Tag Archive | Environment

15 Perspectives That Will Shift Your Reality


Chances are, your mind could use a detox right about now. If you are like me, and most of us, you may still have a little demon inside who thrives on fear, self-doubt, and mediocrity. And I’d like to thank Sigmund Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays, for helping me to realize why I need to stamp it out for good.

Edward Bernays (1891-1995), inventor of public relations, believed “It is they who pull the wires that control the public mind”. He was the man who made it cool for women to smoke and for eggs to go with bacon, and invented techniques to manage and control the minds of the American people. His ideas were used by government, corporations, and even the CIA. He showed companies how people could want what they didn’t need, by linking mass-produced goods to their unconscious desires. Cigarettes became glamorous torches of freedom. Cars became happiness machines. As Adam Curtis points out, in his illuminating documentary “The Century of the Self“, Edward Bernays started the trend: “by satisfying people’s selfish desires, one made them happy and thus docile…irrelevant objects could become powerful emotional symbols of how you wanted to be seen by others.” He realized that our subconscious mind has a knee jerk reaction to irrational fears and, coupled with our “herd instinct”, could be easily manipulated for profit. He recognized and identified our inner demon—the irrational subconscious—and how to control it.

Why is this so important to know?!

When we are consumed with our irrational fear and a desire to consume, we become, in Edward’s words, “docile”. We stay with the herd. An individual subject to fear and self-esteem issues, is an individual under control. We are easily led to purchase and consume.  And If you don’t want to be part of this, the best thing to do is consciously pull away from the herd.

Recently I made a deliberate decision to pull away from the herd for the foreseeable future. I decided to stop giving in to the demon who wants to feed on the most horrific stories our globe has to offer, and avoid the celebrity gossip with clever product placement that only serves to pump my demon up on steroids. I’ve made the decision to become a selective sifter of media, and have begun a conscious detox from stories aimed at my knee-jerk reactions. I am starving out the demon, and it is getting weaker by the day.  And, perhaps most telling of all, I’ve replaced the need to “stamp out the demon” with the following question: “How do I make my life richer and more fulfilling?” And, you know what? The answers to that question feel tremendously good.

Our point of view is largely influenced by the information and stimulus that we process. In the hope to achieve a sensation of freedom over who we become, who might we invite to impact our minds? A shift in power is apparent, as many of us deliberate away from large media. Sources of awake and intelligent influence offer collaborative wisdom-building that addresses life and reality, opening the heart and tuning the cognitive process such that we may remember how to hear our collective soul.

Below, we list 15 detox resources to cleanse the palate from large media:


z0auawQq1. Alan Watts
 (1915-1973) was a philosopher, writer and speaker, remembered for spreading Eastern philosophies to a Western audience. His teachings are incredibly relevant today, and are resurgent in recent years. Try it!

~”Your soul is not in your body; your body is in your soul.” 


pema-chodron2. Pema
Chodron
 is an ordained nun, author, and senior teacher in the Shambala Buddhist lineage. Chodron graciously applies Buddhist wisdom to universal day-to-day struggles. Try it!

 ~”Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It is a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.” 


9101b37debabe61a5e5d3d16cd14a78a3. Brain Pickings
 is an “Inventory of the meaningful life”, a blog featuring culture, books, and eclectic subjects. Try it!

~”I myself am a firm believer in the power of curiosity and choice as the engine of fulfillment, but precisely how you arrive at your true calling is an intricate and highly individual dance of discovery.” ~ Maria Popova, Founder of Brain Pickings


neil-degrasse-tyson-700x3934. Neil DeGrasse Tyson
is a cosmologist and astrophysicist known for communicating science in a fun and accessible way. Try it!

~”I am driven by two main philosophies: know more today about the world than I knew yesterday, and lessen the suffering of others.  You’d be surprised how far that gets you.” 

5375_128601625982_107925785982_2944388_6253126_n-jpg_23788_20120716-4355. Films for Action is called a “community powered learning library and alternative news center”, where you can find hundreds of free in-depth documentaries and news stories on global, social, and environmental issues. Illuminating films on marijuana prohibition, the refugee crisis, GMOs, and MANY more stories which are largely ignored by major media outlets. Try it!

