The Junk Drawer

Awhile back, I knew a lady who helped operate a museum/thrift store existing within the walls of a little old white church. Upon browsing the curiosities, I noticed a beautiful box-like structure, covered in some kind of plaster in which all kinds of little things had been pressed– buttons, thimbles, pins, wooden spools for thread, safety pins, bottle caps. I was touched by the sincerity of the expression of the unseen hand that had put this all together, with what most certainly was a lot of love. junkdrawer01I imagine those things came out of a junk drawer and the person that had an attachment to them, recognized their value by creating this artifact.

Very quickly my little moment of contemplation was interrupted by a female voice behind me, an attendant caretaker working behind the till. “That’s not for sale,” she said, “Frieda’s mother had made it.” Frieda managed the community thrift in close proximity to the museum. Typically the goods, once sorted, made their way to one of two places: either the antique store and museum in the old church or, alternatively, the community thrift. The finer things went to the museum and were consequently sold as antiques, for a higher price or not sold at all, but found a home where they could be appreciated by many travellers passing through the little town.

Simple enough one would think to sort the quality of the items, but I’m sure it’s not so. Like the sound of wind chimes speaking to the soul, the old box covered in plaster and things that probably landed in the junk drawer had spoken to the one who determined their importance, spending the precious commodity called time to caretake over them– those things that almost always wind up in a drawer with such an unfortunate name.

How often in life do we fail to acknowledge that the little things have greater value than we think. If, today, in fact, we think at all, bothering to take the time to do so, since we are increasingly governed on auto-pilot by apps promising to do more for us and quicker. Always we think, quicker is better. Indeed, that box covered with plaster and all those little things took more time and attention than most people today care to allow in their daily smart phone-worlds which, in fact may, by revelation, turn out to be quite phoney.

It’s amazing indeed, that something made by someone no longer living can reach down through time and mesmerize the eye of the current beholder. It’s amazing how the value of the seemingly insignificant can be raised to the level of museum quality rather than merely the community thrift side of things– something so priceless it can only be called soul. It manifests into this world by those actions we focus our attention upon, for the right reason. The priceless things in reality, it turns out, are often the very things that people take for granted.

Unfortunately, we spend our lives placing our time and consequently our money on things that really have very little value in the scheme of things.

What pay-off do we have if all our resources go to the wrong place? It’s interesting to think of how the things that matter to the soul can’t be sold, just like that plaster box is not just any old plaster box, the same goes with how we value anything that has meaning. What matters to one may seem little and foolish to another, but most important is that we value people, especially the ones who need it most. Let’s consider for a moment:

Proverbs 21:13 says, Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.

It is up to us to value the homeless people who have wound up in society’s junk drawer and recognize what they teach us about ourselves and where we are placing our attention.

It is given to each of us a portion and of that portion we must make the most to see that “the good” gets spread around appropriately. Yes, our leaders must be equitable, but we cannot expect them to wave magic wands to solve the problems of the world. We, as individuals, must take personal responsibility for the issues that face the homeless, the disabled and handicapped, the mentally ill, the working poor, the overworked business person, the starving artist, the burnt out nurse and doctor, the confused over passionate person like me who can barely eat sometimes because she’s too wound up, and the many people who, very soon, will be out of work due to our new technologies.

If we treat the homeless like they belong in the “Junk Drawer” of society’s priorities, we are missing a very important point. These are probably some of the best souls that we currently have on the planet. Souls that were so sincere and delicate, they could not tolerate the false foundations that our world has been built upon– foundations that wouldn’t exist if people knew the truth.

Nature has so much bounty. Try working with it and you will see. Grow a tomato and try and count the seeds. It would take a very long time just to do that.

People need to be allowed to work with their soul, to recognize that the current school systems are so geared towards perpetuating themselves they have forgotten the most important thing. It is not merely human intellectual pursuits that matter. To have that at the forefront of our educational system is in great error and if not corrected will cause much suffering in society as a whole on all levels as we shall see. Making proper changes is the only thing we should make haste with since our world is on fire and no one wants to live in a burning house.

