Tuesday, March 11, 2008

how to buy really green

How do you know if what you're buying is really green or not? My favorite eco-friendly consumer advocate, Debra Lynn Dadd, has written a new book that answers exactly that question. Really Green covers easy green principles that anyone can learn, to help each of us understand the kinds of things that really DO help health and the environment.

It contains all the information you need to be able to tell the difference between products with real environmental and health benefits and those with misleading green hype. In this book, you will learn:

* What "green" really means
* The true foundation for defining green products
* The life cycle of green products
* The eighteen basic principles that define what's green
* The five basic types of green products
* All about green packaging
* Various shades of green products
* The cost of green goods
* How to spot misleading "greenwashing"
* How to change your buying habits to be green

Click on this link to find out more and buy the book today!

Monday, March 10, 2008

have you been celebrated today?

I was talking to my best friend the other day, and mentioned an encounter I'd recently had with the employee of a client.

"She adores me," I told my best friend, basking in the remembrance of this woman's affection. "It's nice to be around people who absolutely adore you."

("And if I haven't mentioned it lately, I adore you," I hastily added. (My friend's going through a bit of a rough patch right now.))

It is nice to be around people who absolutely adore you. It's a balm for the soul. Then my friend surprised me by listing all my wonderful qualities before we said good-bye.

(She's a very good friend.)

I now find myself wishing I could return the favour - not only to her, but everyone else in my life who affirms me - and not only them, but also everyone in my life whom I adore.

Like my mom, and my dad, and my sister and her family... and my friends, and my employer, and all the amazing members of the Chorale who've been so supportive of me. And my clients, past and present, who are brave and trusting and willing to be vulnerable...

Have you been celebrated today? I'm giving away adoration for free...

Sunday, March 9, 2008

the annihilation of suffering

I just spent half an hour in a virtuous, self-satisfied (but possibly ill-advised, from an emotional point of view) attempt to send blessings upon the lives of all the men whom I love, but who do not love me back. You know, all the guys I'm still carrying a torch for - or who, for various reasons, cannot choose to be with me in the way that I want (because of significant others or, in at least a couple of cases, sexual orientation).

(What can I say? I have really bad "gay-dar"...)

It is nearly spring (despite piles of snow outside my window), and my heart wants to quicken along with the birds and the bees. The natural world is on the brink of waking up after months of cold hibernation, and I long to be awakened, too...

My ex-boyfriend's grandmother called me a couple of days ago to chat, and after we hung up I found myself in a funk of melancholy - reminded (after weeks and weeks of being blissfully forgetful) of how much I had loved this man, and how much it still pains me that he has apparently chosen a whole new life without me in it.

A day earlier, at choir rehearsal, Brainerd read a passage from Pema Chödrön's book, When Things Fall Apart. A phrase jumped out at me - something along the lines of "desire is the root of all suffering," a well-known Buddhist teaching.

I looked up the reference online, and found this from the scriptures of the Buddha:

"What, however, O brethren, is suffering?...the loss of that which we love and the failure in attaining that which is longed for are suffering..."

And what is the annihilation of suffering?

"The radical and total annihilation of this thirst and the abandonment, the liberation, the deliverance from passion, that, O brethren, is the annihilation of suffering."

Umm, maybe I'll take suffering... LOL

(Read the entire passage, here.)

Seriously, though - while it is agonizing, this longing I feel for the men I cannot be with - would I really wish it away? There is a deliciousness to the peculiar dances of the heart that I cannot abandon.

And then today I found myself reading an article about Rumi in the latest issue of Spirituality and Health, and I discovered that the great Sufi poet had an intense (non-sexual, apparently) attachment to his mentor and teacher, Shams.

I am in love with You.
What's the use of giving me advice?
I have already drunk the passion.
What's the use of candy?
They say, "Bind his feet in chains,"
but they can't bind up my crazy heart.

Shams eventually disappeared, likely fallen victim to assassins. "With Shams gone, the final veil was removed, and the sun (Shams) of Rumi's own heart could be revealed. The love that had been awakened could now be realized as an attribute of Rumi's own self. Rumi would later be able to teach with conviction:"

There is no Love greater than Love with no object.
For then you, yourself, have become love itself.

And so I found myself sending blessings to all the men I love: the ones with wives, the ones with ex-wives and new partners, the ones who swore they never wanted kids and have now become fathers with other women, the ones who are still single but apparently never wanted to change that status with me, and of course Mac, who seems to believe that a career as a singer and happiness with me are mutually exclusive.

I sent them love, and I sent them good wishes for the lives they are now living. I blessed their families and their well-being.

They may not have chosen me... but they may allow me to be revealed to myself...