 

KristaTippett-300x4626. On Being is a podcast that explores the “Big Questions of Meaning”. This show has introduced me to hundreds of wisdom-building professionals and largely influenced my peace-dom in the last five years. Try it!

~”I like to say that I’m tracing the intersection between big ideas and human experience, between theology and real life.”
~Krista Tippett, Host of “On Being”

ramdassbw7. Ram Dass (Born Richard Alpert) is a spiritual teacher,  and author of the influential book “Be Here Now”. He is credited for his work with Timothy Leary at Harvard University in the 1960’s. Try it!

~”I would like my life to be a statement of love and compassion–and where it isn’t, that’s where my work lies.”

Maya Angelou8. Maya Angelou (1928-2014) was a poet and speaker who reached us—not just with her words, song, and rhythm—but with the pure light vibrating from the core of her joy and pain. Seeing her speak is a memory that still brings me to my knees. Try it!

~”I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

 

Dalai-Lama9. 14th Dalai Lama (Born Lhamo Dondrub) is the current Dalai Lama, and winner of Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. He is known for his advocacy of Tibetans worldwide, and for his jubilant interest in modern science. Try it!


~“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.”

B_-_portrait.Vandana_Shiva_03
10. Vandana Shiva
is an Indian scholar, environmental activist and anti-globalization author. Her bravery and scholarship rev the engines of countless global-sibling-interconnectedness enthusiasts. Try it!

~”Seed is the source of life and the first link in the food chain. Control over seed means control over our lives, our food and our freedom.”

 

joel-salatin11. Joel Salatin is a free-thinking farmer whose “beyond-organic” techniques and animal husbandry heal the soil, and yield healthy real-food to local consumers. Salatin’s high-volume wit accelerates the comprehension of sustainable-farming curriculum, and he imprints the hearts of his readers with his spirit of integrity over profit. Try it!

~”Don’t you find it odd that people will put more work into choosing their mechanic or house contractor than they will into choosing the person who grows their food?”


850x315_facebook12. Open Culture
~ Founded by the director of Stanford University’s Continuing Education program, this site allows us to take a free online course in physics while listening to Bill Murray read poetry… Or learn Bulgarian while enjoying a virtual tour through Ancient Rome. Featuring over a thousand free online courses, and daily articles highlighting an element of eclectic fascination, this is an excellent online site for culture seekers, and is guaranteed to renew your sense of wonder. Try it!


noamchomsky13. Noam Chomsky is an analytic philosopher, social justice activist, author of over 100 books, AND Professor Emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Try it!

~”Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it’s from Neptune.” 

TED-logo14. TED Talks – “Ideas Worth Spreading” is a global set of conferences originally focused on Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED). It now includes refreshing talks on academic, scientific and cultural topics. Try it!

mothlogo15. The Moth Podcast is a non-profit group dedicated to the art of storytelling. Most stories will make you laugh or cry; every story will uplift. Try it!

                                                                                                                                     Article Written By,
Allison Faust – Avid Seeker of Cultural Wisdom
Annie Tichenor – Founder of Biocadence

Is Sustainable Travel Possible?


Hello and Happy New Year beautiful people! I’ve missed you! Before the holidays we took a trip to Argentina for my husband’s birthday. Today I write about how we reconcile our passion for travel with our sustainable-living goals.

Patagonia, Isla Victoria

Patagonia, Isla Victoria

I’ve learned that traveling by airplane is devastatingly unsustainable… Especially if it is not the only heavy-footprint activity in a given year… And especially if the trip is as far away as Bali (read more about what I learned in Bali, my favorite place), or Argentina.

Lupin of Villa la Angostura, Patagonia, 7-lakes drive

Lupin of Villa la Angostura, Patagonia, 7-lakes drive

In addition to being devastatingly unsustainable, traveling is one of the activities that my husband and I value most in our lives. It has introduced us to catalysts for substantial growth, repeatedly… dare I say every time?!!!! Many of my most vivid instances of “remembering” and reconnection with nature happen abroad. Traveling is an activity we are always sacrificing for, and identifying with. What would it mean to give it up? I did consider doing that…

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“The Yikes Factor” expression!

