Connecting to Nature   #MondayMusings

Connecting to Nature #MondayMusings

Happy World Environment Day! This year, it seems an even more important day to celebrate our environment and pledge to clean it up, when the leader of the ‘free world’ seems to have chosen a path away from this. Thankfully, the actions of a nation’s leadership are not always reflective of the vast majority of its people. My #MondayMusings today consists of watching and sharing with you some TED Talk videos connecting to Nature. Be inspired!

‘Connecting People to Nature’, the theme for World Environment Day 2017, implores us to get outdoors and into nature, to appreciate its beauty and its importance, and to take forward the call to protect the Earth that we share. World Environment Day is the biggest annual event for positive environmental action and takes place every 5 June.

This year’s host country Canada got to choose the theme and will be at the centre of celebrations around the planet. World Environment Day is a day for everyone, everywhere. Since it began in 1972, global citizens have organized many thousands of events, from neighbourhood clean-ups, to action against wildlife crime, to replanting forests.

This year’s theme invites you to think about how we are part of nature and how intimately we depend on it. It challenges us to find fun and exciting ways to experience and cherish this vital relationship.

Connecting to Nature

Nature’s beauty can be fleeting — but not through Louie Schwartzberg’s lens. His stunning time-lapse photography, accompanied by powerful words from Benedictine monk Brother David Steindl-Rast, serves as a meditation on being grateful for every day.

 

You don’t need to plan an exotic trip to find creative inspiration. Just look up, says Gavin Pretor-Pinney, founder of the Cloud Appreciation Society. As he shares charming photos of nature’s finest aerial architecture, Pretor-Pinney calls for us all to take a step off the digital treadmill, lie back and admire the beauty in the sky above.

How do you define “nature?” If we define it as that which is untouched by humans, then we won’t have any left, says environmental writer Emma Marris. She urges us to consider a new definition of nature — one that includes not only pristine wilderness but also the untended patches of plants growing in urban spaces — and encourages us to bring our children out to touch and tinker with it, so that one day they might love and protect it.

 

“ Obviously, survival is important but we weren’t put here just to survive, we were put here to create. What if we could begin to imagine a nature-rich future with new kinds of cities, homes and neighborhoods? New kinds of workplaces? If we don’t aim much higher than sustainability, we’ll never reach it. An experience in nature is super-important in making us mindful of who we are and where we are in the moment.” – Richard Louv, author of The Nature Principle

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Saying A Big YES To The Adventure Of My Life

Saying A Big YES To The Adventure Of My Life

How can I live a big YES to the adventure of my life? That’s a question I came across recently on Gratefulness.org. And I had to ask a counter question. What is the adventure of my life? Would you laugh if I told you that it was ‘living authentically‘?

Remember that story of the little boy who called out that the emperor was not wearing any clothes, when the rest of the crowd pretended that he was wearing the finest robes? What made that boy say that? Simple. He stated the truth. I’m not sure what happened to the boy after that, but he must have been the envy of a lot of adults! What freedom to state what was the truth!

When I think about what kept the adults from the truth, I realize that it was fear. Fear of being punished. Fear of going against the popular voice. Fear of standing out.

Saying A Big YES To The Adventure Of My Life Means That I Sign on to Being 100% Authentic

Living authentically takes guts. It takes time. It’s not easy to call time on bullshit, even your own! 

To me, authentic living means (in no particular order)

  1. following your inner compass even when it seems to point you in completely another direction from people in your life.
  2. learning to accept that you’ve made mistakes and owning up to them.
  3. not glossing over situations in your life or painting a picture of it all being rosy
  4. taking ownership for relationships and situations in your life and knowing when to walk away from them
  5. not playing by the rules set by other people
  6. valuing and respecting yourself
  7.   saying what you need to say
  8. being grateful for every situation and person, knowing that life lessons come to us in various ways
  9. being more mindful of your own behaviour
  10. constantly questioning and seeking the truth.

 

Are you saying a big yes to the adventure of your life?

#FridayReflections

If you are new to Friday Reflections, here’s what it’s about. It’s the end of the week, you’re probably exhausted with work, and all you want to do is sit back, put your feet up, sip on some fancy cocktail or wine, and write away. Sanch of Living My Imperfect Life and Everyday Gyaan give you writing prompts and all you have to do is choose any one of those prompts to blog about and link up between Friday and Monday. After you link up, be sure to spread the love by visiting other bloggers who have linked up too.

