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Journey to Enlightenment: Interview with Simran Singh

Author Simran Singh shares her journey from breakdown to a life of freedom and courage in this inspirational interview with Lilou Mace. She reminds us that every challenge is a gift from the universe, a unique reflection of something your soul wants you to see. The signs and symbols are everywhere, if you choose to see them. 

 




Stand Up for Yourself to Shift Your Life in 2014

SelaciaContributor

When a friend wants support or simply a vote of confidence, you likely respond and do what you can. After all, compassion and support for others is wired into your nature. It’s encoded in your DNA to care about others and to step in when a loved one feels down or wants encouragement.

Acknowledge yourself for stepping in and being that rock of support. As you help others, in even simple ways, you lift your own energy higher and accelerate your spiritual progress.

Question for March 2014

The question this month is this: Are you able to stand up for yourself as you do for others?
If you haven’t considered this idea recently, March is an excellent time to do so. This month’s energies will catalyze a review of self-worth and self-love – perhaps triggering reflection of how true you are able to be with yourself.

It takes great courage to be true to yourself, regardless of the world’s feedback. Developing this type of courage involves a process over time. Some days will be easier than others.

The strength of character that you are building is rooted in self-love – standing up for yourself even when no one seems to see you or recognize your talents. It means that you step up and give yourself the acknowledgement and support you deserve. It also requires that you stop caring so much about what others think, stop pleasing people, and stop worrying about whether you have done enough to help others.

When you have enough self-love, helping others will become more of your active expression, not less. You won’t need a measuring stick. You will simply give, in appropriate ways, because that is the right thing to do.

Owning Your Power

You cannot stand tall and be in your true power to create when you have given all of your power away to others. You must own your power and live it. You must have the strength to do this in all sorts of situations – including challenging times and moments when you seemingly sit in the dark waiting for the sun to come out. This is what mastery is for you, the divine changemaker.

2014 – Year of Focus on Relationships and Values

In this Horse Year, there will be a big focus on relationships and values. You and everyone you meet will be reevaluating these things. In your own life, you will have ample opportunities to consider how you relate to others and yourself, and to explore the notion of what and who you value.

The “who” begins with you, of course. You must value yourself and respect yourself before you can feel truly valued and respected in life.
Energy is energy – you must house the energy you want to receive!

The Self and Others

Self-valuing is also essential for successful interactions with others. If you doubt your own value and give away your power, how can you see and respond appropriately to the value others bring? If you have friends in this situation, no doubt you have heard them dismissing the gifts of others – perhaps criticizing fees charged as an energy exchange. In other cases, you may have observed people acknowledging the value of other people, but holding back with themselves. Both types of response stem from lack of awareness.

Using the Fire Energy of 2014

Remember that the fire energy of 2014 will continually call upon you to take action on things that are out of balance or simply need a push forward. You want to use your fire intelligently. This means taking constructive actions that support your forward movement and help you to reclaim power you have unknowingly given away.

Use the rebirth energy of this fire to help you rediscover your true power. Use it to reclaim your voice. Use it to move into the self-love needed to stand up for yourself in a brand-new way!


selacia_min_400
About the Author

Selacia, internationally acclaimed author of Earth’s Pivotal Years, is an intuitive healer and guide to others on the path of spiritual awakening. A former foreign correspondent with The Wall Street Journal and other media, she has decades of experience in the areas of world politics, social change, healing, consciousness, and spiritual transformation. In her journalism career, Selacia covered the White House, US Congress, G8 meetings, economic summits, and world trade talks. In her global healing work, she has addressed the United Nations (SEAT). Her writings are read in sixty-four countries. She is a pioneer in DNA intuitive healing, serving people everywhere who desire wholeness and a heart-centered life. Selacia has dedicated her life to spirit, and to opening the way for others to progress on their path of enlightenment. Visit her at www.Selacia.com.

Copyright 2014 by Selacia – All Rights Reserved *




We’re On the Right Track – Inspiring Video on Why the World is Getting Better

Jason Silva on why we should see beyond the doom and gloom and realise that the world is on the right track.




You Don’t Solve Your Problems, You Outgrow Them

Luminita Saviuc | Purpose Fairy

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” ~ Einstein

We all have problems. Some are big and some are small, some are important and some are not that important, some are urgent while others not so urgent, and of course, most of us think that problems need to be solved, right? Well,  problems don’t need to be solved, they need to be outgrown, because if we don’t outgrow them, it will take us a great deal of time to “solve” and “fix” them, and chances are that we will get stuck at that level.

We are meant to be constantly growing, constantly evolving and constantly learning from our mistakes, and also the mistakes of those around us, and when we have a problem, if we want to get rid of it, we shouldn’t spend too much time talking and thinking about it, because that will only make things worse. I always say to people, think not about those things you do not want, because that will only attract more of the things you don’t want, but rather, think about those things you do want, so you could get more of them. Think in positive terms, always! Don’t be pushed by your problems, but rather be led by your dreams.

The first thing we want to do, whenever we are faced with a difficult situation, is to imagine ourselves already free of those situations, to imagine how our lives would look like without those problems, and how would that make us feel. This is what we should be doing, because, if you ask me, people insist way too much on the problems they have, instead of focusing on the solutions and the results they want to get. Like attracts like, and if you invest your precious energy thinking about your problems instead of thinking about the solutions to those problems, you will definitely get stuck.

Abraham Maslow is a person I truly admire and who’s work inspires me, from whom I have learned so much, and Maslow used to say that we shouldn’t insist too much on the problems we have, but rather on the results we want to get. He believed that 2 minutes would be enough to spend on the problem, and the rest of our time and energy, should be directed towards the end result, towards the things we want to achieve, on the solutions of our so called problems, not on the problem.

You see, when you spend too much time talking and focusing on the problems, you get too caught up, and it will be quite hard for you to detach from them, and see the big picture. You will start seeing your problems as being bigger than yourself, and you will be overwhelmed; you will have a hard time finding your way out; you will have a hard time outgrowing your problems, and chances are, that you will be outgrown by them.

And you know what? A lot of times, we don’t even perceive these problems, that we may encounter with, from an objective and realistic point of view, but rather from a subjective and distorted point of view. Many of our so called problems are only in our heads, and we need to learn how to see reality as it really is, we need to see facts as facts, and not based on what our mind and emotions tells us is real. How we feel about a certain thing or situation, doesn’t always mean that’s how everybody is going to be feeling about it; it doesn’t mean that’s how we should be feeling. It’s how we choose to respond to whatever comes our way that will eventually determine how we perceive the environment and the world we live in, and the amount of problems we will have. Our thoughts and perceptions about the world, will eventually create our reality, and it depends on us, whether we choose to see the words as loving, or not so loving.

We need to learn not to sweat the small stuff, because you see, a lot of our problems are just that, small stuff. When you are too caught up in whatever it is that you perceive as being negative, wrong, disturbing, etc., you no longer see reality as it is, you no longer see things as they are. It’s crucial that you understand this, because if you don’t, you will always see yourself as being just a small person with really big problems, you will always see yourself as being a victim.

