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~~~

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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.

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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!

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

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No Haste, No Waste

Waiting by TfaseeL

Waiting by TfaseeL

As we are developing, realizing our dreams and pursuing them, there can be times of deep yearning in the midst of seemingly snail-paced progress. Sometimes it is so easy to want MORE. NOW.

Someone told me once that if I were to have now everything that God had in store my head would probably explode. I think that might be true! “God only gives you what you can handle” is a quaint phrase of comfort but there is truth to that. Growth with the divine is step by step, just like every other growth that comes to mind. I think of it like a Rule of Readiness. This can feel unbearable to me at times, those times when I let me brain get all tied up into the knot of HOW and WHEN some new growth is going to happen.

It’s true that sometimes a person will have a sudden experience of growth that propels them quickly into a greater awareness, but even that is subject to the Rule of Readiness. Saul was ready to become Paul, if you will.

What then is the benefit of trying to hasten your own growth? Is there a benefit? As moments—what IS—drift past, what good does it do to have your attention on what could be? Let’s be where we are. Let’s enjoy where we are as much as we can knowing that as long as we remain available our growth is taking place.

I choose not to hasten what is developing at its own pace lest I allow the real moments of my life to be wasted. 

No Haste, No Waste

Saturday Mindfulness

Saturday is a good day to practice mindfulness. For many of us it is a day of relaxation and respite from the hectic weeks that are behind and ahead of us.

But, just like the past and future can consume or thoughts and usurp our awareness in the present, so the previous and future work weeks can sneak into our Saturdays. Today, let yourself practice mindfulness in the small moments. Taking a shower, preparing a meal, doing the dishes, driving with the kids. These activities pass by unnoticed as we rush about but they make up a majority of our time. Notice the sensations that you experience and appreciate the small details during these seemingly mundane tasks. Even just pick one to practice with. Be aware of how much you are thinking about Monday or last Friday versus thinking about the present instant that is happening.

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I just began a new chapter in Living in the Moment by Anna Black. The chapter is titled, Cultivating Well-Being. Here is an excerpt for you to think about…

“Oftentimes we are on automatic pilot to the degree that we look back and have no recollection of the process of getting up and going out of the door. In this way we lose the moments that make up our life and once lost, they are gone forever. By paying close attention to these regular activities we can reclaim the lost minutes of our day, and by connecting with our experience during these activities, we can connect more deeply with our life.”

Have a wonderful weekend, Waves! May you be alive and vibrant in your NOWs.