Feel free to add our Friday Reflections badge to your post or sidebar! Follow us on Twitter @FridayReflect and join our Facebook Group. Share your post on social media with the hashtag #FridayReflections.

 
 
Everyday Gyaan
 

Prompts for 2nd June 2017 are:

  1. Write about doing something you don’t want to do
  2. Write about putting together the pieces of a puzzle
  3. Tea or coffee? Pick your vice
  4. “So it’s true, when all is said and done, grief is the price we pay for love.” – E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly. Use this quote in your post or as an inspiration for one
  5. Picture prompt (credit: Living my Imperfect Life)

fridayreflections 2jun2017


Nostalgia A Dead End Lane?  #MondayMusings

Nostalgia A Dead End Lane? #MondayMusings

I remember writing a post a few years back about ‘the old days‘ and one blogger very candidly disagreed saying that there . But I wasn’t living in the past, just hankering for some of the niceties of years gone by that I didn’t see evidence of. But that’s another story. Today I’m wondering is nostalgia a dead end lane or if there’s something good in it after all.

The last week has been filled with nostalgia as the NGO I work with and am one of the founder members of – Divya Disha – celebrated its 30th Anniversary. As we looked at old photographs and recalled the ‘old days’ we were filled with nothing but joy and gratitude for all we were and how far we’ve come. We recalled the many characters we encountered, all the laughter and all the learning. But I don’t think there was even a moment that we said “Wish we could go back in time”. If anything, we pledged to hold fast to the values of those days, even as we tread new paths.

It’s interesting that today I came across an article in The New York Times about whether nostalgia is good or bad and I’ll leave you to read this extract and come to your own conclusions.

Researchers say it’s a “phenomenon” — a high-order emotional experience more on par with love than, say, fear. It’s about yourself and those close to you; big moments in your life or memorable settings. Experts have found that people turn to nostalgia when they are trying to avoid something unpleasant or feeling lonely, to counteract their social anxieties.

And it works. Nostalgia helps bring your psychological state back into balance. It elevates your mood and your deflated self-esteem. Researchers say you come out of the experience with a stronger sense of belonging.

Say you’re moving to the other side of the country for a new job. That disruption can trigger a bout of nostalgia in which you recall childhood fishing trips with your dad. You think back fondly, and realize, “Hey, I still love to fish, and I still love my dad.” So you begin to feel like there’s some continuity between your past and present, like you’re living a full and meaningful life. And in that context, the cross-country move that’s been stressing you out may suddenly seem less daunting.

But nostalgia isn’t just a compensation tool; it’s also an energizing emotion, said Clay Routledge, a professor of psychology at North Dakota State University. After delving into nostalgia, you’ll feel more connected to your friends and also be motivated to actually reconnect with them; you might even go out and seek new ones.

In a Skype interview, Dr. Wildschut and Dr. Sedikides cautioned against using nostalgia as your primary way to cope with problems. Talking to a friend, for example, might be a better way. “If other things fail, nostalgia is a back up,” Dr. Sedikides said, “and it’s not as bad as people think.”

Extracted from Take a Walk Down Memory Lane. It Can Be Healthy from The New York Times

What’s your take on the value of nostalgia?

separator Would you like to take part in #MondayMusings?

Here’s how it works:

  • Write a post sharing your thoughts with us – happy, sad, philosophical, ‘silly’ even. Make it as personal as possible.
  • Use the hashtag #MondayMusings.
  • Add your link to the linky below
  • Use our #MondayMusings badge to encourage other bloggers join in too.
  • Visit and comment on the posts of other bloggers linked here.
  • Share the love.

 

#MondayMusings
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Living My Dream #FridayReflections

Living My Dream #FridayReflections

I have the most vivid dreams and what’s more I tend to remember them for at least 2 – 3 hours after I wake up. My husband finds them very entertaining and urges me to write them down. I haven’t really tried that yet. One of my recent dreams involved me running a book store and this brought to mind this post I had written a very long while ago. I’m republishing it today.

I am living my dream.

For as long as I can remember, my dream consisted of Words.
Collecting them.
Reading them.
Writing them.
Speaking them.
And why, yes, even selling them.
I dreamt of owning my own book store.
I dreamt of having countless books to read.
I dreamt of speaking before large audiences.
I dreamt of writing and publishing my words.
I don’t own the book store.
But all the other dreams around Words have come true.
Words have come to be a part of my reality today.

I am living my dream.