The idea is, for you to stop trying so hard, to stop talking to everybody you meet about your miserable and unhappy life, about you horrible, and impossible to overcome, problems, because that’s not how you will get rid of them. Like attracts like, and if you direct your energy in the wrong direction, you will be overwhelmed and you will be unhappy for the rest of your life, because, the way you see it, your problems are way bigger than you are, and they are the ones who are controlling your life, not you!

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You’re Talking to Me?

Ida LawrenceContributor

Communication within the consciousness movement seems like the Tower of Babel sometimes, with all of us speaking different languages. That old Tower story is definitely a separation story, maybe even an ego/separation story. Since we’re into oneness, and that requires a whole lot of allowing, accepting, and affirming the divinity within all, I’m thinking that our communication is worth a look-see.

Today I listened to a speaker who asserted that if you’re driving to a building, let’s say an office building, that building doesn’t exist until you arrive there and observe it. Huh? Did the people in the building not exist either, or did they materialize the building before I got there, because they’re observing it? My grandkids are in another city and I can’t see them… does that mean they’re in wave form?

There’s a reason I’m talking this silliness… my point is to ask the purpose of our communication. Are we expressing ourselves for the benefit of others? It’s interesting to play around with disappearing buildings and so on, but how will putting our minds there help us in this journey?

Communication is an art form, and as with other art forms, we’re allowed to ask… is it inspired, is it regurgitation, is it imagination, is it valuable. Regurgitation can be fine, if the information is accurate, the speaker understands it, and it has value. Imagination is fine too… lessons from fiction can be applied to life. But ‘informed by experience’ or ‘inspired Knowing’ is what we really want to hear.

We’re soldiering in a really dark and dense matrix and we’re breaking new ground. So people are looking for communication with some ‘juice’…  nourishment for the fringe dwellers, in a language they can understand.

’Inspired knowing’ might come from intuition, feeling, visionary experiences, or, most often, expressing what one has learned and experienced by putting knowledge into practice. Communication of this quality can be a huge benefit to others. ‘Informed experience’ would simply be telling stories of life experiences, informed by our consciousness. Stories can be good ‘juice’ too, especially if they help us tie things together and heal.

Does a spiritual path have to be applicable to our lives? I would think so, otherwise what’s the point? A path that focuses on self-knowledge, helps us with perception, leads to liberation, helps us connect with the divine, eases suffering, is True information… that’s what I call the warrior’s way.

The speaker I referred to earlier, also said, “Love is the only thing that is real.” Well that’s cool to think about.  Isn’t love pure energy and information? Isn’t pure energy and information also Truth? Aren’t they one and the same? Can we say Truth is God and God is Love? Seems to me the moment deception enters the picture, that’s the moment separation enters the picture, eliminating both truth and love.

And that relates again to the Tower of Babel. I’m not into religion or trying to discuss anything Biblical for the sake of Christianity… I’m just using it as a story. To me it’s an image that can tie together the ego’s tower, with separation, with deception, and the inability to communicate successfully. If we can find a way to reverse that story, then no more frustration! We’ll start to feel the oneness.

Story telling is a fairly common level of communication that can lead us toward healing, and take us up a notch to a higher level of heart connection: intuitive, barriers-down, trusting, psychic, intimate, love the love communication. Eventually we’d like our life on this beautiful earth to be as we are meant to be… the energy of love and truth, in the flesh. And the heart/mind is the way.

Sometimes people will say, “Detach from your story… everybody has one. Let it go and get on with living.” The ‘venting’ ‘poor me’ story is pretty common, and yes, detach from it. It benefits no one. But there is another kind of story that I find uncommon and courageous.

A woman in her thirties, who enjoys some recognition for her YouTube TV channel, put out a video about herself. She spoke of the time in her early twenties when she contracted herpes, and how she lived with her shameful secret. I found this woman’s video to be a beautiful communication… no Babel here, but simply a brave example of loving Self and trust in others. For some of us this kind of talk might be a bit too Oprah-ish, but for others it  can be a connection… perhaps even a vital, problem-solving one.

Simple communications like this, not having to do with energy or metaphysics or ascension or past lives or disappearing buildings, have a place in the renewal. Stories can bring the speaker to peace, and bring the listener to non-judgment and a loving heart.

I hope we continue to tell our stories. I recently told a bit of mine, and I have to say, it took some courage! I was afraid of judgment and opinions, and what I experienced was a Warm embrace coming back to me. Dang it… it sure made me bow to the quality of this family.

Now let’s go back to the speaker that I expressed some frustration with. Maybe she was just a little too distant for me, as I like to keep it down to earth. And yet, I have to give it to her for saying something that I could hear: “We are all players on a stage… we walk on, play our role, and walk off.” Yes we do, and it’s a fantastic change of the worlds we’re performing… the entry of the light into this dark and dense dimension.

Who is on stage now? There are communicators, kind souls that you can trust, problem solvers, people who make you smile, artists, healers, teachers, nourishers, builders, partiers, story tellers, gardeners, soldiers, guides and fighters. And for a while longer there will be people in towers looking down. No worries though… life has a way of leveling and balancing.

About the Author

cropped - IdaIda Lawrence is an author, blogger, copywriter and editor based in Atlanta, Georgia. She has contributed to and edited two books on racial justice and human rights, and numerous articles on human rights, self-empowerment and related subjects. Her latest book is entitled The Warrior’s Way to Heaven on Earth. Ida has also published a companion book of blog favorites from https://talk2momz.com/.




8 Steps to Constructing the New Reality

Julian Rose | Waking Times

We who engage in postulating solutions to the dominant issues of this time, use much energy speculating on unknown outcomes. But how much energy do we use in laying the ground for a future of our own making?

How much time do we give to devising the template for the new society we must create?

To bring a dream into reality is hard work: it’s a lifetime’s work at the very least. Yet many hold back from ever embarking – rationalising that such a quest is a futile exercise that will surely be swamped by a reactionary and repressive status quo.

Somehow, this failure to embark on the single most important mission of our lives, characterises a great swath of sleepwalking humanity. But not only, also a significant percentage of supposed ‘spiritual aspirants’ who confuse the azure bubble in which they live with the stark reality of the new world which needs to be chiseled and honed into existence.

So here are a few suggestions about what can be done now, to ensure that life on Earth gets a better chance under our stewardship than under the present and past masters of control.

  1. Bring into consciousness a realistic vision of what your neighbourhood should look and be like in  a positively transformed state.
  2. Note down on paper the basic ingredients necessary to bring about this positive change.
  3. Add to this mix anyone living in the area who you feel could make a positive contribution to this process.
  4. Go back through your blueprint and allow your creative imagination to paint in some colourful innovative elements that will give movement to the plan. For example music, drama and seasonal celebrations.
  5. Check that the essential simple necessities are in place: local, ecological and integrated food production; fresh water availability; the resources for renewable heat and power generation; the existence/planting of orchards; woodland areas for timber needs – and all other such similar needs that offer food and shelter security within a community intent upon transitioning away from state and corporate dependency.
  6. Now research current activities in your neighbourhood and see what there is that may already touch on the key elements of your vision. There may be two or three such initiatives already being considered or even practised. But chances are they are not ‘connected-up’.
  7. Using your holistically conceived blueprint as the crystalising factor, get involved in helping to create a working symbiosis between these different initiatives so that they each draw benefit from the other and increase the overall awareness of all involved.
  8. Book an available space in your local town/village hall or home – prepare your ‘bigger picture’ plan – and map the interconnections that, when all the key elements are functioning fully, will bring renewed life and direction to the whole community.

