Archive for Environmental

Residency, sights and authors, Oh my!!

It is confirmed.  I matched to do my residency in Neuromuscular Medicine (a euphemism for Osteopathic manipulation) in Southampton!!  I think I might take up surfing…

It has been raining for 4 days here in southern California and this afternoon the sun came out and I saw snow on the distant mountains.  As corny as this sounds, it was one of the most spectacular scenes I’ve ever seen!

I saw 2 authors in person this weekend.  One was Noah Levine, the founder of Dharma Punx, an American Buddhist Society that arose out of the punk rock era.  It is also the name of his first book.  I bought the book and hope to have it autographed before I leave LA, preferably after I read it!  Secondly, I saw Eric Pearl, DC who wrote “The Reconnection”.  I read this book about 2 years ago.  He was a good, grounded and funny speaker, even if I’m still a little skeptical…He presents some bizarre concepts.  I’m neither completely turned off by him nor am I jumping on his band wagon with both feet.  I need to do some experimenting.



The weekend of “opening my heart” became more of a “drawing within” weekend. My absolute most favorite part was the option of eating my meals in complete silence. It is required for everyone in the big dinning hall to eat a silent breakfast and then during lunch and dinner you have the option to eat silently in a smaller room. I loved it! Most of the time I don’t like chit chatting with strangers and I usually feel like a freak when I sit by myself in large cafeterias where lots of people are talking and laughing and then feeling pressured to talk to any neighbors that happen to sit close by. Instead, I had the opportunity to just me. And it was comforting to see there were a few other people like me. It was nice to have their company, knowing that they have similar introverted tendencies. 🙂

What bothered me slightly was their apparent pride in saying the Kripalu yoga center is a nonsectarian institution established to help people become fully human/alive. Although this is a fabulous idea and has numerous attributes, Kripalu was originally founded as an ashram where spiritual discipline was a part of the life. I feel like that essence has been lost and without the spiritual discipline to follow and adhere to, people will remain self-indulgent. No matter how healthy the food, you can still indulge and the fact that we pay for these workshops, we feel entitled to only go as much as week like and they encourage us to “do what’s right for you”. So, Kripalu seem more like a very pleasant and mindful resort rather than a place of complete spiritual awakening. When I have the need to “get away” and self-indulge, I will probably go back, but I won’t expect any great spiritual experiences.

Amidst the mists of Maine

100% humidity here in Maine this evening with temperatures in the 50-60’s.  The pleasant mist rests on my face, clothes and hair without drenching rivulets pouring from my brow.  The colors are more vivid and the smells are superb!  I disturbed a great blue heron from a pond next to the road in the front yard of a neighbor’s house!

“Leave” the sun where it is!

It amazes me that a tree full of leaves can receive a gentle, constant breeze and only one leaf, aligned perfectly with no inhibition of motion, moves significantly while the rest of the leaves stand still.

Talk about “Hands of Light”!!

The Contrast

I was struck by the contrast between C and S.  I went on the road trip with C and it was a blast because with both swing dancing addicts.  It was laid back, more concerned about comfort (and money) than about environmental concerns and health.  Then I went to visit S in VT and she is ALL about eating vegan and minimizing her environmental impact as much as possible.  I feel somewhere in the middle.  I used to be so upset by our society that I didn’t want to do anything in order to decrease my environmental impact, however, my life was miserable.  Now, I have dancing to look forward to and make me feel alive.  (I’m not only the president of the SDSDA, I’m also a client.  😉 )  I’ll drive for hours just to go dancing.  Sometimes I feel guilty, but more often than not, I’m so happy after that the gas ($ and emissions) and time are totally worth it.  Human contact is important.  I’m lucky to have found a hobby where I can maintain my integrity (no bars, bump n’ grinding or prostitution), enjoy great music and the different flavors of various dance partners, and laugh a good deal.  It’s my therapy.

I can appreciate we should do what we can to minimize our impact on the Earth, however, I’m also under the impression that the Earth can take care of herself and once we use up all the oil, the human race will be on to a new era of civilization and it will be a fascinating adventure.  Until then, I’m going to enjoy my swing dancing where ever I can get it!!

Longest Day of the Year

The sun is setting.  It is weird to think that the days from here on out get shorter, but they also get warmer.  I wish I had a song to sing to celebrate…(mom!)

