In a Cat’s eyes, All things belong to Cats.


I am part of a year-long training program called Warriors of Love where we declare a life essence and bring it into being powerful. I chose Intimate Belonging, my friend suggested I read Braving The Wilderness by Brene Brown: Get it Here.

I really enjoy Brene’s take on life, so I have been doing that this week, what really spoke to me was the following:

4 PRACTICES OF TRUE BELONGING

“What emerged from the responses to these questions were four elements of true belonging. These elements are situated in the reality of the world we live in today. The theories that emerge from this methodology are based on how we engage with the world in our everyday lives; they’re not hypothetical. This means you can’t develop a theory of true belonging without addressing how our increasingly polarised world shapes our lives and our experiences of connection and true belonging. I didn’t intend to write a book about belonging set against a backdrop of political and ideological chaos. But that’s not my call to make. My job is to be true to the data.

As you take a look at each of the four elements, you can see that each is a daily practice and feels like a paradox. They’re going to challenge us:

  1. People Are Hard to Hate Close Up. Move In.
  2. Speak Truth to Bullshit. Be Civil.
  3. Hold Hands. With Strangers.
  4. Strong Back. Strong Front. Wild Heart.”

Imagine if we everyone did this every day in their lives, what a different place the planet would be. In fact, how have we looked at belonging over the decades, here are a few of my favourite takes at it, profoundly Brene influenced:

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1. Love and Belonging do not come out of a Mills and Boon episode, It comes from doing things that seem imperfect, that is vulnerable and real.

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2. One of my daily battles, between the intellectualism of my mind and the love I have in my heart for my community: Love Myself.

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3. Another Famous quoter named Brown. No relation, he was an African American baseball player born in the 1940’s.

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4. Not by someone named Brown, but the worlds most famous, Ms Anonymous, this is an excellent recipe for well being: We are all Connected.

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5. No change required, just genuinely being who you know you are.

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6. Who wired us to use our mind to feel a sense of belonging not our hearts, a lousy person: You’re Worth It.

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7. After 5 years of Mental Health episodes I woke up one day and made this decision, my life changed overnight.

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8. A prominent 20th-century Jewish rabbi who was raised in Germany expelled to Poland by the Nazis and fled to America, Heschel’s sister Esther was killed in a German bombing. His mother was murdered by the Nazis, and two other sisters, Gittel and Devorah, died in Nazi concentration camps. He never returned to Germany, Austria or Poland. He once wrote, “If I went to Poland or Germany, every stone, every tree would remind me of contempt, hatred, murder, of children killed, of mothers burned alive, of human beings asphyxiated.: No Tears Left to Cry.

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9. Self Love 101.

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10. Have to think about this one, I apparently have not felt it fully: Feels.

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11. Part of the four, Strong Back. Strong Front. Wild Heart.

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12. When we talk about these, get vulnerable, we realise that: We are all in This Together.

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13. If you feel like you belong where you are, why would there ever be a need for snobbery?

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14. Renee has ten questions in her about Renee on her website, they were asked by a garden gnome apparently. My personal favourite:  If you could have a room full of any one thing, what would it be: The most delicious food from all over the world. Seriously. I travel to eat. It may seem shortsighted to you, but I swear I would be much happier than the jackass with a roomful of gold: We Belong.

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15. How far can we take belonging? 

This box is a flub-up.
 

Aldo Leopold was an American author, philosopher, scientist, ecologist, forester, conservationist, and environmentalist. He was a professor at the University of Wisconsin and is best known for his book A Sand County Almanac (1949), which has sold more than two million copies. Leopold was influential in the development of modern environmental ethics and in the movement for wilderness conservation. His ethics of nature and wildlife preservation had a profound impact on the environmental movement, with his ecocentric or holistic ethics regarding land. He emphasised biodiversity and ecology and was a founder of the science of wildlife management. I think we forgot to take his advice.

Byron Katie has another great metaphor. She tells us that thinking the problem of belonging is “out there” is kinda like thinking the imperfect image on the movie screen is the problem. Nope. It’s the lint on the projector’s lens. Clean THAT off, and the movie screen of life is golden. “As you inquire into issues and turn judgments around, you come to see that every perceived problem appearing ‘out there’ is really nothing more than a misperception within your own thinking.”

A very bouncy playlist today. We begin with Hailee Steinfeld, then we do the connected dance. A positive number from Cimorelli, Arian Grande next, followed by Calvin Harris with a guest list of mega-stars. A boppy musical number from High School Musical, finishing up with an anthem from Pat Benatar: In a Cat’s eyes, All things belong to Cats.