Once having completed these eight steps, alert your local media and invite local residents to share the vision which you started. Show what progress has already been made and what still needs to be done. Encourage the formation of working groups to take these different complementary initiatives forward and to periodically share the results of their efforts. Forging, bit by bit, a metamorphosis of life in your neighbourhood.

Such a project can be done by anyone. No need for any particular qualifications or skills. Just a strong desire to help your community stand on its own two feet and free itself from dependence upon the hierarchical control model which holds so much of society in its thrall.

Very soon your energetic approach will draw fellow enthusiasts to your scheme – while others will back-off. This is an essential part of any process of creative change, and one which defines where true commitment can be found and where fake enthusiasm reveals itself for what it is.

I have put this concept to the test and had very positive results. The initiative involved developing a template for a UK market town of 10,000 inhabitants to become largely self sufficient in locally produced food, fuel and fibre over a fifteen year period, starting in 2000. While it was not possible to give as much time as I would have liked to this project, it was possible to share its vision with local motivators and witness a steady process of transformation get under-way – which continues to this day. The town in question has since attracted a significant number of national awards for its innovative socio-economic practices.

Don’t be swayed by the cynical voices who say ‘it can’t be done’. My reaction to such remarks is to be stirred into ever greater determination to show that it can!

We have one life – at least in this body. It is a brief flash, a spark, which flares-up into fire, flickers and transforms into something else.  To waste this brief and precious gift by evading its call to action – is an error which in all probability cannot be recalled.

If we are serious about turning around the fortunes of this planet, then it’s time for talk and action to become synonymous. If we are not, then it’s time to get out of the way.

About the Author

Julian is a committed international activist, writer, farmer and actor. He is an early pioneer of UK organic farming methods and is currently involved in the front line of efforts to keep Poland free from genetically modified organisms. Julian is President of The International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside. His book Changing Course for Life can be purchased on www.changingcourseforlife.info. His latest book In Defence of Life – a Radical Reworking of Green Wisdom is available at Amazon or can be requested onhttps://www.julianrose.info/

This article featured at Waking Times.




To Forgive Is Not To Reconcile

By Omar Cherif
To Forgive in Not to Reconcile A few days ago I wrote on my Facebook wall, “Forgive others because you deserve to set yourself free.” I had already shared it before and kept it in my ‘Reflections’ Word file. Five months later I thought of posting it again. Someone commented that they can’t understand the link, so I decided to dig deeper before I reply to them. And what I found is worth reflecting upon. Let us see the difference between two terms that are often confused: Forgiveness and Reconciliation.

 

In general, forgiveness is the act or process of pardoning to prevent harmful thoughts from causing damage to one’s mental well-being. It’s an inner response. When anger, resentments and grudges arise because of a past abuse or because of a crime or an accident, by forgiving the wrongdoer we get a chance to let go of these negative emotions. But how can one forgive those who have hurt them? And more importantly, why do it?

In Buddhism, when we forgive someone who has harmed us, we decide not to retaliate, not to seek revenge. We simply unburden ourselves from the weight of grudges, resentment and retribution. We get it out of the system by shifting how we think about it. We choose to do this for ourselves, for our own healing.

Though it may help the other person as well, but forgiveness involves us and not them. Reconciliation may sometimes follow forgiveness, but it’s possible to forgive without re-establishing or continuing the relationship. We don’t have to like the wrongdoer or even see them again. In fact, we can forgive someone who is dead, because without forgiveness they aren’t really dead in our minds, they remain alive and real.

So the letting go is essentially for our own peace of mind.

 Whether it’s an abusive parent, an unfaithful partner, a close friend who has backstabbed us or just a random stranger, we can forgive the person without excusing the act itself. Forgiveness does not mean we justify, or condone or minimize their harmful behaviour; it means we choose not be angry or resentful towards them.

Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.” He also said, “Forgiveness is the virtue of the brave.” I believe it is also the gift of the wise. We can do it on our own, without having the other party to know or understand why we have done it. The bitter taste of the memory may stay with us forever, but the act of letting go that comes with forgiveness allows us to better “deal” with the memory of the offence. For true healing does not mean erasing the memory or denying the harm done; it’s simply finding a way to overcome the negativity that is linked to it. It’s a heck of a powerful choice. By dropping the weight we are capable of focusing on more positive aspects in our lives, get well, and move on.

 

However, there are some elements or steps that need to be achieved before letting go is possible. I have found that Buddhism and Psychotherapy offer more or less the same procedure to healing.

First, acknowledging to the self that wrong was done to it. The emotion needs to be felt and expressed. Fully experiencing the related feelings and thoughts allows us to be able to expunge them, giving a chance for more positive ones to occupy the mind, body, and overall psyche.

The next is to understand the reason behind the wrongdoing by reflecting on it. The human brain is almost conditioned to constantly try to look for explanations. At this point, even randomness would suffice to convince it.

Then comes reestablishing safety. This is done so that the act doesn’t reoccur. Because forgiveness doesn’t mean putting oneself in a position to be harmed again. It also doesn’t mean to literally “forget,” since there would be no lesson learned if we did. At this level, you may decide to no longer see the person, end a relationship, or establish new boundaries. To be able to proceed, safety needs to be re-acquired to a certain reasonable extent.

Note that the above three steps do not have to follow this specific order. They can overlap and the forgiver may keep returning to them interchangeably until he or she is ready to move on with their grieving process.

Then finally, the letting go. This stage is the hardest because, in a way, it may appear like you’re surrendering power. Though you are not. Again, you do this solely for yourself. You choose to set yourself free. It may actually take months or years to get rid of all the anger, hurt and resentment. But then when it happens, one becomes liberated from the burden because they fully let go of the transgression — making peace with their past.

 

In some earlier Buddhist teachings the emphasis was not on forgiving, but on the foolishness of taking offence in the first place. They spoke of transcending the whole experience.
“He abused me, he struck me, he overcame me, he robbed me” — in those who do not harbour such thoughts hatred will cease.”
— Dhammapada 1.3–4; trans. Radhakrishnan

 

On the other hand, reconciliation means a return to amicability. It means restoring the harmony of a relationship you had with another person. It’s a more complex tête-à-tête process that surpasses forgiveness, which is a solo job. Reconciliation requires the reestablishing of trust between both parties by them agreeing to work together in a somewhat friendly manner.

If the responsibility for the wrongdoing is denied, or the offender maintains that they did no wrong, there’s no chance for reconciliation. 

Likewise, if the offender insists that the feelings of the other person are not of importance, or that they have no right to hold them to their standards of right and wrong, the person won’t trust the offender not to hurt them again.

For the trust to be regained and reconciliation achieved, there must be mutual respect and agreement on what is acceptable behaviour and what is not. 

The offender has to admit that they have hurt the other and that it was wrong to do so. They have to promise to exercise control in the future. Only then can their relationship be reestablishment.

Like forgiveness, reconciliation offers liberation and healing. However, unlike forgiveness, because it involves two parties, it’s a sort of deal and it has seemingly harder steps. That’s why it’s usually more complicated to materialize.

