Life As a Wave Learns to Hashtag

I’m excited to announce that it’s now easier than ever to connect with Life As a Wave! Not only are we alive and well on Facebook, but I’ve added us on Pinterest and Instagram as well.

On Pinterest, look for us at Healing Life Insights where I’ll be sharing boards for our 5 best-loved areas of connection: Interconnection, Innerconnection, Ecoconnection, Animal Connection, and Divine Connection

Follow us on Instagram, too, at @lifeasawave. I can’t wait to meet you there and follow your adventures!

With all these great developments, let’s give a quick bow to all the “old fashioned” ways of staying in touch with each other, ourselves and larger world.

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 See you on your device!!

Cheers,

~~~S Wave~~~

Tuesday Travel: Elephant Nature Park

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.

Sometimes I forget that traveling is something people actually do. It seems so easy to get trapped in daily, weekly, monthly, yearly responsibilities that the idea of traveling somewhere for any reason other than responsibility seems absurd. But I’ve got a newly awakened travel itch going on right now. Maybe it’s springtime in the air, who knows.

For instance, there is a beautiful place I would love to visit someday. It is in the northern Thai province of Chiang Mai and it is called Elephant Nature Park. If any of you have seen, “How I Became An Elephant,” then you know about the Park and its impressive founder, Lek.

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The other day, as I was reading about the Park’s many volunteer opportunities, I noticed how many aspects of Connection are being fostered there. The Park not only provides a sanctuary for injured and disabled elephants (and now dogs as well) but they also prioritize helping the very people who caused the elephants’ traumas in the first place. The owners and trainers–called mahouts–“break” baby elephants in a very violent way in order to be able to use the elephants for raising money for the rest of their lives through practices like street performing, begging, and logging. None of these things are very happy or healthy for the elephants of course.

However, the founders of the Park are very unique in that while they want to save these elephants, they also recognize the centuries-long ties that the mahouts and the grander culture have formed with the elephants. In order to honor these ties and the financial need of the mahouts while also bringing reformation to elephant exploitation, the Park is working with the people of Thailand to educate and train mahouts about alternative, humane, conservation-driven ways of earning a living and retaining their elephants. It isn’t perfect, but it is a beautiful example of EcoConnection, InterConnection, and Animal Connection at work. Throw in the volunteers from all over the world who are transformed by the opportunity to give back and gain perspective through their time at the Park and we can add InnerConnection as well.

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This all made me wonder: How else can Connection in all its facets be explored through travel? I intend to find out, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, do you know how much 12000 Thai Bhat is in U.S. dollars? $376.02. That is how much it costs to volunteer at the Park for one week. Makes travel for connection’s sake not seem so absurd, huh?

With love,

~~~S Wave~~~

Kermit, Osho and Cherry Blossoms for a Birthday

images-2Kermit is so wise. While I was recently watching him portray Bob Cratchit in the holiday hit, “The Muppet Christmas Carol,” I was struck by one of his lines:

Life is made up of meetings and partings; that is the way of it.

Or at least that is the way it seems, isn’t it?

Today is my birthday. It has been raining in Los Angeles this week which has been beautiful and refreshing. And as I began to ruminate on the past year of life, I embraced this rain as a washing away of the mistakes and challenges and heartbreaks. What is left standing, strongly rooted, are the moments of love, learning, and redemption. Thank god for those things.

Yes, I think we meet and we part. We meet a new part of ourselves we have never understood or acknowledged; we must part with a familiar inner-me which no longer serve us. We meet a new person brought into our life for a purpose (aren’t they all?); we must part with someone else. We meet a long-sought dream as it begins finally to manifest in our lives; we must part with dreams that are no longer meant to be.

So much pull and push. Yin and Yang. Struggle and growth. Like chicks wrestling to get free from the only reality they have ever known, we keep working toward the next level of our own personal evolution. Whether we know it or not, that is what we are doing. Life is always conspiring to keep us going toward the best us we can be with the time we have. We just get caught up in old things that keep us from being, doing, and having what we need.

What worn-out shticks are blinding you to the blessings that life is conspiring to give you?

– Rob Breszny

What’s my point?

It’s my birthday and I’m not sure I have a specific point and I’m not sure where Kermit fits in, but it’s my birthday so I’m gonna let incoherence rule just this once.

I guess I think that the meetings and the partings, all of that which seems like the struggle, is for our good if we accept it as that. If we believe in interconnection at all the levels we have talked about here on Life As a Wave, then NOTHING is ever really parted with, NOTHING is ever really met except at our most simplistic level of awareness. It all exists at once and IS one. And that One is GOOD. Always good, always.