Namaste until next time we meet, my dear friends:

namasteflower

 

Being a singer is a natural Gift!!


What is out natural state? It is said most people are on a search for happiness throughout their lives, yet you cannot find it anywhere because it is located inside of you, it is your natural state from childhood.

Is it something we forget? Are we educated out of this simplicity by others who have forgotten the happiness of childhood? Let’s have a look at what the world has said about the state of being naturally happy:

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1. You don’t have to broadcast it on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram that you are a natural being, it shines out from your being!!

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2. When you have conquered your inner demons, the outer ones disappear as well: Inner Demons.

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3. we go back to the 16th Century for our next quote. François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marcillac, 15 September 1613 – 17 March 1680) was a noted French author of maxims and memoirs. It is said that his world-view was clear-eyed and urbane and that he neither condemned human conduct nor sentimentally celebrated it. Born in Paris on the Rue des Petits Champs, at a time when the royal court was vacillating between aiding the nobility and threatening it, he was considered an exemplary of the accomplished 17th-century nobleman. Until 1650, he bore the title of Prince de Marcillac.

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4. We have loved the images of the natural world David Attenborough has brought us over the decades: Planet Earth.

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5. When you are living in your natural state of being you shine throughout the universe.

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6. Maya Angelou was a natural at many things, She became a poet and writer after a series of occupations as a young adult, including fry cook, sex worker, nightclub dancer and performer, cast member of the opera Porgy and Bess, coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and journalist in Egypt and Ghana during the decolonization of Africa. She was an actor, writer, director, and producer of plays, movies, and public television programs. She was active in the Civil Rights Movement and worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Beginning in the 1990s, she made around 80 appearances a year on the lecture circuit, something she continued into her eighties. In 1993, Angelou recited her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” (1993) at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration, making her the first poet to make an inaugural recitation since Robert Frost at President John F. Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961: On the Pulse of the Morning.

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7. You can only be different to everybody else because you are unique, giving you your Youness.

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8. Christian Dior is actually a business name, so he/she did not say this, it’s very powerful, though: Revolution.


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9. Albert Einstein once said, ” once you stop learning you start dying “. Wake up every day in the natural state of learning.

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10. Soul harmony, such a beautiful concept, and way to live your life: Love is Soul Harmony.

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11. Are all things that are naturally beautiful positive, not in the case of autumn.

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12. More and more in this speeded up, instant gratification world we go for processed food and as a race, we get sicker and sicker. We have forgotten the healing power of natural foods and have gone for the easy way out: Healthy Habits Song.

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13. Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci 15 April 1452 – 2 May 1519), more commonly Leonardo da Vinci or simply Leonardo, was an Italian polymath whose areas of interest included invention, painting, sculpting, architecture, science, music, mathematics, engineering, literature, anatomy, geology, astronomy, botany, writing, history, and cartography. He has been variously called the father of paleontology, ichnology, and architecture, and is widely considered one of the greatest painters of all time. Sometimes credited with the inventions of the parachute, helicopter, and tank, he epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal. Over so many fields he used simplicity to discover things.

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14. Remember those shots of running around the backyard pool in the nude with your childhood mates? What happened , a call out to stay in this natural way of being: Shrey Singhai.

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15. And to finish, a reminder that flowers do not think about life too much, they just naturally bloom.

So what in life is your natural expression, do not give up until you find it, I hope you already have.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namastebutterfly

 

 

It’s often its own Reward!!


Being rewarded, is that receiving you a financial salary for what you do in life? Or is it a more spiritual path as spoken of by luminaries like His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra and Carolyn Myss.

Above me, there is a flier advertising the Compassionate Voices Community Choir quoting words such as Rejoice, Improve, Connect and Learn. If this is what being Compassionate has to offer I’m on board.

In our busy lives, compassion is one of those things that is easy to drop out, for ourselves and others. So let’s have a look at what society has said to remind us not to do that over the centuries:

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1. I recently read a quote that said do not complain for 24 hours, not even once and your life would transform. I can imagine the same applies for judging oneself and others.

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2. Putting life off is not a part of a Compassionate journey. it would be like being in the now moment to moment. How much more would you get done if you did not procrastinate over things: Do It Right Now.