 

A healthy and lasting reconciliation requires the following:

First, the wrongdoing has to be acknowledged. Hence, its occurrence accepted.

Second, to understand why it had happened. If the two parties try to patch things up without getting to the root of the issue, nothing can really heal. Only when the root intentions have been shown to both to be reconcilable and the differences resolved can the healing process begins to take place.

Finally, the offender needs to promise to restrain himself from repeating the wrongdoing in the future. This is when trust gets a chance to be restored, and the deal is closed to some degree.

 

As we have seen, forgiveness and reconciliation are not the same. Forgiveness is about letting go of the past, while reconciliation is about committing to a future. Reconciliation may or may not be possible due to many sorts of obstacles. And when it isn’t possible, forgiveness comes in handy because you can do it on your own and for your own — to let go of YOUR burden.

Both forgiveness and reconciliation could be long processes. They each offer healing and a chance to rebuild oneself or a relationship. Reconciliation is normally more complicated, it may sometimes never happen or, perhaps, it shouldn’t happen in some cases. Still, I believe that forgiveness is only one personal decision away that is worth our emotional and physical health. It is a key to freedom. Forgive, no need to forget.

 

 

About the Author:

Omar Cherif Omar Cherif is a trilingual writer and researcher, photographer and blogger with degrees in journalism, psychology, and philosophy. After working in the corporate world for ten years, he took writing as a vocation and is currently finalizing his first book about dreams, the subconscious mind and spirituality among other topics.

 

You can follow Omar on here:
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And you can find more of his work on his blog and on Flickr:
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Classical Baroque for Brain Boosting

Sure, nowadays you can buy some binaural beats for 99 cents, but Bach and Mozart tapped into brain-bending power long ago.

 Frederic Patenaude | renegadehealth.com | March 3, 2014  

I was lucky enough to spend three years of my life in a music college, right after high school, where I dedicated most of my waking hours to the study of music and classical guitar.

When working on the computer, half the time I blast classical music to bring me to a state of enhanced productivity and creativity. I use music to enhance my workouts, and to relax my mind before going to sleep.

Why Classical Music?

Studies have shown that baroque music has potent brain-enhancing qualities by affecting brain waves. Classical music in general has been used to:

Can Classical Music Make Kids Smarter?

You probably heard the popular idea that if children listen to Mozart’s music, or other classical music, they will grow up more intelligent. This is not actually true. In fact, the original studies were done on students, not children. They found was that the students listening to a Mozart’s piece before a test did better at certain types of tasks where they had to create shapes in their mind. But the effects only lasted about 10 to 15 minutes.

So merely listening to classical music won’t make you or your children smarter, but it does affect your brain waves and can probably enhance your creativity and help reduce stress.

Specific Benefits to Baroque Music

When I was in music school, my favorite music to play on the guitar was Bach. Bach is considered by some as the greatest composer who ever lived, and he certainly had a huge influence over the development of music. I always found that playing Bach relaxed my mind, creating a state of inner peace. I didn’t know completely why, but I felt like Bach’s music was true music for the soul.

Now that I make my living writing, I often use Bach and other music of the Baroque genre to boost my creativity (Baroque is style of Western music composed in Europe from approximately 1600 to around 1750. The composers that are the most famously associated with this genre are Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Scarlatti, Corelli, and Telemann.)

Why Baroque?

In one study, students found that students enjoyed the class better when baroque music was playing in the background, and found math classes less challenging.

So why Baroque?

Baroque musicians improvised a lot, and at the time baroque music was considered a bit wild. After that period, starting around the death of Bach in 1750, music became more regimented, with the classical period of Mozart, Haydn, and early Beethoven works.

After the classical period comes the Romantics, with later Beethoven works, Wagner, Berlioz, Chopin, Brahms, Mahler, and many others. Music during this period became very emotional, with grand and dramatic symphonies and concertos and wild piano sonatas, often taking you through a torrent of emotions.

Continue reading to learn what makes classical music so special 




4 Steps to Finding Your Inner Voice

Lexlee Overton | Purpose Fairy

“Your mind knows only some things. Your inner voice, your instinct, knows everything. If you listen to what you know instinctively, it will always lead you down the right path.” ~ Henry Winkler

We’ve all done it. We’ve all searched for the answers to our most complex life’s questions. Whether through reading the latest self-help book, attending seminars by the latest motivational speaker, sitting at the feet of a great “guru,” or visiting a noted psychic, we have hoped someone could help us find our way.

We’ve all spent the money, time and energy searching.  Yet somehow we always come away still yearning for more.

Like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, while we were looking for our way home, following the yellow brick road, we didn’t realize our answers were already there. Our quest to meet the Wizard – the one who could teach us all we needed to know, ends when we finally stop searching “out there”.

We realize our greatest teacher is someone who has been with us all along.  Albeit, someone we may not really know all that well.

In the practice of Kundalini Yoga, the opening mantra before every session is “Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo,” which means:  ”I bow to the Creative Wisdom, I bow to the Divine teacher.”

The mantra is used to tune the student into the “divine flow” and the knowledge we all carry inside us.  The great teacher is you.  No one can give you the knowledge or wisdom you need greater than what you can give yourself.  The Divine teacher is contained within each of us.

Our challenge is we often don’t know how to begin meeting ourselves. The journey to the classroom of your greatest teacher follows this path:

1. Be Willing To Be Still

We can not hear the divine knowledge if we are not willing to be still.  And I’m not referring to just closing your eyes and sitting.  Being truly still requires quieting of the mind, stopping all the chatter and being willing to hear what lies underneath. You have to be truly  present with yourself. A very hard task if you’ve been avoiding your truest deepest self.

When I ask if people mediate, the responses are typically that there isn’t enough time, or it seems silly – just to sit there and do nothing. Others tell me that it’s useless, because they can’t stop the chatter in their minds.

There is usually a reason for our hesitancy.   Anxiety can exist in just being quiet, completely letting go of all thought.  It takes courage to be in silence to hear the lesson which we can teach ourselves.  Don’t give up. Be patient and you will learn what your divine nature is trying to teach.

2.  Be Willing To Accept The Teacher Who Shows Up

Once you have cast aside all thoughts and chatter, you will meet your teacher.  He or she will be some form of your higher self.  Be willing to accept however “you” look.

The first time I truly became quiet, I met myself as a young woman around the age of 30.  I didn’t however, like what I saw. I almost didn’t recognize myself.

I looked exhausted, my cheeks drawn in, eyes wide with pain and I sat on the ground with my arms reaching up, as if asking for help to even stand.  This worn out exhausted version of myself was pleading for me to help her.

I wanted to run from her.

She scared me.

I stood my ground and listened.

I heard what she was teaching me. This younger exhausted version of me was there to show what my inner self was really feeling.   At that time in life, I was ignoring my needs.

I was working so hard at taking care of everyone else, I did not take time to care for her.  I was struggled to juggle being a single mother with a professional career.

This teacher was telling me that she needed help.   I had to find the courage to reach out to her, scoop her up in my arms and care for her.

In essence, be willing to accept the teacher who appears.  It might be a younger version of you, or an older one, or a version you have never seen.