Many sustainable-living experts have done the math, identifying precise consumption parameters. I’ve read arguments that sustainable-living means:

  • Living off approximately $5,000-10,000/year/person, in North America
  • Growing our own food and bartering for the items our households are missing
  • Eating a low impact diet (vegan or vegetarian… I argue that omnivore is possible… read more)
  • Not using a car for transportation, nor airplane for travel
  • Having one or fewer children per household

(Sources: Radical Simplicity, Redefining Progress, Diet for a Hot Planet)

However convincing, these arguments elicit a response, in me, that I call “The Yikes Factor” (refer to picture above for an accurate visual). I feel overwhelmed. I feel that this change is inaccessible to me, given the financial and emotional demands of every day life. I feel terrified. This response is certainly not universal, as many have courageously followed a similar recipe for sustainable-living. To them, I give my utmost respect and awe. For the remaining pupils in sustainable-living curriculum, I fear that the “The Yikes Factor” may cause a complete system shut-down. My worst fear is that many will not even begin the process of sustainable-living transition, anticipating that the goal is far too daunting. In my first speech for Biocadence, I identified 5 key principles for sustainable living adjustment. 1: Behavioral sustainability. 2: Baby steps. 3: ID Model (Impact/Disturbance). 4: Give up the guilt, and 5: Find joy in the process.

(See 3 min Mash-Up or full 20 min speech)

The over-consumption recovery movement is focused on increasing quality of life through the sustainable-living process. It incorporates ecological sustainability as one of the many factors in lifestyle-design. We believe that we can shape our experience through positive thinking, devoted working, and conscious playing. In an effort to facilitate recollection of humanity in harmony with nature, we implement environmental sustainability as one measure of deliberate decision-making. Taking baby-steps, and incorporating additional challenges only when we’ve mastered the last, helps to ensure that our sustainable-living transition is behaviorally sustainable.

Conscious Playing & Planking, Cerro Otto, Bariloche

Conscious Playing & Planking, Cerro Otto, Bariloche

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Conscious Playing & Meditating- Cerro Otto, Bariloche

Amongst the many sustainable-living adjustments available to us, our household has prioritized those that are most accessible on the Biocadence ID Model scale – those that are both high impact and low disturbance. Sacrificing travel would be a MASSIVE-impact/MASSIVE-disturbance adjustment for us. Will we ever make this sacrifice? I do not think so. When I dig deep, intent on honest reflection, I see us sacrificing everything else ahead of travel. We will ensure that this highly consumptive activity is as saturated with intention as possible, by maximizing our time, sharing our experience, and learning about how distinct cultures relate to environmental sustainability. We will not travel eyes-and-hearts closed, ignoring our impact. To the contrary, we will practice conscious understanding of the “what” and the “why” of our travel. It will fuel our motivation to derive value from every single moment.

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Iguazu Falls- My heart will always race at the memory

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I’m crazy about this gorgeous man. Nahuel Huapi, Patagonia

Thanks for reading! We would love to hear about how you relate to travel re: your own sustainable-living transition!

Quicklinks to Most Popular Biocadence Articles:

“The Hunger Games”… Fiction or Non-Fiction?

What is Ethical Eating?… Is Eating Meat Ethical?

Use Biodegrable Trash Bags!

Embracing the Fulcrum: Reconciling My Belief in the Law of Attraction With My Sustainable Living Transition

Sustainable Living Triumphs AND Hiccups – 3rd Edition


Hello there!

I asked for comments in my last article: What is Ethical Eating?… Is Eating Meat Ethical?. I was not only pleased to read effort-filled collaboration, I was incredibly impressed by the depth! So, I ask again– will you please share your thoughts with Biocadence? I will positively LOVE to hear about your personal triumphs and hiccups. From Freshman to PhD, every sustainable living transitionist has something we can learn from!

