necessarily including or focusing on the organic food lifestyle/diet here even though that is a major part of “Green”.

Is your idea of a green activist someone that is chained to a tree out in B.C.? Or in a boat risking their lives to save the whales.. well yes, in fact for me, I think it still is.. and God or Gaia bless them..but my perspective on that is changing and including a bigger picture.

These wonderful movements, organizations and people alluded to above have raised the bar and set the example in terms of what our responsibilities should be towards people, society and the earth (although there have been the very few cases of radicalism, and use of violence that I myself, do not approve of).

Thanks to them the stage has been set for something new that is brewing, blossoming and this something is but isn’t GREEN.

So where am I going with this?.. I’m not sure.. but I think I’ve broken through an old mold, or mentality that has been holding me back from something…from some sort of growth and creativity.

It’s one thing for me to know and “understand” the obvious ie. green/sustainable is better for the planet versus to really feel it, have it elevate your consciousness to embrace a new way of thinking and use it to create a different “you”

In the most recent years I’ve felt that I’ve been constantly jumping in between two different worlds that didn’t really like each other. 

One world of the “green/earthy/grassroots/vegetarian

and the other of

“urban/big business/fashion/technology/gadgets
 
that being the case it seemed like I was always being viewed with an air of suspicion, distrust.  I was a spy for the “other” side.

So what happens when these two worlds collide and work together for a change?

I’m not sure.. but I now know….

It is possible to be spiritual and still make money. Designer organic cotton jeans can be the most stylish around. There is such a thing as ethical investing. That hemp shirt can be trendy.  Tie Dye can be passé. That soya skirt can be cutting edge and perhaps a little too revealing.  Hugging and saving a tree can be part of a Corporate Team Building exercise.  Corporations do offer volunteer grants to employees. Bartering and Energy exchange does work.

For me…that dream home is indeed one with style…bamboo flooring, kitchen cupboards made from Kirei Boards, recycled tire tiles, non toxic wallpaper, hemp zafus and zabutons around the floor level diningroom table made from reclaimed/recycled wood.. etc…

Now, I am by no means a perfect mr. green and super eco-man.  I’ve got a long way to go and a lot to learn.

But you know what? The more effort I go through in finding and trying just ONE environmentally friendly product (even if it is a bit more expensive) the better I feel.  The more I connect with this feeling the more I want to create, the more I want to contribute, the more confident I feel about my business, about myself.

The great thing is that in most cases I find the environmentally friendly option just as functional, just as comfortable. 

Note: one major exception, I have yet to come across an all natural deodorant that worked or that I liked. :(  (Suggestions?)

Just as stylish?..well maybe not just yet..but that’s the point. I still want to be fashionable.

The new Green culture doesn’t fit the common stereotype and doesn’t need to have the word “Green” in it. Green is just becoming the norm.

I love all my hemp shirts, I love my organic natural bodywash and my organic food delivery service. I feel better eating off of plates that were just washed with my all natural dish soap. I love yoga.  My sensitive skin loves my all natural shaving gel.  It makes me feel good.

AND

I like my expensive dress shirts, my lululemon yoga pants, my toe covering super comfy sneakers, my short cropped hair,  my stylish but yes leather shoes for the office (haven’t found an alternative that I like). I love that mid range priced bottle of red wine.  It makes me feel good.
 
I want the best from both worlds and I want the best for the world.

SO what is this? Again, I don’t know…but it seems like a new culture of creativity and responsible consumption/distribution is being born. We are no longer in the information age.

So whatever this thing is called be it “Conscious Capitalism?”, “GUPPYism?”, or whatever…. I want to be a part of its hopefully healthy evolution..

I think that two websites in particular are creating great forums and venues where this type of conscious community can come together and work towards a New Green Order are…

www.zaadz.com
www.gliving.tv

check them out.

peace

Revenge of MickeyDeees

Wednesday, September 13th, 2006

Can someone tell me what is wrong with this picture??

I came across this “toy” a few days back and had to take a picture of it. I wonder what the warning says? Maybe something along the lines of…

“Warning! Choking Hazard. The toys and its “real” counterparts may lead to serious health problems if swallowed”

I remember (as does my liver) back in the University days…. the cheeseburger eating competitions, going to Wendy’s 3 times a day, the KFC mega meal feasts while watching the NBA finals, …it all seemed so satisfying then. Now however, my body shudders at the thought.