Be willing to accept however the “inner you” appears.  The next time your teacher appears, don’t be surprised if  he or she looks completely different.   Each new lesson may bring a different teacher.  Be willing to accept the teacher who shows up.

3.  Be Willing To Learn

Whatever the lesson presented to you, be willing to learn.  Maybe the lesson will be a joyful one or one of appreciation.  Once my teacher showed me how to dance with joy.

A young happy version of myself appeared with her arms outstretched and head thrown back in joy, teaching me how it looks to feel free and happy.  Maybe it will be a lesson requiring courage because the instructions are words you haven’t been willing to hear.

Whatever the message, it will be the most important lesson you need to learn in that moment of time.  All the searching outside of yourself could never provide the answers your higher self will give you.

The silence is always filled with the wisdom of words we need.

We only need to be willing to learn.

Read the rest of the article…




Freeing a Killer Whale Held Captive for 43 Years

Source: Journeyman Pictures

Killer whale Lolita has been wowing crowds at Miami Seaquarium for over 40 years. But now the ‘Blackfish effect’ has a growing protest movement calling for her freedom. Have aquarium shows had their day? Every week thousands come to Miami Seaquarium for a spectacular show; one that orca Lolita has repeated 3 times a day for 43 years. “It tells you nothing about Orcas in the wild. It’s a circus”, says one leader of the protest movement campaigning for her release. Blackfish, a controversial documentary about orcas in SeaWorld, has inspired a new awareness of the plight of “the most social animal on the planet”. Director Gabriela Coperthwaite explains, “SeaWorld has for decades been running unchecked”. As experts argue Lolita’s “cement prison” has driven her “psychotic”, the safety and ethics of such aquarium shows are finally coming under question.




CLN Exclusive: Ben Lee on Inner Work, Spiritual Awakening and Global Transformation

Cassandra Sturdy, Conscious Living Editor

Ben Lee AyahuascaInner work, spiritual awakening and global transformation aren’t usually topics we’re used to hearing about in the mainstream music industry, but musician Ben Lee has been rather open about them recently, following the release of his latest album, Ayahuasca: Welcome to the Work.

A collaboration with Argentine-Australian actress and musician Jessica Chapnik Kahn, the album is inspired by Lee’s and Chapnik Kahn’s experiences with ayahuasca, the powerful plant medicine administered by shamans to individuals in a ceremonial context for the purposes of spiritual awakening, healing and the expansion of consciousness.

But while ayahuasca has played an important role in Lee’s awakening, helping him become more comfortable with change, he’s quick to point out that the concept of the album is really symbolic of the process of raising consciousness, an undertaking that can be achieved through other methods as well as ayahuasca.

“Ayahuasca is simply one tool that can be used to amplify consciousness and help us identify our flaws,” he told me. “Meditation is another tool, music can be another. No tool is completely good or bad, it is dependent on the intention with which it is being used.”

Ben Lee Ayahuasca 2Taking the listener on something of a spiritual journey and featuring tracks with titles such as, Invocation, I Am That I Am, and, Welcome To The House of Mystical Death, Lee says the album is an expression of gratitude for the expanded perspectives that come from inner work. “It’s a celebration of work that does not focus on changing the outside world, but work that is about radical transformation of the individual from within,” he said.

Lee says it’s precisely this sort of inner work that is required if we are to correct humanity’s current destructive and unbalanced behaviour. “We have already lived through many societal revolutions and have seen first hand that one corrupt system simply replaces another, there is no external change that can give us the answer we are seeking.”

I asked Lee if he thinks ayahuasca is illegal in western countries because of ignorance, or if he thinks there is a deeper government agenda behind the decision. “I can’t be certain why particular practices or plants are illegal,” he replied, “but I do imagine that they seem to threaten the stability of a society’s mechanical consciousness. In other words, they make people ask questions, which is never a good thing from the perspective of the collective ego.”

Ben Lee global shift consciousnessStressing the danger of hoping for a quick fix to current global issues, Lee believes that a shift in consciousness isn’t likely to occur by itself or within a short period of time, but that transformation is something we must all work towards every day, by focusing on raising our individual consciousness. “Any change that occurs will be the result of our hard work, it’s not going to happen for us, without our immense effort,” he said.

As well as hoping we’ve developed a more sustainable relationship to the natural world and our planet in the future, Lee predicts we will be more open minded when it comes to spiritual practices. “I think some of the more fringe aspects of culture such as transpersonal psychology and shamanic practices, as well as more esoteric approaches to mainstream religion, might have made their way into our collective psyche in a more substantial manner.”

amazon conservation team ben leeHonouring the energy of the album and proving that it’s possible to work for something other than financial gain, Lee has decided to donate all of the royalties from the album to two charities. “It was a decision made in an attempt to align the financial aspect of the album with the emotional and spiritual content and they are good causes to support,” he said.

“I donated 50% to the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies, as they are creating interesting dialogue around the potential uses of amplified states of consciousness within the medical and therapeutic worlds. The other 50% went to the Amazon Conservation Team. The Amazon can be considered ‘the lungs of the planet’, so it seemed like a good cause to support.”

Finally, Lee warned how unproductive it is to blame greedy corporations and government agendas for the issues stacking up in the world today. “The problem is internal, meaning we possess the same corruption, greed and hypocrisy within us,” he said. “When we realise this, we can address the problem with compassion and earnestness, rather than with an external ‘us vs them’ conception of things.”spiritual+awakening+global+shift+consciousness1

In the end, it all comes down to love… Lee says that’s the overall essence of the message. “I’m speaking of a powerful love that we might fight for internally, to become worthy of emanating. It is this love that we came from, and it is this love that I believe we will return to.”

Indeed. You can get your own copy of Ben Lee’s higher vibrational album and do your bit to support the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies and the Amazon Conservation Team from his website.

 

spiritual-awakening-global-awakening-movementAbout the Author

Cassandra Sturdy is Conscious Living Editor for Conscious Life News. She is the author of The Twelve Attunements, an exciting new novel that explores spiritual awakening, the global shift in consciousness and planetary transformation. You can get a free copy of this book from her website and connect with Cassandra on facebook.

 

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as the author bio is included and all links remain intact.

 

 

 




17 Easy Ways To Be Insanely Productive

Erin La Rosa | BuzzFeed

1. If you’re working on multiple projects, focus most of your time on the one that will yield the highest results.

This is often called the 80/20 rule or the Pareto principle, and it says that figuring out which 20% of your work will yield 80% of the best results will make you way more productive and inclined to work.

2. To burn off any anxiety you’re having, go for a run, dance, or do a physical activity for a half hour.

Working out increases your creativity and confidence, and is often a great way to clear your mind and let original ideas start to flow.

3. Make decisions and be decisive about them.

Being able to make a decision and move forward will help you be more productive. And those who go with their gut, rather than waffling, are happier in the long run. (Which means you won’t spend extra time agonizing over the decision you made.)

4. If you can, turn your phone off and put it in another room.

Or at worst, leave it on, but only respond to a text or call if it’s absolutely necessary during the time when you’re working.

5. Install the StayFocused app on your browser so that the amount of time you can waste online (aka stalking on Facebook) is limited.

This is seriously the best idea all around.

