Monthly Archives: January 2014

7) Meditate

“The Way to do is to be.”
― Laozi

Inhale. Exhale.

Our breath is what keeps us alive, and we forget just how important it is to focus in on that life-force. Whether it be a minute or two or ten, your mind needs a rest from all the work it does every waking moment. Thoughts may arise, all you have to do is throw them into the fire and surrender to the moment. You have the power to be conscious.

 

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6) Read

There’s so many things to know in this world. Could it be 10,000? I’d think more than that easily.

There’s so many perspectives to consider. How can we possibly hope to make a lasting positive change in the world without understanding it first?

the good news is there’s an easy way to start. Just make time to read today. Go the extra mile and read something of value.

Here’s a short list of some good books to get you started:

The Monkey Wrench Gang- Edward Abbey

The World Without Us- Alan Weisman

Wild- Cheryl Strayed

Dharma Bums- Jack Kerouac

Tom O’Bedlam- Robert Silverberg

Mountains Beyond Mountains- Tracy Kidder

Cosmos- Carl Sagan

Eating Animals- Jonathan Safran Foer

Shift- Hugh Howey

Food and the City- Jennifer Cockrall-King

Spell of the Sensuous- David Abram

The Shadow of the Sun- Ryszard Kapuscinski

Into the Wild- Jon Krakauer

Bhagavad Gita

Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior- Chogyam Trungpa

Kingdom of Fear- Hunter S. Thompson

Cat’s Cradle- Kurt Vonnegut

The Invisibles- Grant Morrison (Graphic Novel Series)

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**Bonus Points if you’re familiar with a few of the titles above, can you find a common theme in the works listed?

9) plant something

Start, raise, grow or inspire a plant, of any kind today.

You don’t need to have a yard. Put a pot in a windowsill or drop a seed in a park.

Start with a seed or a cutting.

There are so many ways to propagate plants in and around our homes. They make the air a bit fresher, they radiate natural beauty, and some kinds, of course, can be eaten or used for teas or other remedies.

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tree-collard on fire escape

4) Don’t Eat Meat Today

Try some kale, have some tofu, eat lots of fruit or grains or even delicious pasta.

It’s not so bad, check out these delicious recipes.

See if you can do it for just one whole day. Or two.

If it feels good, make it last your whole life long. Power to you.

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Bringing in the chickens. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Eating plant products rather than animals saves a whole lot of carbon emissions and other resources. Just to get a sense of it this quotation comes from an article in TIME, “one dairy gives off 3,575 pounds of ammonia, 33,092 pounds of methane, and 409 pounds of nitrous oxide per day. Now consider that there are 365 days in a year and tens of thousands of dairy farms in the U.S.”

For my part, I will simply ask you to think about the food chain. In a food chain there are organisms called producers, at the bottom, who absorb energy from the sun and convert it into carbohydrates. Any organism above the producers are consumers, who get their energy from consuming producers or other consumers. The thing is, only a small portion of the energy contained in any organism is absorbed by a consumer who eats that organism. So the higher one eats on the food chain, the more energy had to be converted from the bottom-up to create that meal. In simplified terms it’s like choosing between eating an ear of corn, or growing a whole field of corn to feed a cow so that you can have a burger.

And don’t even get me started on the magnanimous amount of water that is saved by lowering meat consumption. Or methane produced by cows on Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. Or the nitrates from their dung that ends up washing into rivers leading to enormous algae blooms that deplete oxygen in the water creating dead zones.

Ugh. I could talk forever about the problems. Don’t make me talk forever about the problems.

Just do us all a favor: take one positive action today and choose not to eat meat.

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a grass-fed gentle giant

3) just say no to plastic bags

This one goes out to the all the allies in the ocean. Especially the sea lions and sea turtles. One love to the flipper-ed friends!

ImageSo here’s the deal:

400 plastic bags are consumed every second in the state of California.

Plastic bags that we use and throw away often end up in the ocean. They are littered or put in a landfill. Either way they are likely to blow off the coast and into the sea.

In the water, plastic bags may be mistaken as a jellyfish and eaten by an unfortunate turtle or dolphin.

If the bag isn’t eaten it may drift around long enough to break down into smaller pieces. Because plastic doesn’t decompose, microscopic pieces of plastic continue to build up in the world’s oceans. The tiniest pieces are inevitably absorbed by filter feeders who are then eaten by predatory animals; in this way plastic works its way up the food chain. This is why most all sea food caught in the ocean today is found to have levels of plastic chemicals in it.

Therefore plastic in the ocean is bad for marine life, and it is also bad for people.

See a catchy video that breaks it down here:

The upside to the problem of plastic bags is that there is a simple solution: simply STOP USING PLASTIC BAGS. Reusable canvas bags are all the rage now, so get a few if you don’t already have them and don’t forget to bring them with you when you shop.

If you really want to fight the good fight, be strict about not using bags. Refuse to accept plastic bags, and encourage others to do the same.

The sharks and the sardines will thank you.

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2) don’t buy anything

just don’t do it

just don’t do it

maybe just try something different,       try something different.

DSCN2333Okay, fine. Not buying anything at all is nearly impossible in the cash-powered, consumption-driven society that we are living in.

That being said, One Positive Action is here to remind you that alternatives exist.

More and more it seems that the world is run by corporate interests who would work us all like slaves to the grave to serve their profit margins. It’s a grim reality that we are buying into every time we sign on the line to spend our hard earned incomes on their things.

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waste.

Not to mention all the waste that goes into it.

You can be part of those of us who aim to transcend consumerism.

The action is simple: Take a moment today to be aware of your own consumptive habits and desires. Is there anything you are planning on buying soon that you don’t really need? If you can do without it, just try, and see how that feels.

To go above and beyond, think about what you did yesterday…how many things did you buy? How many things did you do?

One Positive Action encourages you to keep tabs on your day to day experience. Prioritize having a good over having things.

If “a penny saved is a penny earned” than every iPhone you don’t buy is like earning a few hundred bucks.

By actively choosing to go without some things you’re saving resources, time and money that you can use for something else instead.

Maybe skip those designer jeans and treat yourself to delicious, organic fruits for the next month. Then go have some fun outside. You might find that extra activity in the sunshine makes you look and feel better than any pair of jeans ever could.

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1) Be kind to yourself

The fact that you have found yourself reading this blog post means that you are part of a small but important group of people.

You are a warrior.

You are a saint.

You are among those who strive for the universal liberation of life.

Our enemy is vast, deceptive and cunning. Which is why we need you now! We need you in your finest condition.

So be good to yourself, for the good of the cause. Take a moment to do, whatever it is that you’d really like to do, with the well-being of yourself and your planet in mind.

Keep it simple. Be creative.

I wont say any more than that, because this is about your desires, not mine.

Just be true to yourself. When you’re satisfied with what you’ve done, brave warrior, you may report back for further instructions.

Rest assured, there will be much more to come.

Cheers,

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Near sunset, New Mexico.