To Find Balance

Last night I watched a documentary that spoke to me in too many ways to count. No Impact Man follows a family of three in New York City, as they venture out to consume less, and produce ideally no waste- for a year. Not only was it moving in the environmentalism aspect, but what stood out to me was the message about Community, Family and having a relationship with the Earth beneath our feet.

When Colin Beavan spoke about community, he stressed the importance of it. The lack of community our society has developed is truly linked to sickness, pollution, poor diet, disease and an overall disconnect. It seems that we are farthest away from the things closest to our being- to our very physical location. If you can tell me you know and could rely on your neighbors for anything, I’d say good for you; you’re probably above average. If you can tell me you take part in community events, community gatherings, efforts and projects, I’d say good for you; you’re working towards the heart of the issue.

Criticism hit hard as Beavan’s family began this journey, with many critics saying things like “The Year of no Toilet Paper, but Plenty of Ass.” His response; why does it have to be critical- how about this?

“The year I lost 20lbs. without going to the gym once. Or the year we didn’t watch TV and became much better parents as a result. Or the year we ate locally and seasonally and it ended up reversing my wife’s prediabetic condition.”

Forget analyzing why someone is doing something, accept that they’re doing it and learn to be humbled by their eagerness to grow with an open mind- maybe even grow to take on that way of thinking yourself.

I think within our communities we have become so disconnected from one another that, like Beavan says, we have no one to hold us accountable for our actions. We think I’ll recycle, I’ll eat more veggies, I’ll walk instead of the bus. These things aren’t enough- it needs to start as a front, a front beginning with an entire community. Though focused on diet, Gene Stone in Forks over Knives says,

“Consider this: If the entire U.S. population were to adopt a plant-based diet for just one day, the nation would conserve the following resources*: • 100 billion gallons of drinking water, enough for every person in every home in New England for nearly four months • 1.5 billion pounds of crops, enough to feed the population of New Mexico for over a year • 70 million gallons of gasoline, enough to fuel every car in Canada and Mexico • 33 tons of antibiotics.”

Now this is just to highlight the importance of what Beavan had done. The documentary hardly touches on the fact that with his ‘environmentally conscious’ meals & product consumption, they were able to reverse his wife’s pre-diabetic condition; on diet and consumption alone. How do these things not register with people?! They are stone. cold. facts.

“Unfortunately, the link between diet and health is still not well understood by many doctors, who are not required to take courses on nutrition in school, and who therefore rely on pills and procedures to treat patients.” -Gene Stone; Forks Over Knives

These things motivate me. They make me want to bring the message into the lives of others. I’m only one person, I have only but two hands- but the changes I wish to bring with them, that’s on me. Beavan speaks about the relationship he was able to cultivate with the Earth through this year of sustainability. He said it took that year of “going without” to create an environment for him to foster a relationship between himself and the very dirt he walks on. Though every square inch may be covered with sidewalks and buildings, he fosters this relationship through work in a community garden. Something I will be blessed to work among this coming Summer.

Fostering a relationship with the Earth is a healing journey. Touch the dirt, understand the potentials it holds. Fathom the power of elements and what the could provide for humankind, should we turn our ignorant minds to the possibilities. Now think, with this dirt alone I can foster nourishment for myself and my family, with this dirt, sunlight and water; I can be humbled. 

I have struggled to find humbling thoughts while stuck at this job, in this cubicle, in this ghetto town so full of everything but community. I have struggled to see the light at the end of the tunnel, to see my path clear or to understand how I truly will accomplish my goals. I fight every day to push through- despite weary hearts from Family Members, despite “knowing better,” I have to find the balance between reality and the fast-track to my dreams. When I do find this, it is my hope that I will be humbled by my progress and continue to move forward in a way that will put pride on the faces of my Family Members, and calm worries they might have had about my decisions. I want 100% support, but perhaps by not having it; this will propel me forward that much faster to success- that is the hope.

Ask yourself, is it possible to have a good life, without wasting so much?

To Heal And To Herb…

I’m not specialist, guru or know-it-all. But I do know this- why would I prune my body with pills, creams, serums or bs remedies when I’ve got the ground.  There are over 10,000 different kinds of herbs being produced across the world. I would pay someone to try and convince me healing with them is impossible. (I might pay you, because I feel bad you’re so brainwashed, but I know I’ll come out on top when I’m healthy and you’re dealing with “a few” side effects.