6. Download the Evernote app so that all of your thoughts are in one place.

This is especially helpful for those who are working on something creative. If a random idea or line pops into your head, this is the perfect place to keep all of those thoughts and images stored. Don’t spend hours searching through notebooks to find that idea you had a week ago, just plug them into this app!

7. Keep track of all of the things on your to do list with a “Do” folder.

The whole point of a Do folder is to keep track of all the apps you need to use every day, and sprinkle in a few that you eventually hope to use. That way when you do check your email, you’ll also see that Evernote app, or your fitness app, and be reminded of the things you still have to accomplish.

8. Set aside 30 minutes to an hour, and vow to only use that time to work. Once that time is up, take a 10-minute break, and repeat.

Setting an actual timer is often super helpful for this, and rewarding yourself with some kind of a treat if you actually work for that whole time also is an incentive.

9. Don’t check your email all day long, and instead agree to check it certain times.

Checking your email might be the reward you get for doing 30 minutes of work, or you might want to check it less often than that. But either way, if you aren’t constantly refreshing the inbox on your iPhone, you’re going to get more done.

10. But if it’s ABSOLUTELY necessary to check email often, make it less stressful with the Mailbox app.

The great thing about the Mailbox app is that it makes checking your email quick and painless. You get the subject, a line from the email, and with the swipe of your finger can decide if it’s read, unread, or if Mailbox should mark it as important and have you read it later. This is definitely a time saver, and will keep you organized without missing anything important.

11. Eating certain foods, like steel-cut oatmeal, dark chocolate, and bananas, can help to boost productivity. (YUM)

Other foods that will boost your memory and brain function include blueberries, wild salmon, green tea, coffee, avocado, raw carrots, dark leafy greens, yogurt, eggs, and bananas.

12. Also, not surprisingly, you need to avoid sugary and heavy foods when you’re trying to be productive.

That means to hold off on the soda, candy, burgers, and anything else that’s riddled with calories until a time when you can take a nap immediately afterward.

13. Wear something that’s comfortable and familiar.

This will almost work like having a uniform, in that wearing something that’s of a similar style will allow you to not have to think about it so much. So, if being cozy makes you feel productive, you’ll know to always keep the hoodie nearby.

14. Instead of trying to power through feeling sleepy, just take an actual nap for 10 minutes.

Ten to 20 minutes is ideal for re-energizing.

15. Create a daily routine, or set aside a specific time of day that is devoted to being productive.

Mornings might be best for this, since no matter how busy your day gets, you’ll always have that uninterrupted morning time for yourself.

Read the rest of the article…




Oh My, So That’s How GaiaMa Feels!

GaiaMa fetusBy Cristina Cabeza-Kinney

I consider myself an ecologist, environmentalist, you know eco-conscious.  I study to understand the ways of natural law, the interrelatedness of all things, and that the Earth is alive, Her force intricately woven into all in this sphere and beyond.  I am a student of Life, Death, and ReBirth.

So, during this week, I got a major dose of what this actually is.  A lot of times its mainly intellectual grasping of this mind boggling reality.  Sometimes, I can really tap in and consciously enter into the filament of the earth~cosmos connection.  I can really feel it.  This time, I went even deeper, into a realm of union and great grief.  I experienced this connectivity from a Mama’s point of view…you know from Mama to Mama.

I was truly having a “What the Fuck” kind of day.  At home, with the kids, a huge to do list, and the feeling that my daunting task of the day was to figure out how to herd cats.  Now, I like to consider myself a conscious and cool Mom, but this was definitely a Shadow Day.  Great evolution comes on Shadow Days.

So, here’s the scene, mainly expressed through my loving children’s subconscious agreement to help me evolve.  I take a step towards my goals and my daughter {whinning} needs her bum wiped.  I accomplish that, then she {whining} needs some “ami”, so I fix this up.  Meanwhile, her brother is asking me loads of questions which don’t, necessarily, relate to one another, in the most urgent of tones.  For some reason the questions need to come with his body obstructing my every move.

Meanwhile, little sister is climbing the chair, which topples over and she naturally wails as I go to comfort her.  I comfort, feed, answer, and now seize my moment to get to number 1 on my list.  As, I sit down to make the phone call, my children begin screaming at each other “No mine, no mine!”  I say the usual short term effectual words and take a breath.  Now, just set this to repeat for hours and you’ll get the gist of what reality I was living into.

My temper reaches the apex of its crescendo and I lose it.  Yelling and screaming, unleashing my deluge of frustration, I am completely enraged.  Engrossed in anger, I am baffled at the level of disrespect from these two beings who squeezed through my yoni…for hours!  Naturally, I may add.

So, with my temper way beyond comfortability,  I am left with only one way through….surrender.  I allow myself to cry, to feel what it is like to be sad, overwhelmed, and without answers.  To feel completely baffled on how to parent in the midst of tremendous responsibility.  To allow the waters pouring out of me to comfort me and release me into nothingness.  I cannot move forward…this train is moving me and I not it.

mother-earth-pregnant-womanThis is not an unfamiliar experience.  My Scorpio Moon moves me in these ways from time to time.  This time, it moved me deeper, into a place of finding my Earth Mama.  In the depths of these emotional waves, I found correlation and parallel…with GaiaMa.

This must be how she feels!

Continuously being needed, demanded for her time, resources, and energy.  Never being asked if she needs anything in return, if she needs replenishing.  Take, take, take{n} under seriously stressful times.  Always feeling behind in the work of moving the healing forward.  Her children pushed through her Yoni~Verse only to lose this memory.  To lose the connection and default into disrespect.  She too has a temper.

She unleashes her anger and fed~upness.  She boils over, whips her breath, quakes her body, moves distant womb waters, and rages wildfires.  Not for not.  There is a time for this.  Anger fermented in her bones does not serve these times.  It must be expressed and fuel the change.

And, as it is, there is a time for the sweet, soft rain.  The respite between evolutionary leaps.  The surrenderous void that allows the change to solidify.  The moment of grieving for what is, indeed, a lot to bear.  The amount of pain inherently weighing on GaiaMa right now is astronomical.  It deserves a Global Moment of Awe.  What her children, what we have inflicted on her through our evolutionary fumblings, is one for the Guinness Book of Universe Records.  So, I grieve with her, with no to do list, just surrendered tears and my heart’s compassion.

Deeply enveloped…I don’t feel alone.  I feel connected to a global crisis.  I feel like my profound sadness is felt in the many hearts feeling the heart of our Earth Mother.  Somehow, this is comforting.

And then, this morning I awaken to a vision…a simple vision really.  One of a tree with roots growing deep and drinking long of the endless tears GaiaMa sheds.  It was so wet and nourishing!  And branches, reaching far and wide, as if asking for help from the cosmic answers from beyond…just open.

I trust the Earth to know how to heal and teach us to heal.  I trust myself a bit more now, knowing my process is as magnificent and profound as Hers.  And knowing that the spark of evolution lives in the challenging fierceness as well as in the loving embrace of an innocent child.

Today, I longingly hugged my children and fell into the Earth’s loving embrace.

About the Author

Cristina Cabeza-Kinney

 

Cristina Cabeza-Kinney is a Writer, Peace Ambassador, and Visionary raising a family, a community, and a culture from the middle of nowhere in Crestone, Colorado.  Her latest innovative project “Tell Stories That Heal” is a collaborative book illuminating the field of Modern Day Initiations.  Connect with her at www.AwakeningThePhoenix.com and on Facebook.




