11 images that capture the incredible vastness of space

I couldn’t stop looking at these!

I think this might give me the hope I was asking for after this morning’s post about the California drought.

Sometimes we just need a little perspective, am I right?

With galactic love,
~~~S Wave~~~

FIGHT BOREDOM, SPREAD HAPPINESS

1) The sun is incomprehensibly huge

sun

We all know the sun is big. But this image, part of a great series on the size of astronomical objects by John Brady, underscores that it’s vast on a scale that’s simply impossible for our puny human minds to understand. We think of the Earth as a big place: flying around the equator on a 747 at top speed would take about 42 hours. Flying around the sun at the same speed, by contrast, would take about six months.

2) Even the moon is really far away

solar system

Compared with the overall vastness of space, the moon is very close to us: it’s just 238,900 or so miles away. But compared with our daily experience, absolutely everything in space is absurdly far apart. In the gap between us and the moon, you could neatly slide in all seven of the other planets —…

View original post 805 more words

Weekend To-Do (Good) List

Is it Friday already??

Here you go everyone, your to-do list with a twist. The weekend is more than mowing the lawn, taking the kids to soccer, catching up on your stored shows, etc etc. Let’s not just do our weekend like we normally do. Let’s inject a good dose of GOOD into the world. I’m making it easier for you by giving you these few leads. I’m sure some of you are doing good in ways that I can’t even imagine. Please…inspire us! Share your good actions so we can join you and get something done!

This week, I’m offering one item for each of three areas of connection that I write about : animal connection, inner connection, and ecoconnection. Enjoy!

~~~S Wave~~~

************************************

1. Animal Connection: The Pata Zoo According to Mindful Wanderer

There is a couple I’ve been following lately. No, I don’t mean I’m stalking them around Los Angeles. I’m following them on Facebook and Instagram of course. Their names are Giselle and Cody and seem like pretty neat people to know. Their blog is called Mindful Wanderlust. They write about vegan lifestyle, animal rights, ecotravel, LGBT issues, tattoos and many other things. Just look at how fun they are:

Giselle and Cody of Mindful Wanderlust

Giselle and Cody of Mindful Wanderlust

Anyway, I digress.

Recently, Giselle and Cody were traveling in Bangkok,Thailand where they encountered the Pata Zoo. They visited this place to find out how animals were being treated at a small zoo in the Pata department store, a “decrepit building in the middle of a local area of busy Bangkok.”

Inside they documented images of isolated, neglected, understimulated, and abused (yes, restriction of any semblance of natural behaviors/stimulation is abuse) animals, including an isolated gorilla, an orangutan and her infant, and a penguin who lives all by himself and hides in his shelter almost all day. The pictures they shared on their blog are tragic (though, not graphic for any of you who worry about that.)  Click on this picture of Bua Noi to view the full story:

Bua Noi, the lone gorilla at the Pata Zoo. Photo Credit: Mindful Wanderlust

Bua Noi, the lone gorilla at the Pata Zoo.
Photo Credit: Mindful Wanderlust

Giselle and Cody were enraged and heartbroken for these animals which they rightly called “prisoners.” Giselle and Cody are used to putting their sense of injustice to work and that is what they have done.

They have started a petition on Change.org which you can find by

CLICKING HERE.

It will literally take you no more than 2 minutes to fill in your name and information, copy the URL and paste it to your Facebook. Can you do that? How about for Humbolt?:

Humbolt the Penguin Photo Credit: Mindful Wanderlust

Humbolt the Penguin
Photo Credit: Mindful Wanderlust

How about for this baby who has never touched grass and deserves to know more than concrete and metal?:

Baby Orangutan captive and Pata Zoo Photo Credit: Mindful Wanderlust

Baby Orangutan captive and Pata Zoo
Photo Credit: Mindful Wanderlust

Thank you for caring. From me, from Giselle and Cody, and most of all from the animals. May our travels be of compassion and kindness.

2. Inner Connection: Mindful 

Speaking of the word “mindful,” I recently started a morning meditation practice with more diligence than usual. A friend and I are doing it together and–not surprisingly!–I am already feeling the benefits throughout my day. Along with silent meditation, we are using the great book, Living In the Moment by Anna Black to learn some ways of carrying mindfulness into our everyday lives.