Now doesn’t that hold a little bit of irony! Our modern medicines have got us so brainwashed we often forget what the problem was because we’re so busy dealing with a new problem. This has got to stop.

Humorous? Of course. True? Unfortunately, yes. I spent my morning being poked and prodded by the dentist. I’m watching Fresh Prince and starring into flower & butterfly covered light fixtures.  Now, in all honesty  go to a Dental Spa, I’m outfitted with a heated neck wrap, eye cover and the whole time my mouth is being mutilated- I get an arm/hand massage. Why am I complaining? There’s got to be alternatives. What can I use to cut my Dental visits from twice a year to once every two years? In fact, what can I do to cut my Doctor’s visits to once every few years? I know for a fact my ancestors didn’t have ibuprofen, muscle relaxers or technology to scrap decay off their teeth… I also know for a fact: They survived just fine!!!

So begins my path to find healing through herbs.

http://www.herbsguide.net/index.html This is my “herbs for dummies” Savior. I’ve found simple answers in this site that have helped immensely. Truth is I believe in Aromatherapy, Homeopathy & a Holistic approach to healing. I’m going to make my “I’ve got issues, everyone see them- List” and create with them herb-a-licious healings.

(Mind you, this is not easy! As I’m writing this I’m realizing, most of this can be prevented with diet and super foods!! Everyone has problems though, lets heal with nature first.)

Asthma? “Yerba Santa is used in bronchial and laryngeal troubles, chronic pulmonary affections, haemorrhoids and chronic catarrh of the bladder. Its leaves are often smoked in asthma.”

Menstrual Cramps? Ginger, Angelica, The essential oil of cinnamon is a potent antibacterial, anti-fungal, and uterine stimulant.  **In a 2009 study, women who took 250 mg capsules of ginger four times a day for three days from the start of their menstrual period experienced a level of pain relief equal to that of study members who treated their menstrual cramps with ibuprofen.** (http://altmedicine.about.com/od/premenstrualsyndromepms/a/cramps_herbs.htm)

Chronic Lower Back PainDevil’s claw (from a grapple plant) is used externally to treat swollen, arthritic joints and effective in treating lower back pain. A plaster made form cayenne has also been known as a placebo for medicines.

Migraines? Willowbark, feverfew & butterbur (Though take precaution with Buterbur!)! Willow bark contains salicin, a chemical similar to active ingredients in aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid). The herb has been used for centuries to treat headaches, fever and pain, Feverfew may reduce headaches as well as symptoms associated with migraine attacks such as nausea and vomiting. Butterbur may reduce inflammation of blood vessels and other tissues associated with migraines. Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/93767-herbs-migraine-headaches/#ixzz26AvkazSt

Sore Gums/TeethMyrrh gum. This is known for its ability to heal gum infections and promote the health of your gums. White oak bark. This extract is especially useful for calming swollen tissues in the mouth and treating gum infections. Tea tree oil. In one study, a group that used a tea tree oil tooth gel experienced reduced gingivitis and bleeding compared with the placebo group. Goldenseal. May help reduce gum disease symptoms and improve gum health. Calendula. This is very effective for reducing gum pain and inflammation. Calendula also has antiseptic properties that reduce pathogenic bacteria in the mouth. Make an herbal tooth powder!
Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/032311_tooth_powders_gums.html#ixzz26Awi0qBC

Muscle Soreness/Joint StiffnessThe indigenous people of North America used the roots, stalks and fruits of native plants to relieve muscle soreness, including calamus and cayenne. Herbal traditions around the world have used the oil of the flax seed to relieve muscle soreness as well as constipation and respiratory problems, such as coughing, sore throats or even emphysema.
Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/532573-herbs-muscle-soreness/#ixzz26Axat254

Allergies? Stinging Nettle, Horseradish, Chamomile, Fever-few & Garlic! Check out the article explaining what each can do for your body during the allergen seasons. http://suite101.com/article/top-5-herbs-for-seasonal-allergy-treatment-a220386

Enough of the funnies though, I do take this all seriously. I want to absorb this information and obtain as much remedy information as I can, it’s so important to me, and to be able to pass on to my family. If we can steer away from medicinal malarkey and towards the earth, why don’t why?? Simple lack of accessibility, conveniencey and knowledge. I might not be able to educate many, but I can educate mine: To heal and to herb.