I also wanted to include a follow up to the previous Revenge of the Fish Blog. It’s a very detailed guide to Sustainable and Ocean-Friendly Seafood.

State of the Catch A professional’s guide to Sustainable Seafood

This guide will assist with buying or promoting ocean-friendly fish  and shellfish while avoiding seafood species that are threatened, endangered or poorly managed.

A David Suzuki Foundation Publication

http://www.davidsuzuki.org/files/Oceans/StateoftheCatch.pdf

 

Revenge of the Fish

Monday, September 11th, 2006

Over the past few years my diet has changed dramatically. I guess I am becoming more and more aware of the fact that to a great extent, we truly are what we eat. 

My intensified yoga practice is going to demand a lot of my body and mind.  As such I hope to strengthen myself with a very healthy diet.  It wil be difficult, but I hope that with a bit of help, better time management and organizational skills my body will get the energy/fuel it deserves.

With that said, I came across this very powerful article that has opened my eyes to the dangers of something many of us consider a healthy part of our diets.

Revenge of the Fish                            
By Captain Paul Watson

It looks like the fish are turning the tables on humanity. Not by choice but because ecological realities have boomeranged back upon humankind.

Tins of tuna fish now contain warnings that the product should not be eaten by pregnant women or young children because of high levels of mercury and other toxic heavy metals.

The tuna companies and the government have decided that men and non-pregnant women are expendable.   Anything to protect the unborn fetus, of course. After we’re born, we’re  on our own to play toxic roulette.

Farm raised salmon contain antibiotics, growth hormones and even a dye to color the flesh a pleasing pink while still alive. Long living fish like halibut, cod, orange roughy and swordfish contain large amounts of heavy metals. When you can live over a century like a halibut, you accumulate decades of toxins. When you live high up on the food chain, you build up mercury and other heavy metals. 

Orcas in the Pacific Northwest are the most chemically contaminated animals in the world. Beluga whales in the St. Lawrence are treated as toxic waste when they die. 

We treat the oceans like sewers and then act surprised that the fish that is eaten is polluted. 

If you flushed your toilet through your refrigerator every morning,dousing all your food with fecal material and urine, would you then have that food for lunch or dinner? 

Humans can be willfully blind and deliberately ignorant when it comes to food. We would never eat a piece of fish sitting in a bowl of mercury, arsenic and PCB’s garnished with a lump of human fecal material on top. Yet when the lump of crap is brushed off and the toxins washed away, we serve that lump of sautéed toxic fish flesh up without a thought of what has penetrated the cells of the meat. 

The federal government of Canada has just allocated $190,000 to investigate the impact of traditional fish diets on West coast native communities. 

Canadian Inuit have exceptionally high levels of toxic contaminants in their bodies because of their traditional reliance on whales and seals.The study currently being undertaken on Canada’s West coast will reveal how high the level of contaminants are among Pacific Northwest First Nations. 

I predict that the study will reveal that over 100 West coast aboriginal communities are indeed facing a crisis of increasing levels of toxicity in the fish they eat. 

This crisis is not one created by the activities of most Native people but is the consequence of mining, logging, sewage, manufacturing and salmon farming. Clear-cutting, agricultural run-off and mine tailings are actionsthat invite ecological consequences. 

The chemical stew includes dioxins, furans, PCBs, flame retardants and DDT, mercury, arsenic and lead, all of which can accumulate in the bodies of humans and animals.

Quatsino First Nation Chief Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi, who was raised in the traditional style on the northwest tip of the island, said in a recent interview that that in a recent seven-day period, she ate salmon and crab on four of the days. Unfortunately for the Chief and her people this is no longer a healthy diet. 

On the other side of the world in the Faeroe Island’s about halfway between Iceland and Scotland, the level of mercury toxicity in the brains of Faeroese children is the highest in the world. Mercury literally eats away brain tissue. Faeroese health officials are now the world’s experts on Minamata disease which is the name given to mercury poisoning. 

I myself was raised in a fishing village on Canada’s East coast. The staples of my childhood were lobster, scallops, clams, cod, flounder, and smelts. We did not eat mussels because they were considered dirty. Today the restaurants in my hometown serve mussels because they are the most common shellfish that remains. They are even dirtier today than they were three decades ago. 

It is hard to have an appetite for clams when the mud they are being dug from reeks of raw purplish oozing sewage.