The question of what changes need to be made will need to come from deep within the souls of each individual person upon this planet. It is incumbent upon all of us now to recognize if we do not make necessary changes in our own personal lives and scrutinize how we can build more positive structures with a moral core as its foundation, then we will face greater tribulation.

I have a bible I found at the community thrift. Strange, it really should have been located at the museum, but I was fortunate for where it was placed because I couldn’t afford it had it been classed as “antique”.

The book has a navy blue cover. It’s a King James Version, a 1967 edition.

Mathew 4 reads:

Then was Jesus led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tested by the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward |hungry|.

And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

But he answered and said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

***

There is much to learn from scripture whether you study in English or Hebrew and there exist many faiths in various languages that bear the same seeds of truth and yield positive fruits.

Today, however, we witness to the fact that cheap fast food is placed higher on our priorities than quality bread made at home or in a small “caring” bakery. If we really understood how little food we need to live, if it were of good quality, we would understand how we have been misled.

People race foolishly around, not knowing what is the matter. They sit in idling vehicles breathing exhaust so that they can drink another coffee in a paper cup.

Let’s think of children for a moment. They are very close to the soul because they just came over from that other place. They can sense the falseness even if they don’t understand.

Children’s spirits need feeding. All of the ice cream in the world will not satisfy the human soul. It’s time to live the truth and it will set us free.

Haileevale

Guerrilla Gardens in Overlooked and Unused Spaces

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Our home really enjoys having its annual gardens, and honestly I can’t think of anyone who grows a garden who doesn’t look forward to it each year.  We started out small about five years ago, just trying to grow a few things in what we saw as limited space.  Our initial ideas have mushroomed each year since.  Today instead of looking at our yard with an idea of limited growing space we look for ways and places to grow more.

What started out as just something to try, has grown into a annual affair that includes our children as well.  On one side of the yard we used an old fence along with some purchased construction poly and created a greenhouse area that has become ideal for growing tomatoes and peppers.  We removed a few strategically placed patches of grass and created raspberry and strawberry patches.  What was once a grassy area in the middle of the yard has been raised up and is now an above ground garden being used for growing various onions, leafy vegetables and herbs.

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We always like the idea of having some berry bushes for ourselves so last year pulled out a section on another side of the yard and planted Saskatoon berries, Currants, Blueberries, and Rhubarb.  We also decided last year that the small old shed we had, needed to go, that spot was re-purposed and changed into another greenhouse.  All in all our garden project has increased quite substantially, but the area that we have hasn’t changed, we merely changed the way we think about it, we’ve moved away from the idea of having grass everywhere to one of, what would we like to grow on this spot, whether is by putting it in the ground or using a potter or above ground garden.

It seems hard to make little plans when it concerns our gardens now, every new decision creates new ideas.  Gardening, growing and making for ourselves has definitely become a part of our lives.  Many of the trappings of this modern age, like fast food, processed groceries and its cheap and poorly made mass produced goods have lost there luster for us.  As we speak to others we get the same feelings and hear many of the same words from them.

The changes we’ve made to our urban life have made us feel more comfortable doing things we never did earlier in our lives.  We didn’t grow up on farms so we didn’t get the chance to live or be part of that side of culture, so for us growing our own tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, onions… is a big thing.  All of the items we grow taste so much better that the ones we have bought in the stores.  Sweeter, juicier and more flavorful, and if I were a chemist I’m sure I could prove scientifically they are healthier for us.

This year we are adding another level to our home gardening.  We have joined a local group that supports and runs a community garden and for a small fee we are able to use a small amount of community property for the growing season.  This extra area will allow us to add potatoes and beets to our growing list of home grown foods.  We’re not at the point of self-sustaining yet, but the more we do, it seems the better we feel in more ways than one.