Breaking the Ice: How the Arctic 30 Revitalized Activism

Lucy Purdy | Positivenews | 27th Feb 2014

Greenpeace activist Frank Hewetson is released on bail from the SIZO 1 detention centre in St. Petersburg     Photo © Dmitri Sharomov/Greenpeace

Greenpeace activist Frank Hewetson is released on bail from the SIZO 1 detention centre in St. Petersburg Photo © Dmitri Sharomov/Greenpeace

When Greenpeace activists were detained in Russia following a peaceful protest in the Arctic Sea, their plight drew the world’s attention. Lucy Purdy explores how their ordeal galvanised campaigners and may have ushered in a new era for environmental activism

There aren’t many people who can say they’re proud to have been thrown into a Russian jail, but Frank Hewetson is one of them. The wiry, 45-year-old veteran Greenpeace logistics co-ordinator casts troubled eyes downwards when he remembers hearing the sobs of his teenage daughter, Nell, over the crackly line of a Soviet-era prison phone. But he’s unable to repress a gleeful grin when he talks about the campaign that landed him behind bars.

Hewetson, a Londoner, was one of the ‘Arctic 30’, a group of 28 Greenpeace activists and two journalists who were arrested at gunpoint by masked Russian security agents in September 2013, while staging a peaceful protest against the efforts of the giant Russian energy corporation Gazprom, to start the Arctic’s first offshore oil rig.

The group’s 100-day ordeal, which saw activists threatened with piracy charges before finally being released in late December, drew comparisons to the 1985 Rainbow Warrior bombing. The media furore helped make Greenpeace’s Save The Arctic campaign one of the most successful in the organisation’s 42-year history, sparking more than 800 protests in 46 countries, netting 5m petition signatures, and triggering a surge in new memberships and donations. Greenpeace says around half of all protesters mobilised worldwide were taking action for the first time and describes the scrutiny focused on oil companies since the Arctic 30 were imprisoned in the frozen city of Murmansk, as “unprecedented”.

Speaking to Positive News days after Royal Dutch Shell’s CEO Ben van Beurden announced the firm would not attempt to drill in the Alaskan Arctic this year, Hewetson said the campaign succeeded beyond his wildest dreams: “There were difficult moments in incarceration – a whole period of doubt and darkness – but I never once regretted it. What we went through revitalised the organisation and repositioned Greenpeace, particularly with a view to the effectiveness of direct action.”

“There was no particular genius to it, no highfalutin media guru who came along and told us what to do. I think it worked because we suffered and because Greenpeace communicated that well. People recognised how strongly we felt about our cause and respected that we suffered for it with pride and dignity,” he adds.

The campaign seemed to explode the prevailing sense of corporate inevitability, Hewetson says, disrupting a narrative that said the removal of Arctic oil was bound to happen, and giving renewed hope to activists around the world.

That shows the power of direct action, says Charlie Kronick, a senior climate advisor at Greenpeace. “Direct action is successful because it isolates a moment in time, allows you to document it, bear witness to it, ask people to reflect upon it, and change can happen as a result,” he says. Still, he adds, it’s important to blend the power of direct action with more measured outreach aimed at changing corporations from within. “The wider environmental activism community is now seeing that a more holistic view is how to change these institutions,” he says.

That shift now sees Kronick head regularly to the City of London and Wall Street to engage directly with top financial and corporate decision-makers. There, he seeks to appeal less to hearts and minds than to bottom lines and balance sheets in order to bring about change.

“What shareholders and companies saw with the Arctic 30 is that it was a nightmare for Gazprom, environmentally, politically, reputationally. It spoke directly to that business and financial community.”

The aim is to use the Gazprom episode to tarnish Arctic drilling more generally, and to convince investors that the pursuit of Arctic oil is a sign that fossil fuel companies are no longer a sound investment. “What we try to convey is the reality that the move of oil companies to the Arctic is an indicator of just how desperate they are – that this really is an endgame,” Kronick explains.

And what of those dubbed ‘armchair activists’; people who would not dream of setting sail into the Russian wilderness but who sign petitions, donate money, write, shout and click their support. Do they still have a role in environmental activism?

“Individual actions are certainly not futile, but they don’t leverage systemic change,” Kronick says. “For better or worse, markets are the most powerful places on Earth, and so if you want to change the world, you have to change the markets. What individual action provides [is] legitimacy to the bigger ask. It says: ‘We’re mandating you to make the systemic changes.’

“The key for the environmental movement’s future will be to build realistic, savvy campaigns that combine direct action with more systemic, investor-focused campaigning”

“I don’t think clicking ‘Like’ on Facebook changes anything, apart from the number of likes. But social media is an incredibly powerful tool. Before, people had to be pretty committed to even hear about these things, let alone act on them. We now have a great opportunity to widen our audience,” Kronick says. “If it stopped with a click, there would be a legitimate question. But in fact, we see that social media engagement translates at a surprisingly high rate from an online relationship to a real-world relationship.”

The Arctic organisers’ ability to muster an international network of supporters behind a small group of real-world campaigners showed the extent to which well-managed local campaigns can now take on global significance. “The movement has always realised that the environment is ‘about everything’. But this frames the discussion much more now: that you can’t separate out what happens in the far north Arctic to what’s happening here, wherever here is for you,” Kronick says. “What we’re doing now might not be as pure as in the early days of Greenpeace, but it’s certainly not naive.”

And if campaigners’ methods have evolved, so too has their message. Most environmental activism used to be based on the presumption that people failed to act due to insufficient understanding, explains Kronick. “The evidence now shows that knowing something is wrong doesn’t make people stop doing it. But knowing that something is right or that it benefits them is much more motivating.”

That’s leading campaigners to strike a more upbeat note, and to seek to emphasise positive action. Hewetson laughingly mentions a 2007 Greenpeace banner, unfurled to celebrate the Eurostar high-speed rail link to Europe, which was the organisation’s first to contain the word “yes” – in three metre high letters, no less.

It isn’t always easy to be that positive, Hewetson admits, since environmental protestors tend to focus on groups that are getting things wrong. “We’re in the business … of selling bad news, which is difficult.”

Still, there’s a fundamental optimism to all serious environmental activism. “What you have to prove is that it’s not too late to try, otherwise it’s time to give up and hand over to the cockroaches,” Hewetson says. That’s the real message of the Arctic 30, he believes: that it’s possible to stand up, to speak out, and to take meaningful action in the face of “clear and evident moral wrongs,” such as Arctic drilling.

“It’s possible to stand up, speak out, and take meaningful action in the face of clear and evident moral wrongs, such as Arctic drilling”

The campaign will long be remembered as one of the most significant protests of its time, says Hewetson, whose own eco-activism was inspired by the likes of late Nigerian environmental campaigner Ken Saro-Wiwa, and by Greenpeace’s 1995 Brent Spar protests (when activists occupied a retired North Sea oil storage buoy for more than three weeks, to protest against Shell’s plan to dispose of it at sea).