Yeah, I don’t really understand it all either. I haven’t “met” that level of my own understanding yet. 😉

But I can confidently say that I will let myself take comfort in my firm belief that all the aforementioned mistakes and challenges and heartbreaks of my last year of life were FOR GOOD. Maybe I don’t need to let this L.A. rain wash them away after all. Maybe I will choose a different metaphor….I will let this rain irrigate my life and all the GOOD SEEDS that were planted in my life with every mistake I admitted, every challenge I met, and every 1924833_10152849959783908_6217519216850494870_nheartbreak I endured.

And voila, now that I’ve let the good things be good, and added the “bad” things to the good as well, it’s all good!

It’s not always that easy of course…it’s just easy to write. And the idea that we are the only ones responsible for our experience of happiness or suffering can be a hard pill to swallow and can sure rile up some defensive parts in us. “Screw you, Osho! You don’t know what I’ve been through!”  Oh my.

But what is the alternative? To believe that we are at the whim of experiences and chance? To believe that if we are good enough we will be blessed more than someone else might be? As much as I hate to say it sometimes and with an emphasis on NOT using this to shame or embarrass anyone else, I do think that we create our experience. But the “choosing” to be happy can be one of the hardest assignments ever…could take a lifetime in fact.

With all that, I am choosing the irrigation, not the cleansing flood. I am waiting with expectation to see what blossoms in this next year of life. It’s going to be another zinger I’m sure!

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A HUGE thank you to all the Life As a Wave friends out there all over the world. I appreciate colliding with you in this weird cyber way that we do. It makes my life happier!

If you are not already following Life As a Wave on Facebook you can do so here: www.facebook.com/lifeasawave

Remember to keep seeing the good. No matter how impossible it might seem.

My Birthday Love to You!

~~~S Wave~~~

Dangling a Carrot With No Shame

Don’t forget to follow Life As a Wave on Facebook! You’ll get more frequent tidbits to lift you up, spur you on, make you laugh, and support you in your growth toward your best self.

For example, this just posted: the best vegan Thanksgiving EASY shopping guide I’ve EVER seen. Don’t miss it! Click on the like button to the left if you’re on your computer. From your phone, click the link above. We look forward to having you join us at the old Book.

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With love,
~~~S Wave~~~

Plan A Cruelty-Free Thanksgiving!

Time to start the Thanksgiving meal planning! Every year more and more people are incorporating vegetarian and vegan dishes into their banquets. And why not?! It’s the time to be thankful. Why not extend some gratitude toward the animals that suffer and give their lives to be our food every other day of the year.

If you are paying attention, you probably know that the farming methods in our country have gone off the rocker and that food production has become an industrial mechanism devoid of compassion, symbiosis, or CONNECTION. Turkey “farming” is no different. Please take the time to read through this article by Ashley Capps at Free From Harm and find out more about the experience of the farmed turkey:

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http://freefromharm.org/animal-cruelty-investigation/12-reasons-you-may-never-want-eat-turkey-again/

WARNING: Graphic content. The text offers plenty to inform and disturb you. The videos might be too much for some.

 

Now that you’ve read and watched that, are you ready to include some compassionate dishes into YOUR Thanksgiving meal? It’s really not that hard! For example, mash your potatoes with almond milk and Earth Balance “butter.” Ta-da! You have vegan mashed potatoes. Don’t over think it!

Here are some helpful recipes that came out this year:

1. From Forks Over Knives, here are 5 dishes that are sure to please! CLICK HERE.

2. Compassion Over Killing brings you enough recipes of classics and newcomers to fill your dinging room table and then some. CLICK HERE.

3. The Huffington Post offers up a list of TWENTY-NINE plant-based holiday dishes! Nom nom! CLICK HERE.

4. And last but not least, PETA serves up a Thanksgiving Survival Guide with plenty of favorites. CLICK HERE.

 

Let’s evolve…one holiday at a time if that’s what it takes. For you, for your family, for the animals and for goodness sake.

Happy vegan cooking!

 

A Chaser of Good News

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To counteract the distress many of us feel following the MFA investigation story and the Taiji Dolphin hunt updates, here is a bit of encouraging news. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust team and the Kenya Wildlife Service in the Tsavo National Park reported that they were able to save an African Bull elephant from poachers earlier this week in a pretty remarkable way.

Click HERE for the story. Here is the video:

Just when I feel hopeless with humanity, I am reminded that there are people who do things like this. Thank you to this medical and aerial team for respecting our historical, cultural and spiritual connection to animals.

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The Golden Rule(s)

Safeguarding the rights of others is the most noble and beautiful end of a human being.

– Khalil Gibran

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A friend recently posted a picture of this image as it was displayed at the Self-Realization Fellowship Glendale Temple. It is a reminder to me how easily principles can become possessions. Those beautiful, universal tenants which are a sign of our commonality and connection too often become tools used for division. Division will get us nowhere, agreed? Let’s find our common ground and celebrate the similarities of our faiths.