I like to begin my T&H (Triumphs & Hiccups) articles with a word on behavioral sustainability as it relates to environmental sustainability:

My sustainable living focus is not about sacrifice, but quality of life. By understanding the consequences of consumption (for inspiration read “The Hunger Games”… Fiction or Non-Fiction), our consumption becomes more purposeful. Connecting our consumption to its consequences spawns conscious consumption. The practice of consumption-design seeks to maximize the joy that comes from vibrant experience while minimizing meaningless consumptive behavior. I believe that this discipline can pull us into the balance I call bio-cadence.

Biocadence doesn’t call us to give up the activities we hold most dear. Rather, I usher myself and my readers to joyfully punt the robotic consumptive nature that has come to characterize North America. In its place we can invite a lifestyle designed for rich satisfaction. Where meaningless distraction once was, we have space to welcome sincere fulfillment. This balance holds distinct values for each individual and each family unit. Observing and studying our behaviors as they relate to consumption allows us to distinguish our unique bio-cadence.

What sustainable living behaviors are EASY for you to implement… effortless… joyful? What consumptive behaviors are EASY for you to give up? With an emphasis on behavioral sustainability, the impact of the change you make matters, but is not the primary focus. A small permanent adjustment may have much more impact than a large adjustment made once. I recommend beginning with behavioral changes that are effortless, then building upon that foundation by tackling more difficult adjustments.

Now for full disclosure of my own triumphs and hiccups. 1,2,3… Go:

Triumphs:

I don’t like shopping for clothes. This has been the case for a few years now. Since there is no temptation at all, this is an easy “pass” for me. Behaviorally sustainable? Yes! However- I should add that I will need a few items soon. All tips on clothing companies with sustainable practices are welcome!

We are cutting out all soy products, and eating very little gluten, grain, legumes, and processed sugar. Our sustainable eating efforts consist of huge servings of veggies cooked with grass-fed butter or coconut oil, and small servings of sustainably farmed meat, or local wild-caught fish. This means that most of our food comes from the farmers market or CSA box (ALL veggies and fruit and ALL fish). There is very little packaging. “No bag please” has become our mantra.

We continue to receive and encourage CSA deliveries! Here’s our most recent CSA art:

I’ve been exploring sustainability apps on my iPad. EcoChallenge is an app that offers specific sustainable living challenges. I signed up for the turn-water-off-while-shampooing-and-conditioning-hair challenge. I completed the 9 days and plan to sustain this behavioral change!

In T&H-2 I mention a strategy I’ve used to limit the number of items I buy at the grocery store (as I work to wean off grocery store solicitation): I don’t use a bag… limiting my purchases to what I can hold in my hands/arms. This is going very well! I have two observations to share with followers who may implement this strategy, in order to eliminate tension with grocers who don’t appreciate this practice:
1- Be ready for quick retrieval of items!
2- Share your “no bag for me, please” request well BEFORE the clerk starts bagging!

In T&H-1 I mention saving the envelopes sent in credit card offers. When appropriate, I’ve used the envelopes, filling the window with a sticky note:

I ensured my recycled toothbrush was re-recycled by sending it back to the manufacturer (Check out my short video for details: “Recycle Your Recycled Toothbrush!”)!!!!

We haven’t used our condo air-conditioning nor heating in 1-2 years. We open the windows in the early morning and evenings to cool the condo down. We have slowly adjusted to the heat, and I can honestly share that it doesn’t bother me. I dreamed that we broke our streak and was so distraught! Here’s hoping it doesn’t get too hot this summer, with appreciation for the olive trees that shade our windows:)!

My husband and I reuse our produce bags and never allow grocers to put our items in plastic bags. Yet, somehow we find a plastic bag in the condo once in a while. I donate these on our walking trail, for dog waste pickup! Props to Walnut Creek!

I haven’t used the dishwasher in months! Washing dishes immediately requires less hot water, less soap, and less time! New discovery– We now need far fewer dishes. I’m contemplating donating much of our kitchenware!

Since T&H-2, I’ve donated 2 sweaters, 3 shirts, 1 pair of pants, 1 pair of glasses, and one skirt!