For the thousands who supported him and his colleagues throughout their ordeal in Russia, seeing somebody take action – and triumph – on their behalf is both a form of vicarious activism, and a strong motivator that Hewetson hopes will drive others to make a stand. “With the catastrophes that seem to be on the horizon given our ever-expanding love for fossil fuels, I can’t see activism going away. I think if anything, more people will become activists, and probably in different ways,” he says.

For his part, Hewetson remains thrilled to have been one of the Arctic 30. “I’m so proud of the team. We stuck together emotionally, morally and spiritually, on the boat and in prison. I wouldn’t change my involvement for the world.”

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The impact of the Arctic 30

Breaking the ice: how the Arctic 30 revitalised activism Positive News environment

© Nancie Battaglia

Bill McKibben, founder, 350.org:
“It’s a reminder of the real courage involved in this work sometimes. The rest of us look on with awe at the sacrifice and commitment of the Arctic 30 – and the way they made the degradation of the far north a front page item around the world.”

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Breaking the ice: how the Arctic 30 revitalised activism Positive News environment

© Paul Brown

Paul Brown, co-editor, Climate News Network:
“[It] was an enormous success in focusing attention on the Arctic. The best campaigns combine inventive frontline protest, like scaling power stations and oil platforms, with scientific briefings and back-up in the form of letter-writing and petitions. Never forget that after years of campaigning by Greenpeace in the Antarctic in the 1980s, it was the 5,000 individual letters from members of the Women’s Institutes protesting about the British government’s plans to mine there that changed Mrs Thatcher’s policy.”

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Breaking the ice: how the Arctic 30 revitalised activism Positive News environment

© Aubrey Meye

Aubrey Meyer, author, campaigner and musician:
“The effect of Arctic melt rates has been a drastic wake-up call to the world … Global carbon budgeting is necessary and requires immediate international agreement to stop this catastrophic process … To be effective, future activism must now openly embrace the ‘contraction and convergence’ rationale.”

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Breaking the ice: how the Arctic 30 revitalised activism Positive News environment

©Denis Sinyakov/Greenpeace

Alex Harris, Arctic 30 campaigner:
“It was the response led by the whole organisation during our imprisonment to fight for our freedom that made the Arctic 30 so big. I hope it has shown the world that big things can happen when a group of people who share the same values and have a passion to stand up for what they believe in come together. I spent 64 days in prison for a crime I didn’t commit. Undoubtedly they were the hardest days of my life but now the world is talking about Arctic oil and the threat it poses to our planet. That’s what kept me going in prison and made my time there worthwhile.  You don’t regret the things you do in life, only the things you didn’t do and I’m proud that I took a stand on something that I care about.”

More from Positivenews




The 10 Lies We Tell Ourselves

Whitney Anthony | Purpose Fairy

“The worst lies are the lies we tell ourselves. We live in denial of what we do, even what we think. We do this because we’re afraid.We fear we will not find love, and when we find it we fear we’ll lose it. We fear that if we don’t have love we will be unhappy.” ~ Richard Bach

Most of us don’t like liars. In fact, we often feel offended, even angry, when another person lies to us. But the truth is, we lie to ourselves every day. We engage in negative self talk and thought patterns that inhibit our personal growth and limit our ability to live a full and grounded life. We deserve to live life fully, to experience all of the joy and mystery that life has to offer. The first step towards this way of being is awareness. If we can become aware of the ways in which we are lying to ourselves, we can begin to filter our thoughts in a productive way. Here I have listed 10 lies that we need to stop telling ourselves in order to push past our own limitations and begin to enjoy the totality of living for which we are destined.

1. My past will always haunt me.

Correction- you’re past can haunt you if you let it. But no, you’re not doomed to spend the rest of your life desperately seeking love from anyone who will show it to you because of a parent who never did. The very thing you’re doing at this moment – self-reflection, questioning old thought patterns – is a great step in the direction of change. Next time, before you indulge a groundless belief or fear, ask yourself, “What is the source of my information?” If the answer is- as it usually is- “I thought it up,” then you should dismiss the idea. Remember, when you hold onto your history, you do so at the expense of your destiny.

2. Success is the opposite of failure.

There are no failures, just results.  Even if things don’t unfold the way you expected, don’t give up.  Learn what you can and keep moving.  The one who continues to advance in this way, one step at a time, is the one who ultimately wins in the end.  The battle is always won long before the final victory.  It’s a mindset. Success is a process that consists of small steps, decisions, and actions that gradually build upon each other.

3. If only I had (fill in blank), I would be happy.

There are two ways of being rich in happiness: One is to have all you want, the other is to be satisfied with all you have.  I’ll give you a hint: both ways are the same. If you accept and appreciate things now, you’ll find more happiness. Happiness comes when you stop complaining about the troubles you have and start offering thanks for all the troubles you don’t have. So next time you catch yourself thinking about all the things you want that you haven’t gotten, think instead about all the things you don’t want that you haven’t gotten. And be grateful.

4. A crisis is a bad thing.

As John F Kennedy once said, “The Chinese symbol for the word “crisis” is written using two strokes of a pen.  One stroke stands for danger, and the other for opportunity. In a crisis, beware of the danger, but also recognize the opportunity.” Life always balances itself out. Every challenge, problem, and difficulty that arises is simply another opportunity for you to learn and grow.

5. I’m too old for that.

You are never too old to go after what you want. Nelson Mandela was 76 when he became president. Leonardo Da Vinci was 51 years old when he painted the Mona Lisa. Dr. Seuss was 54 when he wrote “The Cat in the Hat”. Colonel Sanders was 61 when he started the KFC Franchise. There are countless other examples. Everyone is on their own timeline. And you are never too old or too young to fulfill your calling.

6. That person (fill in the blank) has it so much easier than me.

So many people believe this. But it’s simply not true. The truth is, you have no idea what that person’s life is about! Everyone is exploring and struggling in their own way. Nobody was handed a manual or an instruction guide for life – everyone is trying to figure it out just the same way you are. I once heard someone say if we all threw our problems into a pile in the middle of a room and were forced to choose one, we would scramble to retrieve our own.

7. It is better to give than to receive.

It’s a nice thought and useful if you’re a particularly self-centered individual but I don’t think it’s true. Maybe we can replace that lie with, “It’s better to give AND receive.” Because neither is “better” than the other. They are in balance. It’s simple math, for every giver there must be a receiver. And to take it one step further, giving is psychologically easier than receiving because there’s no sense of self worth needed to give. You can give the best parts of yourself away because you don’t feel worthy of having them. But to be willing to receive means you feel worthy of accepting gifts from others.

8. I can do it tomorrow.

Maybe one of the most frequent lies we tell ourselves. But we all know it’s not true! The trouble is, you always think you have more time than you do.  But one day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to work on the things you’ve always wanted to do. No one knows what the future holds and what good does it do to live in the “one of these days” mindset? The life you have is today and the time to live it is now. Besides, if we all waited until we were ready, we would never get anything done!

9. Happiness is the foundation of my well-being.

We tell ourselves over and over again, “I need to be happy.” We question ourselves, “Why aren’t you happy?!”  But the truth is, emotions are emotions are emotions. Sad, angry, lonely, scared, they are not bad things! Instead of telling ourselves we need to stay happy, we ought to be letting ourselves feel however we do at any given moment. This kind of permission to feel as we feel — not continuous happiness — is the foundation of your well-being.

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