I’ve given up “seafood”.  I don’t have the ability of disassociation needed to separate the realities of over-exploitation and toxicity from the food that I eat.  And eating the flesh of mammals and birds instead still does not alleviate the pressure on marine wildlife. More than 50% of the biomass taken from the sea is converted to fish meal to be fed to domesticated land animals. We have literally converted herbaceous mammals like cows, sheep, pigs and sheep into the world’s foremost aquatic predators. 

The main staple of the puffin in the North Sea, the sand eel, has been so overly exploited by Danish fisheries for animal feed that puffins have starved by the thousands.

A great percentage of the fish caught off Chile goes to feed the ever-expanding populations of farmed salmon. It takes dozens of fish snatched from the sea to raise just one farmed raised Atlantic salmon. 

The number of domestic housecats throughout the world actually consume    
more tuna than all the world’s seals combined. 

This kind of biological upheaval in feeding patterns is having serious environmental consequences. And then to add insult to injury, humans point an accusatory finger at seals, dolphins, sea-birds and whales and whine that diminished fish populations have been caused by these aquatic predators. At the same time they suggest that humans are innocently just trying to feed their families and enjoy a prawn cocktail.

This disassociation has gone so far that recently a branch of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals attempted to host a live crab boil where they would have inflicted cruelty on some sea-animals to raise funds to prevent cruelty to cute and cuddly land animals.

We humans can justify anything and everything we do.

In the end, nature bats last, and the fish are having their revenge as the natural reaction to our ecologically criminal actions kicks into high gear. But telling people that smoking causes cancer does not deter some people from smoking and telling people that eating fish can kill you will most likely not deter some people from eating fish.                            
                                                                           
They prefer to continue playing toxic roulette.                           
                                                                           
              Captain Paul Watson is the Founder and President             
                 of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.                 
   The ships operated by the Sea Shepherd Society serve only vegan meals.  
              Paulwatson@earthlink.net    www.Seashepherd.org              
                                                                           
            This article may be freely distributed and published           

Back To Skool…Envision Your Future

Tuesday, September 5th, 2006

Again, long time no write. 

Busy with the summer and also experienced some set backs with my server.. but I’m back.

So the subway seemed to be way more packed than usual today. New clothes, backpacks, pencil cases and books.  A sea of uniformed kids in white shirts, grey slacks or kilts.

The summer, for many, is officially over.  That includes yours truly. Yup, I am going back to school.

My reading list consists of the Bhagavad-Gita, the Patanjali Yoga Sutras and some Anatomy books to name a few.

My uniform is tighter than usual breathable tees paired with comfy yoga pants and barefeet

My teachers have almost all lived in India at some point in time and I get to end every class lying down and meditating in corpse pose.

So while my school experience is somewhat unique, I guess the major difference between most students riding the subway today and myself is that I am actually looking forward to being back in school!

So if I can look within, keep my grades up, and my breathing steady.. I should be a bona fide certified Hatha and Ashatanga Yoga Instructor by April 2007.

It’s going to be a really busy year trying to balance the 9-5, triplegem, and school!

I’m envisioning and co creating a whole new future for myself :)

Which leads me to more exciting news…

I was very fortunate to come across Envision Magazine and its wonderful Canadian creators and editors Laurie Norton and Paul Jewitt.

This e-magazine is full of wonderful entries covering topics such as health/food, healing, spirituality, art and how we can go about envisioning and creating a better future. 

Not only have I read each word in the past 2 issues, I’ve also been fortunate enough to appear in the latest September issue!!

So please spread the word and download a copy. Enjoy the various articles, the beautiful photography and *ahem* the ads for great products (make sure you pay extra attention to page page 37!!)

http://www.envisionyourfuture.com/magazine.html  

(thanks for your support Laurie and Paul!)
 

I would also like to tie this back to school and envisioning your future theme to include details on an upcoming Reiki training retreat being conducted by a friend of mine Jai Jot Lafayette.

Victory of Light Centre Reiki Training Retreat

Arrival:  Friday September 15th   4:00-6:00 p.m.
Departure:  Sunday September 17th  after lunch
Price includes: Reiki course, accommodations, meals, materials, certificate
Investment:  $360
So if you are interesting in exploring and learning about Reiki please visit www.victoryoflight.ca

contact jai jot lafayette 416-935-1585 or jaijot@victoryoflight.ca

So have a great semester kids!!

It’s cool to be in skool! ;)