51CDXhmFh+L._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_

I wanted to share one of the exercises in the book that I have found particularly enlightening. Black calls it, Who Are You Showering With?

“When you shower in the morning, take a moment or two to notice who has ‘joined’ you… Who are you thinking about–perhaps it is your boss, or colleagues at work, maybe it is someone you are going to see later that day, or perhaps it is someone you talked to yesterday. It might be your partner, your children, your parents, your next-door neighbor.. How many people are in the shower with you?

“Then, begin focusing on the physical sensations of showering… the water running off your skin… the temperature of the water… the soap lathering up between your fingers. Notice when you experience a sensation of delight or when there might be a feeling of pushing away or dislike. There is not a right way to shower and whether we are invigorating ourselves first thing in the morning, simply shampooing our hair, or cooling off after a hot day, all we are doing is paying attention to the act of taking a shower.

“Tip: Identifying who turns up in the shower regularly may give you some helpful feedback on where you preoccupations are at any one time.” 

Try this out this weekend. It’s amazing where our mind goes and who it goes with during such a short, sublime time of the day. Can you stay in the moment? Can you be with your own sensations of pleasure. I promise…you’ll like this one.

3. EcoConnection: Earthing

A few years ago,my father brought my attention to a book and video about “Earthing.” He sends me the most interesting things to read about, or to watch on youtube and documentaries. This was one.

Earthing is based on the idea that connecting to the earth physically, say by walking barefoot or lying down on the lawn, actually transmits the electrons from the Earth into our bodies. That in turn, is supposed to be beneficial for our physical and emotional wellbeing.

Because it is hard for some people to actually step (bare)foot on the ground (maybe because of urban dwelling or extreme temperatures for example), people have designed a device that you can attach to your feet while you sleep. It is “grounded” in the Earth somehow and is supposed to be able to transmit those healing electrons into your body.

I don’t know about the device. I’ve never tried it…yet. (I’m up for anything!) But I definitely believe in the healing power of nature.

So this weekend, let’s all agree that we’re going to get our green on!

Photo Credit: Life As a Wave

Photo Credit: Life As a Wave

One way or another, let’s get into nature. Yes, hug a tree. Yes, smell the roses. Yes, lie in the grass. Sit and be still…listen to the sounds of nature and notice the feel of the air on your skin. Notice a bug and watch it as it lives in its moment. Give thanks for the astounding biological system all around you of which you are just a small participant. Let yourself revel in that smallness.

Then tell me if you don’t feel just a little bit better!

*******************************

Now you can connect with Life As a Wave on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. We’ll see you there!

Find Out His Source of Optimism

Image

James Lovelock says that you should “enjoy life while you can. Because if you’re lucky it’s going to be 20 years before it hits the fan.”

What do you think about his predictions in this recent article?

One thing I know for sure is that his “source of optimism” resonates with me:

“There have been seven disasters since humans came on the earth, very similar to the one that’s just about to happen. I think these events keep separating the wheat from the chaff. And eventually we’ll have a human on the planet that really does understand it and can live with it properly. That’s the source of my optimism.”

I find his sentiment to be similar to yesterday’s Life As a Wave post. I have great hope in our evolution as a species, even while our current situation looks so grim

While we are busy evolving, let’s also take his warning to heart as another reason to enjoy life, as he suggests.

Proclamation of Gratitude

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ~ Melody Beattie

It has been two years since I began this blog with some dear friends and family. There has been so much learning and exploration in that time. Wondering about connection and coming to understand it more from all sorts of different perspectives. Approaching also an understanding of my own dreams and their possible grander purposes.

A friend recently reminded me that we sometimes teach what it is that we most need to learn and although I don’t know if I have taught anyone much of anything here, I know that I have learned. And I know that it has been a wonderful experience to share that road with many wonderful people.

In this month the holidays are approaching with all of the excitement, nostalgia and odd melancholy that can come with that visitation. A milestone birthday also approaches for me in December causing me to reflect a great deal, with both yearning for the many unrealized hopes of these past years and with affection and not a little awe for those many that are realized and thriving. Finally, it seems social media is saturated right now with sentiments of gratitude in honor of Thanksgiving.

So in light of these events aligning as they are, it seems like a good time to share in the spirit of gratitude…not only to be grateful for this month of thanks, but to remind my own heart of the great unearned blessings and the ever-renewed potential that we are constantly experiencing in life if we will just hold on and believe in them.  And so…..