I have a super duper lot of studying to do!  18 days until I take “The big one”- first step COMLEX

Weeknd in the mountains…

I’m petrified, but excited.  I leave early tomorrow morning for the White Mountains to attend a BioBasics BioDynamic Osteopathic course focusing on Pediatrics from Fri-Mon.  I got a scholarship, so the workshop if FREE and I have connections to stay in the UNH Outing’s cabin (Frankie Cabin), which is essentially FREE!!  Life is good.  I just don’t know what I’m going to do about a shower…maybe I’ll find a nice stream to bathe in or a nice person with a shower!  Also, I’ve only been to the cabin once before in March when there was lots of snow and I had a guide.  I hope the lock combination works.

I hope the workshop goes well.  One of the guys I used to get frustrated with at UNE will be there.  I’m hoping I will relate to the other docs better or they’ll be better able to answer my questions.  I should meet a bunch of really cool people as long as I can come out of my shell enough to talk.

One subject I’d like to talk to people about is a public health project I’m starting to cook up: teaching people how to grow their own food on the land or in containers and composting too.  Instead of just telling people to eat more veggies, how about teaching them how to grow them?!  They would have to be easy veggies to grow to enhance success.  And the composting is important component because it would serve as food for the plants rather than using fertilizers and it clues people in to the recycling concept.  I’m curious if anybody’s ever done that.

An Unreasonable Woman

Diane Wilson in the 1990’s is a woman shimper down on the coast of Texas, which in and of itself is a tough job.  Then she decides to take on Formosa, a huge chemical company that continually violates environmental pollution laws, but the government (local and federal) turns a blind eye.  They say Formosa is important for economic development and everyone in town seems to believes them.  Money talks and when the shimp are no longer around for the harvest, the town has no choice, but to use Formosa as their source of income.  Well, if the companies would stop polluting the bay, the shrimp might come back, but who really understands that connection?

This autobiography was bittersweet in that it told the courageous story of one “unreasonable” woman’s fight against a polluting giant, but it was depressing because of all the red tape, lies and corruption.  When I see everything that Diane and the issues she ran in to, it makes me hate money more than anything.  It all came down to money: money for the chemical plant to make and save by not complying to standards, firing any employees that became sick or hurt from working there, claiming the employee was drunk and paying off senators and local government people to play on their team rather than for the general welfare of the community.  It really was disgusting.

I do have some, minimal respect for our government.  At least we do not live in a time of complete anarchy with civil war, senseless shootings and rape, well, not significantly in this country, in my back yard.  Who knows what’s going on anywhere else? All I know is I’m safe in my bubble and that’s what companies want; satisfied, senseless consumers.  I feel guilty when I use a product “made in China” or “made in Taiwan”, but I still do it.  The same companies we ban from the US because of their pollution violations, set up shop in these other countries, so we can have cheap stuff at the expense of ruining another country’s landscape.  Sigh.  I really should think about more pleasant things.

New perspectives of Global Warming.

Whenever I’m feeling a little stuck in my world, I open the window to Zaadz where I find so many like-minded people it blows my mind! At first, I tried to look at everything, find that perfect discussion, the perfect friends, etc. Now, I rely more on fate and believe that whatever catches my attention is what I was meant to see.  Today (tonight) I found an excellent video about global warming (link below). It is 1.25 hours long, really well done AND it is arguing for the perspective that carbon dioxide is not responsible for global warming.

I love it! I love it when people can intelligently and rationally argue for a case that I had originally been of the opposite opinion. First of all, I’m proud of my maturity to be open to new opinions and secondly, it is very satisfactory to hear someone simply stating what they believe to be true regardless of what others think. “Speak your truth quietly and clearly” from Desiderata. Although there is emotion involved (no one immerses themselves into learning without an emotional drive), the emotion is kept at bay, which is an act of respect, especially the people who think the opposite. When emotions flare, defenses go up and nothing productive happens.

If you don’t have 1.25 hours to watch the video, this is my synopsis: 1. carbon dioxide levels actually lag behind global temperature changes by about 800 years, so they’re more likely a result of temperature rather than a cause. 2. There is more carbon dioxide produced by volcanoes, animals, bacteria and released from the ocean than humans could ever possibly produce. 3. The sun is responsible for the Earth’s temperatures based on solar sun spots/intense activity and the solar winds affect subatomic particles (cosmic rays), which are responsible for cloud formation. 4. Discussion of the political agendas that may have exacerbated the theory about the link between CO2 and global warming. 5. The thought that third world country development should be discouraged. I don’t understand this argument, but it was an interesting topic.

The only topic not discussed that I thought should have been addressed was the idea that, although industry may not be responsible for global warming through CO2 emissions, they produce boat loads of other chemicals as well that cause cancer and numerous other diseases.