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3. Grandparents are old, even older than our parents, and our younger siblings, why do they cling so hard? These are ideas you need to transform because you will probably be all these things sometime in your life.

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4. Always have a mirror around so that you can remember you always have someone to practice compassion with, the most important person in your life: Compassion.

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5. Compassion has some worth housemates, these are some of them.

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6. Compassion, another name could be heart to heart surgery: Open Your Heart.

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7. How would the world transform if we taught compassion in the education system as well as knowledge? I say it would be a very different place.

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8. The compulsory cute animal photo quote, If you don’t ask or act what you think is purely supposition: Rolling In the Deep.

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9. As Byron Katie said in her quote we always have someone to practice compassion with. And when we get that down pat we can then open our heart to others.

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10. I’m the leader, the leader of the gang of compassion I am, so can you be too: Leader of the Pack.

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11. Each of our senses has a purpose that can empower our lives and the world.

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12. Probably better known as Uma Thurman’s dad, Robert Alexander Farrar Thurman (born August 3, 1941) is an American Buddhist writer and academic who has written, edited or translated several books on Tibetan Buddhism. He is the Je Tsongkhapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University, holding the first endowed chair in this field of study in the United States. He also is the co-founder and president of the Tibet House New York and is active against the People’s Republic of China’s control of Tibet: Om Mani Pad Me Hung.

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13. Have compassion for the days to come, keep growing and creating the best day of your life.

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14. Thoughts don’t get a lot done, it needs physical actions as well for anything to happen: Would You.

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15. They call it the technological revolution, don’t forget the spiritual technologies such as compassion, kindness, serenity, mindfulness and humility.

Remember to look in the mirror when you first get up and say I Love You then go and pass it on to whoever you come across during the day.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

Namaste2

 

Finding the Now!!


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There are so many schools of thought how to be in the Now emanating across the airwaves these days one does not really know who to believe or where to begin to find the most useful amongst them. I have tried many of them over my sixty years so I thought I would pass on a few I have found useful.

1. Calm Abiding Meditation

“There are many stages in mental development, but as soon as we are able to maintain the mind in a calm state, at that very moment there is joy and peace. This is reflected in the body becoming relaxed, and then the mind becomes more relaxed. As the mind calms down, the hidden enlightened qualities emerge more and more.”

—Venerable Khenpo Rinpoche

This statement sums up pretty much what you can achieve in the daily practice of Calm Abiding meditation, a practice I did for 7 years, and which I have recently taken up again after a break of 5 years. I trained to become a meditation Teacher during those 7 years and look forward to using those skills again after my practice is established again.

2. Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga describes the physical practice of yoga. In fact, sometimes the name Hatha is used interchangeably with “yoga.” The slow pace and simple breathing exercises make it a great place to learn basic poses and become comfortable on the mat. My breath cycle improved from 9 seconds to 44 while I was doing Yoga and only gave it up when I discovered the beauty of Tai Chi.

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3. Tai Chi

Developed originally in China as a self-defense strategy, or martial art, tai chi—the “supreme ultimate fist”—is practiced in modern times primarily as a gentle exercise technique. Described as “meditation in motion,” tai chi consists of a standing person performing a series of postures or bodily movements in a slow and graceful manner, with each movement flowing without pause to the next. According to Chinese legend, the technique was created by a Taoist monk who was inspired as he watched a crane and a snake do battle. Impressed by the ‘snake’s ability to subtly and swiftly avoid the bird’s thrusts, he devised a series of self-defense techniques that do not involve meeting the opponent’s force with force, but rather stress evading the blow; causing the opponent’s own momentum to work against him. I do the Beijing  24 practice daily and am learning he Bamboo practice. I Also do a warm up called Qigong

4. Qigong

Qigong, literally: “Life Energy Cultivation” is a practice of aligning body, breath, and mind for health, meditation, and martial arts training. With roots in Chinese medicine and Philosophy and martial arts, qigong is traditionally viewed as a practice to cultivate and balance qi (chi) or what has been translated as “life energy”.[1]

According to Daoist, Buddhist, and Confucian philosophy, respectively, qigong allows access to higher realms of awareness, awakens one’s “true nature”, and helps develop human potential. This noble practice has helped me regain my well being and is my current practice.

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5. 5 Rhythms Dance

5Rhythms is a movement meditation practice devised by Gabrielle Roth in the late 1970s. It draws from indigenous and world traditions using tenets of shamanistic ecstatic, mystical and eastern philosophy. Fundamental to the practice is the idea that everything is energy, and moves in waves, patterns and rhythms.

