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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Weekend To-Do (Good) List: Shopping Edition!

Last month we brought you the Weekend To-Do (Good) List: Circus Edition, and I rather enjoyed using a theme. This week, the stars aligned again and a theme emerged…shopping! No, I’m not going to tell you to spend Palm Sunday at the mall. That might be my worst nightmare. I will however make the following shopping suggestions for bringing some good works into your busy weekend: Have a good one and may your dollars make some change!

~~~S Wave~~~

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1. Look Good While You Do Good

If you haven’t heard of Sevenly.org yet, it is time. This company produces very cool clothes with proceeds going to various charity organizations. The organization changes every week so it’s an exciting challenge to make your purchase before the clock runs out! No, I mean there really is a clock on their site counting down the time left. Pressure’s on!

This week, they’ve come up with trendy, comfy tees and jackets to support The Gentle Barn and especially its work with special needs and at-risk children. Check these styles out: Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 4.28.24 PM They always have great designs and artsy images. Obviously these would make great gifts too, for those of you who don’t want to spend money on yourselves. Find out more at www.sevenly.org!

2. Smart Easter Shopping

Easter is around the corner and though it is always tempting buy a real, live bunny for your little bundle of joy, please keep in mind the facts about cuniculture (yes, that is a word.) Cuniculture, or raising rabbits, is no joke and is just as much of a commitment as owning a dog or a cat. Maybe even harder! Rabbits aren’t generally the cuddly buddy you hope they will be. They tend to be more sensitive to noises, don’t usually like to be held, need a lot of quiet time and special housing, and they spray urine right on ya sometimes!

Now, of course there are exceptions to the rules, but unless you are ready to give your rabbit the time and energy it takes to bond with them, they will be facing a pretty sad life indeed–a life which, by the way, can last 10 years. Are you sure you want a pet rabbit until your child goes off to college??

In addition to all of that, breeding practices for rabbits are often cruel. Plus, post-Easter shoppers’ remorse results in abandoned, homeless rabbits and chicks every spring. So if you’re ABSOLUTELY sure you want to bring a rabbit into your family, raise it well no matter the cost, and give it the love it deserves, then please adopt, don’t shop.

Copy and share one of these Easter messages with your friends to spread this important information:EasterBunnyInfo

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3. Speaking of Palm Sunday…

Sunday is a special holiday as Christians celebrate the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem. It is a day typically celebrated with special worship services and family gatherings. For those of you celebrating this holy day, may it be a beautiful time of communion between you and the Divine.

The reason it is called Palm Sunday is because the scripture says that Jesus’ followers laid palm fronds across his path and waved them as he passed.  What a different symbolism palm leaves have in our current times! As we’ve written about before in past Life As a Wave posts, the rapid demand for and production of palm oil has been devastating to our earth’s rich biodiversity, especially in areas of South America, Africa, and southeast Asia.

orangutan2

The campaigns to end the heartbreaking deforestation have been iconicized by the beautiful ape, the orangutan, which is facing the loss of massive amounts of its natural habitats.

laststand What can you do though, right? Once again, your money speaks. Palm oil can be tricky to spot since it’s derivatives go by so many names, but it’s likely that many of the items in your grocery cart contain palm oil. Now it’s easier than ever to find out for sure because the El Paso Zoo and SGB Solutions have designed the Palm Oil Guide and Scanner. This free app allows you to scan UPC codes to find out if your purchase contains palm oil or not. I downloaded the app yesterday and made some wiser shopping decisions for the future after scanning some items in my fridge.

There are palm oil alternatives flooding the market, and with our purchasing patterns plus our social media voice, change is possible.

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That’s all, ladies and gentlemen. I hope you have a beautiful weekend and remember to let your dollars make some change!

~~~S Wave~~~

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

Weekend To-Do-Good List – 6/22/13

I’m a huge fan of To-Do lists. Sticky notes are my best friend. This is an aerial view of my desk at this very moment (3pm, 6-21-13).There IS an order, though you might not see it.

There IS an order, though you might not see it.

About half of those are probably some version of a to-do list.

And so it is with great solemnity and in deep reverence for The List that I share with you a list designed especially for YOU. It’s not just any old “To-Do” list though…it’s a To-Do-GOOD list. So in the midst of the leisure and labor that I’m sure will be part of your weekend, make some time for the giving back that we always want to do but have a hard time finding time for in our busy schedules.

I’ll make it very easy for you. Just click on the links or pictures below to do a small good deed. If you have a campaign, organization, petition, or gathering that you arepart of, that is doing good for the world, and that you would like to share with your fellow readers, feel free to provide a link in the comment section!

Without further ado…… ladies and gentlemen, your weekend To-Do-Good list!

1. Orangutans  

As most of you probably know, the Palm Oil industry is swiftly decimating the wild orangutan populations by destroying their ecosystems. Here are some ways to help:

Sign this petition!

http://act.ran.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=3776
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Take this pledge to reduce purchasing products with Palm Oil!

http://commit.tigweb.org/reduce-consumption-of-palm-oil

commit

2. Veterans

We continue to hear about the social and financial struggles that our veterans face. While I bite my lip and keep this apolitical, I invite you to take these steps to support The Mission Continues…an organization that is thinking outside the box and getting real results in their work with veterans.

donate-to-the-mission-continues

Find out about The Mission Continues from the founder himself HERE.

Visit their website and consider donating to their cause HERE.

3. Healthy Eating

You know that you’ve been meaning to change your diet! You want to eat less meat, drink less soda, try more organic…maybe even dip your toe into the raw food world. You can do it! Challenge yourself to try removing one bad thing from your diet or adding one good thing. Maybe just for one day a week. Find something doable and go for it! Here are some helpful sources to motivate you….

14 Things You Really Don’t Want To Know About Your Groceries

PETA’s Vegetarian/Vegan Starter Kit

Find a farmers market near you with Localharvest.org.

Find vegetarian, vegan, and veg-friendly restaurants and stores near you with HappyCow! They have a great app for this too.