My husband took a job less than 1 mile from our home. This cuts down on our traveling footprint. Although a short commute was not the #1 concern in his job selection, I wholeheartedly celebrate this fortune!

I was invited to a summer picnic. The hostess suggested I bring a beverage. I brainstormed about something packaging-free… something not found in the grocery stores. I brought a 3 gallon jug of homemade “Spa Water” ~ Ingredients: ice water, farmer’s market fresh: mint, strawberry, pluot, and lemon. It was a hit!!!

Hiccups:

I went to the movie theatre twice since T&H-2.

Joel Salatin, a sustainable living mentor of mine, recommends eating more grass-fed ruminants and less chicken. Chicken is such an easy meat to prepare and is so palatable for a newly initiated omnivore. Our goal is to eat less chicken, but this has not been behaviorally sustainable for us.

Once in a while we go to Peet’s Coffee. I always grab my own stir stick and toss it after use. My husband always exclaims and reaches as I throw it away, reminding me that we could both use that stir stick:). I will remember soon!

When in a hurry, I’ve used paper towels, rather than my wonderful cellulose reusable paper towels (for more on these watch my short video: “Reusable Paper Towels“).

I bought a whole chicken and tossed the chicken bones, rather than using them for bone broth! As a new omnivore, it is so hard for me to see bones as a nutrient source. This aspect of my transition is coming more slowly.

We had a power outage. I went outside and took a long walk, in an effort to take advantage of the time. I hadn’t thought to turn off all the light switches, so a few lights came back on in my absence! I will certainly think of this next time!

My sweet bicycle has not been ridden yet this summer. This is a shame. I would like to make it a goal to use the bicycle as transportation around town!

Eating out remains a huge challenge for us. Any tips on how to cut down on this in a behaviorally sustainable way are welcome!!!

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What is Ethical Eating?… Is Eating Meat Ethical?


Hello, hello… and alert: I would love your input on the controversial subject I’m covering in this article. 

I was raised to believe that eating meat is devastatingly unethical. I believed that one day we would recognize the folly of our ways, and look back on omnivorism with regret and distaste. As such, my recent transition from vegetarianism to omnivorism has been made with much research and deliberation.

On April 4, 2012 I received a message from my brother. He wondered whether I’d thought of entering the New York Times essay contest: Calling All Carnivores Tell Us Why It’s Ethical to Eat Meat: A Contest. “U don’t have much time:/”, he texted. I read the essay prompt and calculated the 4 days I had remaining before the deadline. My blood sped and my thoughts buzzed.

English: Jonathan Safran Foer at Barnes & Nobl...

Jonathan Safran Foer

Having converted to omnivorism in January 2012, this subject frequently propelled my mind and heart waves. The essay captured my intention and the panel of judges positively arrested my motivation! Peter SingerMichael PollanJonathan Safran FoerMark BittmanAndrew Light! As it was, this subject had been monopolizing my brain-space for months. Organizing my thoughts in 4 days was not only “no problem”, it was unavoidable! My biggest hurdle was squeezing my arguments into less than 600 words. In fact, if you count the words in my essay below, you will find 599;)!

American science journalist and author Michael...

Michael Pollan speaking at Yale

Now, regardless of my current knowledge of the outcome of the contest, I find myself (once again) animated by the challenge! I must interrupt my excitement to share that I was not victorious. I write today to usher my readers to participate in the critical discourse on ethical eating. Our food choices have considerable influence on our future. With immediate ties to health, happiness, and vibrance and effect on our soil, environment, and global relationships, food must be principal curriculum for citizens of all ages and nations.

What is ethical eating? Is eating meat ethical? What does food mean to you? Please share your thoughts! Reading them will make me very happy! Below is the essay I submitted to the contest (with a few visual aids added). If you’ve visited my blog before, you may notice that I pulled many arguments from one of the first articles I wrote for Biocadence: “Is Eating Meat Sustainable?“. I recommend reading the winner’s, as well as the finalists‘ essays as well!