Gabrielle describes the practice as a soul journey, and says that by moving the body, releasing the heart, and freeing the mind, one can connect to the essence of the soul, the source of inspiration in which an individual has unlimited possibility and potential.

Getting back to this has allowed me to free my body and be much more present in the Now of my body.

6. Philosophers Notes

Brian Johnson made mega dollars in the I.T. industry then went to Bali and read all the great books. His gift to the world is he can summarise them beautifully.

PhilosophersNotes are like healthy, energizing snacks for the mind, heart and soul! This is such a superb idea, and Brian has such a natural, infectiously appealing way of making it relevant to just about everybody. For avid personal-development aficionados, Philosophers Notes serve as a sampler plate of the very best reads out there, making it easier to decide which new books to crack open next, and which classics deserve a fresh look.

I did one of these for about 60 days in a row then read the books that really touched my heart. They say the day you die is the day you stop learning, in our busy world this is an excellent way to get to access the best quickly. Here’s a link if you are interested https://www.entheos.com/philosophersnotes 5r

7. Communing with Nature

We forget that Gaia has been gifted  to remind us that we are all part of the greater plan. A weekend away from the chaos of the city in a forest , or near a beach or river restores our sense of Now. Leaving your phone, computer and work behind for this period has us focus on things like trees, animals and the fresh air that these places are filled with.

8. Growing and Cooking my own Food

Supermarkets are not even 100 years old, how did humans get their food prior to the existence of what is now the major supplier of Food for the human race. We grew our own and prepared and cooked it ourselves or brought it from our local producers. The joy of  planting you own vegetables and having your own chickens is immeasurable and making your own meals from fresh, non toxic produce bought from a local farmers market is so good for your health.

Well, I hope this has helped you a little, Namaste until next time my Friends.

Namaste

Do you Mean to Kill Them?


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My carbon footprint in getting around is fairly low, Walking , Pushbike and Public Transport. I used to ride a motor bike for a few years but had an accident whilst drunk driving and lost my license for two years and never got it back.

On my journey around our fair city of Melbourne I cannot but notice the laziness of the general public in disposing of rubbish. It is discarded everywhere but in the receptacles provided it would seem. Cigarette packets and cigarette butts , junk food containers and alcohol bottles seem to make up the majority of it pointing towards a certain kind of person being the main contributor to this malaise.

And what does this have to do with the cutie in the picture above, she is an albatross who lives on Midway Island. Fleetwood Mac in the 60’s wrote a magnificent instrumental about these birds https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAefTj7GXwQ, they have survived happily on the Island for many years or have they. Where is Midway Island you ask, heres a map to give you an idea.

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It s in the middle of the pacific island thousand and thousands of kilometres from the nearest land but this cute picture does not tell the harrowing tale of what is occurring on Midway Island these days. I attended the Sustainable Living Festival last year with my friend Kavisha and happened to be in BMW edge when there was a speaker by the name of Chris Jordan set down to speak. I forget the name of his talk but after being transfixed by the content not the subject matter. Chris is an American photographer with an interest in Environmental issues and had been producing a documentary about the albatrosses on Midway Island for the past few years.

Why he has been doing this is because we have been killing them with plastic. Adult albatrosses have been feeding their young with plastic gleaned from the ocean all those kilometres away and they are dying in their thousands. Here is a link to Chris sharing about the documentary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-M9t2fm__K0. The only way the plastic gets in the ocean is because we as a race are too lazy to carry our rubbish with us to the nearest bin or to our homes to dispose of it in our own bins and it is washed into the ocean. Next time you are tempted to throw something away because there is no where to put it think of this image.

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On my way walking to work or the market I have begun picking up rubbish as I come to it on the footpath knowing it will always be there because we are unthinking when it comes to the costs of dropping rubbish. I hope this little rant makes a few of you think.

Namaste until next time, my friends

Namaste

Surviving Earth


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Will the earth survive the human race? Of course it will, the earth is millions of years old and we have been here for nano seconds of that time. The question that is more relevant is will the human race survive earth? In the time since agriculture and capitalism joined and took over from growing your own food we have seen the need for four earths for humanity to survive in the amount of energy that it uses, I was not going crazy just showing you how many planets we need and its growing expediently, the world population has grown from 2 billion 120 years ago to 7.5 billion and is expected to grow to 10 billion by 2050.

