Finding Sanity Through Awareness and Action
Posted by Robin Easton
This is the last in a series of posts that explores sanity and insanity. As we saw in previous posts and comments, sanity is perceived differently by different people, and your thoughts inspired me, and at times moved me to tears. I think one of the most important expressions of sanity is found in our actions to treat ourselves, others, and the natural world with respect and reverence. All life coming after us will need clean air, water, and soil, a clean abundant planet. We have many, sometimes inconvenient, choices we must make each day, choices as to how we treat ourselves, the planet, and all beings on it.
I’ve sometimes felt overwhelmed by the changes that need to occur on a global scale to ensure a healthy future for our children, and for all beings. At times, when I first came out of the Australian rainforest I felt hopeless and helpless. I didn’t know where to start. But rather than focus on feeling overwhelmed or what I couldn’t control, I decided to focus on what I can do to bring about positive change in my own life and in the world. There are many things we can do in our lives to feel more positive and sane about both the present and the future.
I’ve posted a few links and videos below that motivated me to make changes in my life. Some of them might initially seem inconvenient or extreme. However, when I saw the effects of my choices (i.e. a reduction by 75% of the trash I generate, or a freezer full of fresh home-grown organic vegetables) I felt incredibly pleased.
Some actions we’re doing to bring about positive change.
1. *LOVE* – I think love is one of the most powerful things we can do to bring change into the world. To love ourselves and others with compassion and forgiveness is powerfully healing. Forgiveness sets us free. When we are “in Love” all our actions become filled with grace. We tend to treat the world around us with reverence. Without love we are lost, no matter what actions we take. So I place this action first. As Jodi Nelmes says, “I love you, for you are another me. I love you, for love is sanity. To love and be loved can always uplift. I love you, for love is the ultimate gift.” ~ Jodi Nelmes Here is a beautifully moving and insightful video of Jodi sharing one of her poems on love. Jodi is a extraordinary soul who can be found on Youtube, HERE. She shares videos of her amazing singing, poetry, and insights. Simply beautiful.
2. Healthy eating is another action at the top of our list. It can give us more energy and make us feel saner and more grounded. We choose to be vegan and eat a very high percentage of raw organic whole food. We avoid all junk food, wheat, gluten, sugar, and so on. We also choose to maintain clarity and awareness by not drinking, smoking or doing drugs. Personally, I love feeling alive. For me life is a gift. It’s pure magic, and I don’t want to miss a moment of it, even during challenging times. Evita Ochel’s website, Evolving Wellness, along with her powerful new book, Healing & Prevention Through Nutrition, are great places to visit if you want to eat healthy and stay healthy.
3. Exercise is third on our list. We exercise six days a week. Without exercise we often become sluggish, depressed, tired, grouchy, and don’t think clearly. Exercise can help us feel calmer, improve our self-esteem, overall health, and allow us to feel and think more positively. It can help us feel saner. So get out and walk, hike, canoe, swim, snowshoe, cross country ski, roller skate, and so on. Move that body!
4. Spend time with Nature, daily. Those of you who have read my Australian adventure book, Naked in Eden, know how much I love being outdoors amongst the wild things. Nature is the lifeblood of my soul. Without constant contact with Nature I become weak and ill and despondent. I lose site of what’s real and most important in life. When we don’t spend time with Nature we can suffer depression, irritability, fatigue, and more. Regular time spent with Nature instills health, sanity, creativity, free thinking, and expansion of the spirit. Nature uplifts and heals. It restores our often fractured spirits. Nature is my number one medicine.
Their are my other actions we can take daily to help heal ourselves and respect our environment. Remember the four R’s. The first R is probably the most important: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Also this site might help you find a recycling center near you. Earth911.com
5. Do not buy plastic water bottles, fill your own container and take it with you.
6. Refuse to use plastic bags. Take canvas bags to the store to carry your groceries home. Repeatedly wash and reuse any plastic bags you already have. Buy or sew lightweight cloth bags, and use them at the store to carry your fruit, veggies, and bulk nuts, beans, etc. to the checkout. Avoid bringing plastic bags home. (People actually once lived without plastic bags.
Captain Charles Moore on the “Seas of Plastic” (TED.com)
7. Re-use paper bags and paper containers. Better yet, refuse them and take your own reusable “take away” containers and cloth bags to restaurants and stores.