I Remember

By Annie Tichenor

I am eating meat after 30 years as a strict vegetarian. For decades I nurtured a sincere faith that evolution gives us the opportunity to rise above our barbaric ancestors and preserve the lives of animals. When health concerns ushered me to consider diet changes, I began to study. In hopes of evading a lifestyle change, I sought confirmation that eating meat is devastatingly unethical. The diagrams in Jim Merkel’s Radical Simplicity and compelling statistics in Anna Lappé’s Diet for a Hot Planet gave me comfort that I could hold in my hands, read on my flashcards, and roll on my tongue. But my fatigued blood whispered, “Keep reading.”

Joel Salatin holds a hen during a tour of Poly...

Joel Salatin holds a hen during a tour of Polyface Farm. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Imagine for a moment how many living organisms are in a handful of healthy soil. This life-source has been squandered since the invention of synthetic fertilizer and mono-crop farming. In his book, Folks, this ain’t normal, farming revolutionary Joel Salatin writes, “[…] in recent decades we’ve used more energy, destroyed more soil, […] mutated more bacteria, and dumped more toxicity on the planet than all the cultures before us – combined.” Modern farming techniques that were once praised as the vehicle for record production yields are now convicted for the mass murder of ecosystems. While I thought I was preserving lives through my vegetarian food choices, how many ecosystems were destroyed in vain? Are the lives of micro- organisms less important than the lives of larger animals? If so, then why? In the coming decades, I estimate that we will be forced to learn just how important live soil is. The magic that our species has only recently forgotten must be remembered.

Ethical eating involves organic, local, in-season food, prepared at home. I reach further to find that it also requires feeding our food-source more than we are taking from it. Animals are a mandatory component of this equation. Life in the soil is re-established and maintained through its interaction with animals. Rotation of pasture, harvest, and cover crop allows us to use relatively few acres, nourish the soil, and yield an abundant edible output. Fogline Farm, in Santa Cruz, CA shares, “We graze our animals through our orchards and vineyards, constantly moving them to fresh pasture.” Followed by cover or harvest crop, the benefit of a happy-animal parade is captured. Each ingredient of the cycle is respected in an ethical farming strategy. Animals are incorporated in order to feed the soil while feeding the community.

Is eating meat ethical? Far too often not! Soft leather gloves of big business grip an industry that produces nutrient-light/toxin-heavy “food”. Feeding us from the prison cells of concentrated animal feeding operations is not only unethical, it is despicable. Can eating meat be ethical? “Yes!” resounds. Absorbing life with gratitude, kindness and grace is a lyric to an ancient song that still echoes through our land and is so often unheard. The delusional attempt to extricate myself from a life-cycle that involves death is a delirious vacuum. The suction allures me, inviting me to a familiar circus where lights glow as they deceive and music spins as it distracts. With piercing clarity and flashes of anger, Lierre Keith, author of Vegetarian Myth, writes about her arduous path, “Eventually we see our only choices: the death that’s destroying life or the death that’s a part of life”. Finding peace in surrender wafts a divine essence through the room. As we kindle this understanding, we will reconnect with the natural cadence of our life cycle. Connectedness will cleanse our systems and we may be overwhelmed by the thought, “Oh, thank heavens, I remember.”

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Our goal is to reach 1000 FaceBook page likes (click here)! “Liking” our page will include our industry related news updates and musings in your newsfeed (1-3/day). If you already “like” it, consider sharing our content with your friends, using the one click sharing buttons below. We appreciate your help in reaching our goals!

Over 235 shares! Check out our most popular article about sustainability in relation to “The Hunger Games”: “The Hunger Games”… Fiction or Non-Fiction?.

Recycle Your Recycled Toothbrush!


“Small as they are, tossed toothbrushes certainly do create a lot of waste. Indeed, some 50 million pounds of them are tossed into America’s landfills each year.” (Source: http://environment.about.com/od/earthtalkcolumns/a/toothbrush.htm)

Link to purchase 5pk of Preserve Toothbrushes

Quick link to Blog Post 2: Is Eating Meat Sustainable?

Quick link to Blog Post 1: Dance to an Earth-Beat

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