Wild Spirit Adventure

Explore Inner Wilderness. Outside.

Adventures, retreats, and sessions in nature for personal growth and spiritual exploration in the Pacific Northwest and Nationwide.

 

Filtering by Tag: mindfulness

One Month, No Plastic

One night, I watched a documentary called "Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch." There are tons of statistics highlighting the problem of disposable plastics. For one, the average American used 167 disposable water bottles, but only recycled 38.3. (Read this article from Ban the Bottle for some interesting stats.)

I was horrified by our use and abuse of the planet's resources, but the question of my own role in this particular issue was unresolved beyond what I have already am committed to in my quite alternative lifestyle. You see, I'm a mason jar queen, refilling them at the markets with dry goods and household staples. And the bottles I once bought with new laundry detergent and shampoo are refilled during my shopping runs. I'm the type to use vinegar as my kitchen cleanser, refilled from a large multi-gallon container. I don't buy plastic materials generally and do my best to bring my own backpack/bags to the store. So, high on my efforts, I went to bed without making new commitments. How naive I was...

The next day, while food shopping for the most sustainable, ethical, healthy options at my local co-op, I took a look at my shopping cart and noticed containers- plastic, plastic, plastic! Yogurt, almond milk, hummus, the bag around the chopped kale, the wrapper around the tortillas. I was shocked! I thought I was doing such a good job! Wasn't this the most eco-friendly shopping option? Why were so many things in plastic!? Wasn't there something I could do about it? Something hit me and I decided to try not to buy or support the use of any new plastic for (at least) a month.

I ran to the front of the store and grabbed huge mason jars, then filled them with beans, peanut butter, oatmeal, and dried fruit. At least one sea-faring bird or sea turtle will be saved from my heroic efforts, right?

The past month was not without difficulty- there were things I simply didn't buy. I have not yet found a way around the yogurt issue, sadly. But maybe it's all for the best- life without animal products is my ideal. My friend, who committed to this plastic-free month with me, noticed that the caps on almond milk containers are plastic- something I had not even noticed! Plastic pops up everywhere...  I have indeed gained a new awareness from this personal challenge.

It's obvious that the best bet for purchasing foods will be the local farmers markets, where I can get local, organic produce without using plastic containers. In the meantime, I stick to the produce that is not wrapped and I do not put them in plastic produce bags. But there are plenty of other foods that require packaging, so my question for the future is whether to do without them. The question is still out whether recycling produces the outcomes we expect, so I don't want to rely on that. We can agree that avoiding packaging is best. This month has led me to eat more fresh food, which is among the benefits.

My determination to reduce my use of plastic remains firm and I'll continue to do my best.

I am interested in whether others have taken notice of and modified their own use of plastics. Please join the conversation...

Writing The Storybook

Today I took a walk in nature. The exercise I practiced was something I call "Writing the Storybook." Simply put, I noticed and recorded the themes that came up over and over in my mind. I traced their deeper meaning, noticing and then letting them go. Just like in meditation, it's best not to judge them or myself for having them, rather, I am fully allowing.

Within the first 10-15 minutes, I found that my thoughts were full of anxiety and fear. I acknowledged that observation, then let it go. Within another 10 minutes, I found that my attention and patterns of thinking had shifted. No longer were the thoughts coming from an anxious place. See the 1 minute video I recorded while I was out there: (Btw, I had trouble with the vid so just kept it steady... when it is not raining so much, I'll bring the "good" camera and do nice, steady, pretty videos. Thanks for understanding...)

Instead, I became fully engaged in nature and felt more peaceful. It was actually that simple. Of course, it's not that easy every day, and the success of this kind of practice grows more and more in time and with consistent devotion.

As I continued, I noticed a decaying leaf.

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It was calling to me, asking me to examine it. When I hear the call, I listen to it... then go and explore the thing that's inviting me to it in nature. There was personal meaning in the leaf, which gave me wisdom and peace to place in my heart-space and more courage with which to face my day. The teaching in this leaf, for me, was that I had built a strong and practical foundation and vision for the future of Wild Spirit Adventure over the past year. This foundation sets the stage for everything to come. It felt like recognition of my hard work, which I accepted and gave thanks for.

 

A Tea Ceremony

Our Meetup Group met for a Tea Ceremony at Council Crest. We started with walking meditation. At a traditional ceremony, guests would remove their weapons and a fan would replace it. This is why you will see a fan set at each person's place-setting. We entered the sacred space for our ceremony with a symbolic removal of our daggers and replaced them with something nurturing and peaceful, symbolic of the fan a guest is traditionally given. For one participant, he removed the dagger of "fear of falling" and replaced it with the fan of "feeling grounded, safe, and stable." Each person had a unique intention.

We continued practicing in the cold air for a little over an hour. Smile meditation, songs, sitting meditation, mindful speech, and various teachings kept us in a sacred space, although the wind had my teeth chattering by the end. Even though we were chilled, everyone helped to gather our supplies and take things back to the car. I felt happy to have community to share this with.

Meeting people in practice like this is the greatest gift to me. Not only do I hope to benefit the community and the individuals that show up, I engage myself in the very things that are my medicine. Whenever I practice mindfulness while eating and drinking, I feel more connected to everything around me, and to my very life experience. Aliveness and meaning awaken! 

 

Holiday Season Calm at the Busy Post Office

I went into a post office during the holiday rush... it was a bit crazy! How exactly did I stay calm? Read and find out. How do we stay peaceful and calm in stressful environments? How do we stay centered and relaxed during the holiday season madness? By noticing our own emotional needs, conveying positivity, and connecting with other people. This blog explores mindfulness, meditation, and connection to one's self and others.

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