9. Avoid consumerism. Trade, swap, reuse, and shop for clothing and other necessities at secondhand stores (Goodwill, Salvation Army, and so on). These organizations use their profits to help those in need. They also give jobs to people who might not be able to get work elsewhere. Plus, you are recycling. Buy as little “new” as possible.
10. Avoid buying slave made products, such as many toys from China, or many forms of chocolate, etc. Do your online research; find out where these things come from and who makes them. Don’t buy chocolate at the checkout line unless it says ‘fair trade” on it.
11. Buy food in bulk and prepare it from scratch, rather than buying pre-made goods in cans, glass and plastic (reduce the amount of packaging you bring into the house). Here are just two sites dedicated to Zero Waste and My Zero Waste.
12. Grow an organic garden, without pesticides or herbicides. Or plant some trees. If you live in the desert or other dry areas, catch rainwater from your gutters (for the garden), re-use gray water from tub and sink (for flowers, etc.). Use a lead free hose for watering. Most hoses leach lead and other toxins into the soil which plants can “suck up”, and you then eat.
13. Conserve water while showering turn off faucets while you soap up and apply conditioner. Use water only to get wet and to rinse. Use water saver shower heads and environmentally safe soaps/conditioners. Read your labels. Don’t let water run while doing dishes, brushing teeth, or bathing. Check for leaking and dripping faucets.
14. Use “pee rags” rather than toilet paper. Read how to do it here: Pee Rags (Bidets are not environmentally friendly in desert or drought ridden areas.) Urinate several times in a lidded jar or container until it’s full, then flush it all at once to save water. Or use the old rule: “If it’s brown send it down. If it’s yellow, let it mellow.” This is especially important in desert areas. For example, the Southwest (USA) has been in a ten year drought.
15. Downsize to one car or a bicycle for transportation. Walk more. Take public transport when available to reduce carbon emissions. You will get more exercise and have an adventure.
16. Turn all lights off except for those needed in the room being used. They use more energy than you might think. Turn heat down at night. We pile on the covers sand turn our thermostat down to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
17. Protect yourself from your cell phone and other EMFs (from wireless computers, outlets, etc). There are many sites that can educate us on how to more safely use a cell phone. I am not affiliated with any, and I rarely use a cell phone. So listed are only a couple of places to start: Dr.Mercola.com and ElectromagneticHealth.com If you know of better sites please feel free to suggest them. Again, do your research.
18. Help others when you can. One of the organization which we love is KIVA. You can loan someone $25.00 so they can start their own business and improve the quality of their life, their family’s life, and sometimes the life of a whole village. When the loan is paid off you can re-loan it again and again. Twenty-five dollars goes a long way toward positive change. Another wonderful organization is the Girl Effect. You can read about it HERE.
19. Find something to laugh about, each day. Laughter is essential for our sanity and well-being. People have cured themselves of life threatening illness with laughter. Laughter releases tension, uplifts our spirits, and heals. There are laughter groups and laughter yoga. Regardless of how you do it, make sure you laugh. Sometimes we don’t feel comfortable laughing when there is pain preset, or we are grieving, or angry, and so on, but I have learned that these are times we most need laughter. I even cry and laugh at the same time. Laughter and crying are close cousins. Let them happen freely.
20. Again: Love, Love, Love!!! Even those who have hurt you, or you have hurt, including yourself.
There are many ways we can change the world and our lives, and at the same time feel saner. This is only a partial list of changes we’ve made in our lives. And there are many more we want to make. Why? Often people argue whether global warming or other environmental disasters are real or not, important or not. Although I do try to educate myself because it can guide me, I don’t get caught up in this type of debate as it is a waste of energy. In my heart I have a sense of right and wrong (I think we all do). For me, it comes down to how I feel about myself when I choose to stay aware and treat everything around me with respect, care, and love. I am not perfect at it, but I am taking action as I learn. It makes me feel less overwhelmed, more whole, connected, and positive. Saner.
What changes are you making? Would love to hear about them. Also, what ideas do you have that could bring sanity into our lives and the life around us? Thank you for your kind and compassionate insights.
~ “NAKED IN EDEN” ~ Available on Amazon
Did you Enjoy reading Naked in Eden? Would love a review from you, HERE. If you’ve not yet read my Australian adventure book and would like to, you can order it on Amazon HERE. “Naked in Eden” is a spirited true-life Australian adventure story, filled with personal transformation. It is wonderfully life altering for adults, teens and tweens, and makes a memorable gift. Enjoy!