It’s Not an Issue of Gender Inequality…

It’s Not an Issue of Gender Inequality…

…It is an issue of society’s disconnect from that which is sacred.

Since the coming of Christendom, and possibly even further back in history, western civilizations, in particular, have been in a state of spiritual decline. This has, in effect, cut us off from our higher awareness and left us desensitized to the spiritual undercurrent of life.

For centuries, humanity has been taught that certain segments of society are lesser than others, be it women who are blamed for the fall of man in the Christian creed, or by whatever social norms dictated the day. But it was not always this way, at least not for all cultures at all times in their history.

In ages past, despite the hardships of a more primitive way of life, peoples all over the world, including the indigenous populations of Europe, have held a deep reverence for that which we call Spirit. They knew that all life was sacred, from the rocks and the earth, the plants and the trees, the sea and sky, to the animals and even humankind itself. Everything had its place in the grand scheme of things, both in life and in death. Male, female, the young and the old, the warrior and the sage, the worker in the fields and the chiefly class. All were valued that had something to offer to the whole. Elders were revered for their wisdom, gained by long years of experience; Children for their innocence and potential for the future; women for their life bearing abilities and nurturing nature, men for the part they play in the continuation of life and for their role as a protector and provider in those hunter-gatherer days. These traditional roles carried on even into the agricultural era. But the thing that stands out as a prevailing theme is the awareness that all was viewed as sacred, and that is what we are missing in our world now.

Social movements, such as feminism, are merely symptoms of a greater imbalance — that of soul. In our secular world, we have lost our connection to that spiritual undercurrent and to the very earth itself. We no longer acknowledge the sacredness of life and the world in which we live. We no longer see the divine in each other, and as a result, disease of the body, mind and soul set in, leading us down paths of decadence, where self-destructive impulses reign. As a society, we rot from the inside out.

The cure to our ailments isn’t more “us against them”, men vs. women, black vs. white, etc, etc. The cure to what ails us is a reconnect to our higher selves and to that spiritual flow of life. Reconnect to nature by spending time in quiet contemplation in settings like forests, by lakes or rivers, mountains, or anywhere that speaks to you. Discover your true self and your higher purpose in this realm, and acknowledge the divinity in others, even if they still haven’t figured it out for themselves. We are all struggling to find our way in life, so don’t allow judgement and hatred to settle into your heart for those who stumble and fall or lose their way. Instead, develop a sense of compassion and understanding for others, as well as for yourself. If we want to, we can change this world for the better, but that change must start from within, and for that to happen, we must put aside our anger and our judgement, and learn to listen with our hearts, even when it is hard to do. Make friends of your enemies by giving them the space to speak and express their fears and troubles, without judging. Learn to express your own feelings without insulting those you disagree with. Try to see the good in others, and always remember that we each have a purpose in this life, if we would only take that first step.

Well, that’s my WordPress contribution of the day, for what it’s worth. I hope at least one person will find something of value in this post, but by no means do I claim to have all the answers. This was just something that came to me at a time of heightened awareness recently, and I felt it is something I should share.

Now, go enjoy your weekend, everyone!

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Why We Change

Why We Change

My inspiration to write this post comes from a personal matter I’m dealing with, regarding someone I care about who is a smoker. All of my efforts to persuade this person to give up smoking have failed. Something this person said a while back about how it has to come from him got me thinking.

Why do we change? Do we do it for ourselves, or does the will to change come from our love and consideration of the people in our lives?

I have a theory, based on my observations, not only of myself, but others I have known in my life. When we live our lives solely for our own gratification and desire, do we not then fall into reckless, even self-destructive behaviour? Do we not succumb to unhealthy habits, such as drinking, smoking, drug use, or even promiscuity in our sexual activities? Perhaps the self-indulgent behaviours are less obviously destructive or unhealthy, such as overeating, inadequate physical activity, etc.

But what happens when we have something or someone to live for? How does that impact the choices we make in our lives? Do we not then stop to think about how our choices and actions may affect those we love? I know this has been true for me. It was true for my grandfather, who only gave up drinking after my older sister and I were born. And I have seen it in others, how their priorities change, often drastically when they find a sense of purpose, be it becoming a parent or close loved ones.

This notion that making positive changes in our lives has to be something we want for ourselves, while all good and well, can’t be all there is. Often it seems to me that it is a cop-out, a cheap excuse to avoid difficult challenges, such as breaking addictions or bad habits. When taken in this context, as being only about ourselves, it seems to me narcissistic.

Human beings are social creatures. Nature did not create us to be loners. We thrive in healthy groups, where our efforts empower and strengthen those around us. When we devote ourselves to our families, friends, and our communities, we find renewed energy and motivation to be the best we can be, to live in a more positive and conscientious way. My belief is we can strengthen our own will power in this way, by cultivating a certain amount of selflessness. Not in the sense that we do not make any effort for self care, because that, too, is self-destructive. No, I mean that we find that perfect, harmonious balance of self-care and devotion to others, and in our modern, self-indulgent times, we need these renewed, strengthened bonds with the people who should matter in our lives.

