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    Earth Hour and Beyond





     We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. 

    ~Native American Proverb

    Earth Hour is tonight - 8:30pm - 9:30, in whatever time zone you are living. 

    What is Earth Hour? It's one hour in one day out of 365, where, around the world, as many people as possible will turn off their lights as a symbolic commitment to make changes in their lives which positively effect our environment in the year to come. 

    Globally, our population is increasing, our electricity and fossil fuel consumption is increasing, and so too is our amount of trash and waste and pollution. This one hour is a time to focus on what you can do as an individual to make a positive change, then take that change beyond the hour .

    Two images showing lights at night in Europe - in 1992, and then again in 2010.

    Maybe you can… stop buying bottled water? Take shorter showers? Plant an organic garden? Pack your lunch in resuable containers instead of plastic? Decide to walk somewhere instead of drive? Go vegetarian? Lower your heat in the Winter and use less air conditioning in the Summer? Unplug appliances & electronics when not in use? It's up to you.

    How will you go beyond the hour?

    Posted: Mar 31 2012, 10:55 by kelly | Comments (1) RSS comment feed |
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    Love Our Children, Love Ourselves





     

    Do you tell your children that you're beautiful?

    That's not a typo.

    Really, do you ever say to your kids, "I think I'm beautiful" or "I love myself" or "I'm smart"? (And not sarcastically, either.)

    We all tell our children "You're beautiful!"; of course we do. It's natural, it flows, and of course, they ARE beautiful --- they're our kids. We probably even say it often (maybe more often, even,  than they like to hear). But, do your children know that you think YOU are awesome, too?  How often do you say it?

    If you're like me (prior to me reading this post, anyhow) it probably isn't very often. In fact, though I do love myself, I'm not sure I've told my kids that. I'm not sure they really KNOW that.

    Why?

    I don't know. Maybe it's just kind of weird, right? It's a strange feeling to say, "I'm Beautiful".  It feels, somehow… self-absorbed? Silly? Disingenuous? 

    I think we're taught as women, that we're supposed to LOOK beautiful, but, to praise ourselves… that's a no, no. And then, even when we do look beautiful, I'm not sure we - any of us - really believe we're beautiful. And, I don't mean only how we physically look; I mean how we feel: that we're comfortable in our skin, that we love who we are - who we've become, that we enjoy being with ourselves. That we believe we ARE beautiful - in and out.

    We want our children to have a good, strong sense of self-worth. We think simply telling them, "you're smart" or "you're talented" or "you're beautiful" is the way to do this. Lots of praise, and they're good, right? Well, while it feels good to say those things, and while they're true, still, it's an outsider's point of view. Our opinion of our children…  it's still someone else's opinion. What they BELIEVE about themselves is what's most important.

    And how do they learn what to believe? It isn't so much about what we TELL them about themselves (though, that's important, too!). It's what they see, watching us. Listening to us. Our children watch our every move: how we act, how we say what we say.  They're paying attention to everything: how we look at ourselves critically in the mirror, maybe how we frown at the scale or sigh when we try to button our jeans - and they're learning how to feel about themselves by watching how we feel about ourselves.

    Our children may know from our words that we love them, but how do they know it's okay to really love themselves, if they never hear nor see us loving ourselves? 

    So, back to my original question: Do you tell your children that you're beautiful? I haven't, really. But from now on, I'm making it a point to let my kids know I not only think they're awesome, but that I think I'M awesome, too.

     

    Thank you to Wendy Irene @ Give Love Create Happiness for the  inspiration for this post.

    Image sources: Pinterest  

    Posted: Mar 27 2012, 00:07 by kelly | Comments (9) RSS comment feed |
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    World Water Day 2012





    Today is World Water Day.

    Here in the suburbs of New Jersey in the United States, water isn’t something I think about much. It runs clean from my sink, my shower, and my hose. It rains often here. Our general area is criss-crossed by myriad lakes, streams, creeks. New Jersey is known for its wetlands. Water, here, is never an issue. How fortunate am I? 

    Very.

    Some stats:

    Worldwide…

    - One out of every eight people lack safe drinking water. 884 million people total. That’s nearly three times the population of the United States. (source: UNICEF/WHO. 2008.)