We have the technology to end the use of Fossil fuels as our main energy suppliers but do not have the where with all to do it as the major energy companies spend millions of dollars to fight any reasonable campaigns that eschew this. 98% of scientific evidence points to the need to end the damage that fossil fuels are causing but the companies that make billions of dollars from its use drag out the 2% who are guns for sale and their cronies in the capitalist ideology driven governments around the world buy into it, an example is the extreme policies of the current Australian government in approving more and more coal mines in the name of job creation.

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There is currently an argument going on in the city I live in Melbourne, Australia about building a 6.5 kilometre link road that will cost 5 billion dollars. Up to a third of space in cities around the world is taken  up by roads and car parks and building more freeways has never resolved the issue of grid lock it has just added more localities for it to occur. I pass over a freeway on my way to work and cannot help be frustrated by the fact that most cars are single occupancy. I can remember the carpooling that went on amongst kids parents when taking them to various sporting events as they grew up, why can this not be legislated as compulsory if governments are serious about providing solutions for the traffic chaos on our roads. Its probably to much like community building for them and the afore mentioned oil companies would not want their profits cut. How much public transport infrastructure can you build for 5 billion dollars, quite a lot I would think.

A solution to the fossil fuel conundrum is the use of alternative fuelled vehicles that are becoming more prevalent with the electric driven vehicle being the most prevalent. The ones being released are top end of the market but a talk I was at last night there was mention of being able to convert for as little as $7,000. The emission from cars is only 7% of the total of emissions on the planet so this helps but I believe we must focus on solar power to generate household energy use which is up to 50% in western countries.

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I cannot understand how new houses are allowed to be built without solar panels being a required part of the construction. Australia has gone from 30,000 to 1 million users with a 20 year period. I remember reading an article recently about a state in America who made it compulsory to be connected to the grid, obviously this is influence from the fossil fuel companies fighting their last desperate battles against the march towards alternative energy, which when is becoming cheaper, is clean, efficient and in the end after several years free.

I watched the excellent documentary Surviving Earth http://www.survivingearthmovie.com/  last night at CERES environmental park, a living example of what is possible if like minded people take action together http://www.ceres.org.au/ and what inspired me most about it was the use of Bindi Irwin as one of the spokes persons. Bindi stated that she had grown up knowing that her generation could make a difference , quite different to the time when children were not expected to have opinions, sit there and be quite and do what they were told to do. I believe this generation will take the actions that are required to save the planet. In the film it also talked about having a new generation of political leaders, I see this as a definite requirement.

Namaste to next time, my friends.

Namaste

My Free Organic Tea Towel


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I get my food from a food co-op CERES fair food http://www.ceresfairfood.org.au/ and they gave me a free tea towel because I sent them a thank you message the other day.

They have a fabulous ethos, sourcing their goods based on miles traveled so that they have the least carbon footprint effect on the planet. They produce a lot of their own goods on the farm at CERES environment park http://www.ceres.org.au/ a not for profit educational site on 4 acres of land on the banks of the beautiful Merri Creek in Melbourne, Australia. You can buy boxes from $27.00 to $72.00 depending on the size of your household and they have specialist intolerant boxes as well. I buy a juicers box as I have a fresh juice every morning and a Mixed basic Box that costs just over $60 and they last me the week at least.

They also help create community by setting up a group of Food Hosts for people to pick up their boxes from, many a friendship has been made at these drop off spots. You can also have them delivered to your door for the measly amount of $6.75 anywhere in Melbourne, a city of nearly 4 million people.

The service now has over 800 customers but my history goes back to their foundation days when 20 to 30 CERES staff got together and created the idea of starting a food co-op to get organic goods at a cheaper cost, we used to volunteer on box filling duty and pick them up from the CERES stables. That was about 10 years ago and my, how it has grown. I dropped out when I lost contact with CERES about 5 years ago and rejoined, its free when I took up eating a healthy diet again about two years ago.

They also have a guarantee that food will be delivered which I was very grateful for because one week someone needed my delivery more than me and took it, it was replaced next day. They also donated food for a Christmas event we hold at the place I volunteer for disadvantaged people in the Darebin area on Christmas Day https://www.facebook.com/DarebinInterculturalCentre.

Chris, the manager and Elenore, the marketing person do a sterling job and focus on providing employment for refugees and that is why I write and acknowledge their great work on a regular basis. If you are thinking of supporting an organisation who cares about your health and providing produce at a reasonable price you cannot go past CERES fair food

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