#FridayReflections

If you are new to Friday Reflections, here’s what it’s about. It’s the end of the week, you’re probably exhausted with work, and all you want to do is sit back, put your feet up, sip on some fancy cocktail or wine, and write away. Sanch of Living My Imperfect Life and Everyday Gyaan give you writing prompts and all you have to do is choose any one of those prompts to blog about and link up between Friday and Monday. After you link up, be sure to spread the love by visiting other bloggers who have linked up too.

Feel free to add our Friday Reflections badge to your post or sidebar! Follow us on Twitter @FridayReflect and join our Facebook Group. Share your post on social media with the hashtag #FridayReflections.

 
 
Everyday Gyaan
 

1. Are you messy or neat? What about your family/people you share your house with? Does it work well?
2.Write something inspired by a recent dream you had
3. Write about the sounds of silence
4. “If happiness is the goal – and it should be, then adventures should be top priority.” – Richard Branson. Use this quote to inspire your post or within it
5. Picture prompt (via Everyday Gyaan)

FridayReflections19May17


Banking on It: Why I Froze My Eggs For Donation

Banking on It: Why I Froze My Eggs For Donation

There was a time I thought IVF was morally wrong. Now I do have acquaintances who’ve had children via this route and I cannot take a moral stand on their choices, that have brought a beautiful baby into their lives. Just yesterday I watched a video of a young couple who had ‘adopted embryos’ and gave birth to triplets. Their joy and gratitude towards the donor parents was very moving. Today, I hosting Dawn K, a young woman who has chosen to be a donor.

Banking on It: Why I Froze My Eggs For Donation

I’ve always been opinionated, ambitious, and somewhat of a control freak. I work fourteen-hour days and have no plans of slowing down. I don’t have time to get into a relationship, and I’ve always known for sure I don’t want kids, ever. That’s just how I am.

But I did wonder: even if I don’t want to have children of my own, could I help other women who dream of having children?

My answer unexpectedly came from a close friend over our monthly coffee date – I’d totally forgotten she used egg donation to have her beautiful twin girls! She was thrilled at my idea and recommended the same company she had worked with to help get me started.

Over sips of mocha, she told me how Donor Egg Bank USA helps infertile couples – like her and her husband – conceive by providing them with frozen eggs donated from young, healthy women like myself.

I immediately knew it was the right path for me to take.

Why Freeze Your Eggs?

There are many different reasons a woman may choose to freeze her eggs.

For some, like me, they choose to altruistically donate their eggs to give struggling infertile women a chance to have their own baby. When you provide your eggs for donation, so that one day a loving couple can start a family of their own, you’re giving the biggest gift of all. But there are other reasons too.

For others, it’s to safeguard their future fertility and give themselves the option of having kids later. Kind of a “just in case” precaution to make them feel more confident about going after what they want to now versus “someday.” They’re making great strides in their careers, thinking about taking a trip to Bali, and don’t want to worry about not being able to conceive.

Perhaps you wish to wait until you find Mr. Right. Maybe you’re just the kind of girl who likes to err on the side of caution, or circumstances put you in that position. Some women have a history of early onset menopause – others may be facing a tough battle with a disease like cancer, and wish to freeze their eggs to prevent radiation problems.

IVF Success Rates with Frozen Eggs

If you’re concerned about frozen egg IVF success rates, you needn’t be.

Rates of successful conception are now higher than ever! A new technique’s been developed called vitrification, which reduces the risk of egg cells being damaged by ice crystals during freezing and increases their chances of viability. This means that when you are ready to thaw your eggs, they will be in almost exactly the same condition as the day they were frozen. You can feel confident that any otherwise healthy woman who wants to use your donor eggs will be able to conceive a healthy baby.

Fulfilling Another’s Dreams

Many women dream about what it will be like being pregnant one day – how it will feel, what their child will look like, and so on. For women who find out that they will not be able to conceive on their own, the news can feel like a bomb that shatters their world. But thanks to advancements in reproductive technology, your frozen donor eggs make it possible for these women to have their own child. To experience the joy of getting a positive pregnancy test, the ultrasounds, preparing the nursery, and carrying their own baby in their womb.

They’ll give birth to their child and experience motherhood thanks to your decision. They’ll get to fulfill their dreams, change dirty diapers, take strolls in the park with their newborn and generally do everything that comes along with the job!

Empower Yourself

Whether you’re thinking about freezing your eggs for your own personal use, or you wish to donate your eggs to another so she may have her own baby like I did – egg freezing is empowering women on both sides of the coin.

Take control of your life, stop time, take charge over your situation and live the life you want to.

With love,

Dawn K., 26 yrs old