Small projects like the ones we’ve done are what make life in urban and city areas more livable, everywhere we look people seem to be getting the same or similar ideas.  ‘Guerrilla gardens in overlooked and unused spaces’, these interventions to an existing way of life seem to be the only way families stand a real chance at a long term healthy life.  Just go online and you can find example upon example.

“Inspiration breeds inspiration. Simple, interventions are contagious.”

not-easyWe can squeeze more nature into our lives and in so doing we can make and help create good things for ourselves and for others to benefit and share in. It requires a little bit of creativity, some work and a change of attitude.  With communication mediums like the internet on our side today’s good ideas can spread across the world in an instant.

Ingredients for success

In order for us as human beings to accomplish something meaningful we need to do a few specific things.  Ingredients for success if you like.  We have to ‘Want something that doesn’t exist’.  It doesn’t have to be anything more than it is ‘Attainable’ after that it only needs to be ‘Specific’.  We’re not talking about an everyday type of want, like what you want to eat, or to have a nice place to live, a fancy car or lots of money. Get the idea in your mind.  Do you have it?overcome

Now ask yourself What If?  What if you could attain it?  What would it look like?  Don’t forget, It has to be specific.  This is not going to happen over night, but it won’t necessarily take the rest of you life either.  This is something you really want and are willing to work for.  For many of us this may be the hardest part of the entire process.

Do you have it in mind?  Be as specific as possible.  Now write it down, just as specifically as you thought about it.  Make the writing large enough that you can read it from a few feet away, something that you could place on your mirror and see every time you look at yourself, then place it where you will see it all the time, someplace you  can’t help but see all the time.  If we want it, write it down and place it in a highly visible place.  It will happen.

Each time you see it, each time you read it, you will believe it a little more.  More and more and more.  Slowly it will come to be a mantra for us a belief so powerful that our unconscious mind will take over thinking and working on it.

create-opportunitiesThis will be something that would otherwise not normally exist.  A goal that otherwise would not happen, you will have to use your creativity to imagine it and achieve it.  Most goals are simple they are just the next step, ways that are already proven.  We want to achieve things that haven’t been done by us or maybe even by anyone.  ‘Exponential Change’.  Don’t start with what is possible but with what seems impossible….  you’ll know its the right goal when it takes some courage to even think it.

Make sure you write it down so you don’t let yourself off the hook, and personally commit to it.  Place it it where it will be seen by you all the time, no one else has to see it, but you do.  Now within twenty four hours take some kind of action to achieve it. Anything that starts you on the path to its accomplishment.

If you do this here’s what will happen, the universe will come to your aide.  I don’t know how it works, and I don’t care, it just does.  We don’t know how electricity works, but when we flip the switch it does.  The universe likes goals, write them down, commit to them and take action on them.  The universe will come to your aide.  Maybe you’ll meet someone, see something, read something that tweaks something within you.  It may not be the exact angle to get there, but its a way to get to the next step,  In other circumstances you may not have even thought it would apply, but because you set the goal and committed to it, the universe is helping you out in creative ways.

When something is working, don’t limit the success you could have, as humans we tend to get scared of things we don’t know about.  I’m not saying there shouldn’t be some healthy caution, but don’t limit your success, before you even give it a chance.

What If?  What would it look?  What if I could?  askThe world is your limit.  A test you can apply to yourself to see if you might be able to accomplish it is this.   Are you alive?  …Then you could.   There is a profound and divine reason we are all here.  That reason is to do everything we can for others, in that reason, with our creativity and commitment to accomplishing it, nothing is impossible.

How do we motivate ourselves how do we motivate those around us?  Well that’s simple we’ve been taught since we came into this world the same way, Reward and punishment, clean up your mess or get grounded, get good grades or you’ll fail, make more money get the things you want.  As human beings we’ve been taught this from early on, lets get a perspective on this, this is the exact way we train animals.