*******************

Thank you for this life.

Thank you for the beauty I contribute to this life.

Thank you for the divinity that fills us and inspires the beauty I contribute to this life.

Thank you for the people who have guided me toward the divinity that fills us and inspires the beauty I contribute to this life.

Thank you for the love I have learned from the people who have guided me toward the divinity that fills us and inspires the beauty that I contribute to this life.

Thank you for the love I have learned from the people who have guided me toward the divinity that fills us, connects us and inspires the beauty that I contribute to this life.

Thank you for the love I have learned from the people who have guided me toward the divinity that fills us, connects us and inspires the beauty that I contribute to this life as I grow in strength through every experience of both joy and pain.

Thank you for the love I have learned from the people who have guided me toward the divinity that fills us, connects us and inspires the beauty that I contribute to this life on our precious Earth as I grow in strength through every experience of both joy and pain. 

*******************

Much love to you all. Happy holiday season and may you be abundantly blessed through acceptance of the blessings that are at all times at your fingertips.

~~~S Wave~~~

Connected By Breath

~~~A Wave~~~ is a special contributor to this blog. Follow his Category, “A Wave: Connected,”  to follow his thoughts and discoveries of our connection to each other, to the world around us, and to the mysteries beyond. …

“Breath is the bridge that connects life to consciousness, which unites our body to our thoughts” — — Thich Nhat Hanh

The breath, taken from our planet’s atmosphere, is free for all of creation. No being can hoard air and try to get more than their share and neither can we buy, sell or trade the breath. If I hold my breath because I want to “own” the air.., I will die, but if I let this breath go…, it comes back to me in abundance without any conditions.

This fluid motion of breathing, however voluntary or involuntary on our part, allows precious oxygen to travel thru the trachea into the bronchi, which connect to the lungs. The lungs then divide into even smaller bronchi, called bronchioles. These bronchioles branch off into even smaller passageways called alveoli and each lung houses between 300-400 million alveoli. This vital, life giving oxygen, finally immerses itself into our blood stream through the tiniest blood vessels known as capillaries. The journey of the breath completes its purpose, allowing our one of our body’s most essential process to occur and breathing is the root process that all of the other essential processes of the body depend on.

This complicated process happens every second, of everyday, for every living thing on this planet. Breath is a symbiotic interconnection that we all share in every moment with our planet. It is so seamless and essential but yet, it is something that goes by overlooked and unnoticed each day. The relationship between all living things and our atmosphere/planet has been a central factor in the evolution of our physical, mental, and spiritual awareness. This exchange between plant and animal has occurred in every moment of everyday for hundreds of thousands of years before we ever came to exist. Its almost as if “we” are but just one singular expression of this unseen force, without which we would not exist.

My point is to emphasize that this life is a process of seamless, symbiotic interconnections, which humans take for granted each day. This breath travels to our very core each moment and yet we aren’t held accountable for ignoring it, or even polluting it. This interconnection has sustained our ancestors just as it sustains us, and all who will come after us.

The negligence and ignorance of the human being is a direct cause of the degradation of our health, which has been happening incrementally yet persistently. The byproducts of our accelerating industry, technological advancements, and modern conveniences are slowly destroying the very force that has given us life for millennia.., the air that we breathe, in every moment. All systems are affected by our inconsiderate ways, including our water supply, our farmlands and the protective biosphere that protects us from the sun.

I firmly believe that we as humans are capable of restoring balance to this system of interconnectedness that we are all tied to so deeply and we all must come to this realization, if we are to preserve life on this planet. The damage must be reversed in order to keep all systems and life in harmony, and the protection of our air, water, earth, atmosphere and organic way of life is vital, not just to us but to every living thing that exists now, and all that will exist after us.

“When we tug at a single thing in nature, we find it attached to the rest of the world” — — John Muir

7 Billion and Counting

The arrival of the 7 billionth person on Earth is happening this month! And Jeffrey Sachs says it’s cause for “profound global concern.”  In this article he responds to the questions: What will it take to maintain a planet in which each person has a chance for a full, productive and prosperous life, and in which the planet’s resources are sustained for future generations? How, in short, can we enjoy “sustainable development” on a very crowded planet? See what you think about his strategy and let us know!…

Sachs on CNN: A Huge Task Before Us

 Shared by

~~~A Wave~~~