    - Approximately 1.2 billion people don’t have adequate sanitation; two in five. It’s the world’s biggest cause of infection.

    - 3.575 million people die each year from a water related disease (every twenty seconds, one of these dead is a child). (source: WHO. 2008. Safer Water, Better Health: Costs, benefits, and sustainability of interventions to protect and promote health)

    - 200 million collective hours are spent in one day by women collecting water for their families; and they walk an average of 3.7 miles to do it. For water; so basic and necessary. Hours that could be spent caring for family, working an income-generating job, or going to school.

     

    For more staggering facts… http://water.org/news/resources/

    It breaks my heart to believe so many people are suffering and dying in this world for something I barely give a thought to in my own life.


    So what can we do?

    Be more conscious of our own water usage: 

    - Take shorter showers. In the US, a 5-minute shower (and really, who takes just a 5-minute shower) uses more water than a typical person in a developing country slum uses in a whole day. (source: 2006 United Nations Human Development Report)

    - Don’t let the water run when you brush your teeth.

    - Stop eating meat. It takes TEN TIMES as much water to make one pound of beef as it does to grow one pound of wheat (Really. Check it out.).

    - Stop buying bottled water (Why not? Watch this film.).

    - Don’t wash your clothes after every use, unless you really need to (think jeans, sweaters, towels – usually they just aren’t that dirty after one wear).

    - Use cloth diapers instead of disposables. I wish I had.

     

    AND you can…

    - Write a blog post, tweet, update your Facebook status, or just tell someone about World Water Day.

    - Read about water.org and what they are doing to help the global water crisis, and donate to their cause to help bring clean water to more people.  It can change, or save, a life.

    Posted: Mar 22 2012, 11:18 by kelly | Comments (4) RSS comment feed |
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    Breastfeeding in Public - Madonna Style!





    I’m a long-time fan of Madonna. In the 80's, I'm pretty sure I wanted to BE the queen of pop. The first outfit I bought with my own money? White roll-down mini skirt with grommets, and orange shirt with roll-up mesh sleeves. One of the very first CDs I owned was the soundtrack to Dick Tracy (please don't tell any of this to my indie-alterna-grunge self of the 90's, she might die a little bit). Anyhow, Madonna’s already a legend in my book: independent, self-assured, ambitious, spirited, doesn't give a hoot about what anyone thinks of her. So, where's this post going, you ask?

    Well, her new album is being released in a couple of days, so I decided to check out the video for the first single, to get a taste of where her music has gone this time and... jaw drop. Because?

    Breastfeeding. Madonna, breastfeeding. In her video! "Squeeeeeeee!!", says the lactivist in me.  

    Now yes, okay, it's not a REAL baby, and yeah, she tosses the baby like a football at the end, and alright, the song isn't that great, nor is the rest of the video (though, dang, her legs look fabulous!), but still, all that aside, there is Madonna in the video, not once, but TWICE, breastfeeding "in public". So, Madonna. I still think you rock; but even more so now.

    If you want to see the video for yourself... 

    Posted: Mar 21 2012, 22:18 by kelly | Comments (2) RSS comment feed |
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    Wordless Wednesday: Spring Awakening





    Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn.
    ~Lewis Grizzard

    Yesterday was the first day of Spring - the equinox - the moment when the sun crosses directly over our earth's equator - a time when day and night are equal in length. It's a time of awakening, balance, renewal, promise.

    The turning of the seasons grounds me. Spring, after the cold and bare of Winter, is always so welcome, necessary, a gladly received reminder and assurance of time and life continuing. Even after this, the most mild of Winters I can remember in New Jersey, I still was grateful to see that first daffodil poking up through the soil several weeks ago. 

    My heart lightened. And, each day since then I have anxiously searched my garden for signs of new life, never to be disappointed - as Mother Nature delivers new wonders with each moment.

    The weather has been so bright, and the sun so warm this week, that we've all been outside as much as possible; taking in the new season, breathing Spring and all it's wonderous new life... awakening.

    Wake. Breathe. Start fresh, as each moment in your life is as new as the Spring buds on the trees. Happy Spring, readers! 

    Posted: Mar 20 2012, 20:28 by kelly | Comments (2) RSS comment feed |
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