Buddhism_On_Suffering

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.” – Gandhi

Eating Healthy

Eating Healthy

Fruits and Veggies HeartHealth and fitness have always been important to me, but it wasn’t until I was about twenty that my knowledge and understanding about diet and lifestlye really began to develop. That was when I learned the difference between organic foods and conventionally grown and processed. This is a topic that is very complex, so I won’t go into it. Instead, I’d like to share some of the things I do for the health of me and my family.

In previous posts, I mentioned the gardening and my fitness regime. Today’s post is about food. Other than supplementing some of my family’s produce needs with gardening, I buy most of our fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as meat, from the organic sellers at the farmer’s markets in my local town. Actually, I work part time for one of the farms I buy from, and am acquainted with the other farmers. I really appreciate being able to buy meat directly from a butcher who only sells organic meats. If I have questions about the quality, ingredients, etc, he’s always happy to answer. Knowing where my food comes from and how it is grown or produced is something I value.

Since I decided to start doing more to stay healthy and fit, I feel more motivated to invest more attention and effort into what I eat and feed my family. For example, our dinner yesterday was an assortment of fresh fruit. We’d had a pretty hearty brunch and a small, late lunch, so something light sounded just right.

Salad

Today’s meals were as follows: Breakfast was simple, just scrambled eggs at a bakery in town. Friday is market day, so my daughter and I rode the bikes into town, did our shopping, and then headed over to a bakery to get a late breakfast. Lunch was a small plate of an assortment of fresh salads from a shop in town. Dinner was made almost entirely of produce bought at the farmer’s market this morning. A salad with half a head of red leaf lettuce, one avocado (shared between the three of us), fresh green Asparagus sauteed with sliced onions and chopped garlic (the garlic crisped up wonderfuly) in olive oil, two tomatoes, smoked salmon, and a side of orange and peach wedges. Everything was fresh and delicious, and even though the meal was very light (I certainly didn’t feel stuffed), we were all satisfied. My daughter was even asking for more Avocados and peaches. So, after she got into her jammies, we shared another peach.

I finished off the day with a short run with my dog after putting my daughter to bed, then a short yoga practice.

I’m really enjoying all these salads, and making it all up as I go along is just part of the fun!

Fruits and Veggies Rainbow

 

Busy Bees

Busy Bees

Today was productive. Woke up early. It’s a holiday here in Germany, so the hubby and my daughter are home for a long weekend. Went for my morning run, then made a proper American breakfast. None of that brötchen und würst for us! Then we got the last garden plot cleaned out. That was a lot of work. The weeds had taken over! My daughter joined in the fun by digging for worms, making a huge mud pit and getting herself good and dirty! 😁

Once the garden was cleared of weeds, it was time to plant some seeds. We planted two rows of green beans, some yellow squash (Southerners will know what I’m talking about!), and a row of radishes. There is just enough space left for planting potatoes.

I already cleaned out the bigger garden plot last month. There are five rows of strawberries, which I planted last year. They’re coming in great! The peas are sprouted, as well as the turnips and some of the carrots. There’s a mess of tomatoes sprouting all over the section where the carrots are, from the tomatoes that ened up in the compost heap. I’m just going to let them grow and keep thinning them out until only the strongest plants remain. It’s not a problem, because carrots and tomatoes grow well together.

My daughter, Frida, helps me with the strawberries. Today she started watering while my hubby and I were tackling the weeds. She’s not even four, so of course I had to go and water after her, but at least she made a good start. And the strawberries are in bloom. It won’t be long now and we’ll be enjoying fresh strawberries straight from the garden!

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, our garden is organic. No pesticides or chemical fertilizers. The slugs and caterpillars really love our garden! Hahaha!

Writing and Staying Fit

Writing and Staying Fit

Now that I’m back in the swing of things (finally have decent internet, so I can synch up my files with my little team of editing elves), I felt it was time to ramp up my activity levels. My yoga group and I have been skipping a lot of classes lately. I teach yoga once a week to a small group, but there has been so much going on, other events that people didnt want to miss and so on, that yoga has taken a back burner. Then last week I started playing volleyball in the nearby village. A few peop!e from the yoga class play. That was a refreshing change, and I realised how much I needed to mix things up a little.

Yoga is more like my maintainance routine. It improves flexibility, develops strength and balance. But it doesn’t challenge me in the way other sports do. So… I started running. Sunday marked the start of Week 1 of my running challenge. Gods, I hate running! All the more reason to push myself. So, I’ve been running every other morning since starting. My dog tags along with me, and sometimes it feels more like I’m dragging her along. She better shape up or she won’t be going with me anymore. My routine goes something like this: Wake up around 7am, get my daughter ready and take her by bike to kindergarten (for the Americans out there, that means preschool), come home, get the dog and off we go. We don’t get far, but it’s the best I can do. Come home, make breakfast, and try not to eat some great big feast (since by that time I’m starving!), then try to get some writing or chores done.

So, what do you do to keep in shape while still managing to get some writing/reading done? Leave a reply in the comments. 😊