What sets us apart as human beings is our ability to respond to the most powerful motivational force on this planet, our sense of purpose.  Why we do what we do means everything to us.  If you want to get more out of yourself, more out of those around you, more out of your lives, more out of your careers remember why you do what you do, what your fundamental purpose is.  It works.

We all have these great purposes in our lives.  Some are just in smaller circles of influence.  Yours might be in a relationship, as a parent, as part of your community, spiritually.  They are the reasons we do what we do, the way we spend our time.  Write them down and ask yourself, are you limiting what you can do, by driving with the breaks on?

Most of us are.  I’m going to do it, maybe tomorrow.  We see it all the time.  If we want to take the breaks off we need to resolve to become the best at whatever our purpose is.  We’re all guilty of coasting as soon as something starts working.  Good becomes the enemy of great.  What would it take you to become the best?  Write it down, right now.  Write these questions down and there answers.  It won’t take long, you already know the answers.  We know what we need to do, we just don’t do it.  If you do, it will change your life.

optimismYou’re worth it, you only have so much time on this planet, if it’s worth your time to do something it’s worth your time to do it right.  What if? What would it look like? What if I could?  Set your sights on goals that don’t exist.  Become the best at what you do or want.  Live your life to its fullest.   You have a purpose.  We can change people’s lives.  We can change our lives.  Life is a wonderful thing.

Read the first chapter, Access Your Potential

 

Healthy Relationships Make A Healthy Economy!

healthy-relationships“Despite massive wealth creation, happiness has not risen since the 1950s in the US or Britain… No researcher questions these facts. So accelerated economic growth is not a goal for which we should make large sacrifices. In particular, we should not sacrifice the most important source of happiness, which is the quality of human relationships—at home, at work, and in the community.”
–Richard Layard, The Financial Times, March 11, 2009

Why Human Nature, and Not the Economy, Should be Regulated
No aspect of our lives better expresses our interconnectedness than the economy. When we are united, the economy is the first to thrive and boosts every aspect of our lives along with it. But when we are separated from each other, it is the first to collapse. Then, everything grinds to a halt along with it.

Centuries ago, when we first began to trade with each other, we began to interconnect, and globalization was born. If we knew then about the desire to receive and the desire to give, the history of humanity would be very different from the bloody march of folly it has turned out to be.

Today, it is impossible to “de-globalize” the world. We must begin to act as one united humanity, in line with nature’s principle of collaboration and self-fulfillment, or life as we know it will end. And the way to unite is to become aware of the two desires and employ both in our negotiations, especially around finances, given today’s monetary crisis.
It is not tougher regulation or buying of “toxic assets” that will help us through the present crisis. The way out is to understand that what needs to be regulated is human nature, not the economy. Our economy is only a projection of our one-track minds: receiving, receiving, and more receiving.

Today, humanity must come to realize that it is in our best interest to consider others in our plans, or else those plans will fail. Therefore, the first step in the financial bailout plan should be to share information and provide facts about the kind of world we live in, which is global and interdependent.

People should know that there are two forces running the world. The first is the desire to receive, which economists call “the profit-oriented economy,” meaning capitalism. The second force is the desire to give, which aims to increase general prosperity and well-being.

The Lazy Man’s Guide to the Dark Side of the Free Market
Simply put, in today’s financial dealings, everyone must profit or no one will profit. To be exact, the term, “everyone,” does not refer to the parties involved in a contract, but to the entire world.

Does that mean that before every new deal or agreement, the parties must knock on the door of every home in the world, explain the proposed deal, and ask for a signed consent to it? This would hardly be practical. All it means is that we must change our attitude towards considering everyone’s benefit instead of ours alone.

For example, whenever a new product is launched, the manufacturer immediately seeks to outdo its competitors. The new company aims to increase its market share, and we call this process, “capitalism.” However, at the end of the day, what is really happening is an attempt to “steal” customers from those already in the market. This is the accepted norm.

Similarly, banks today are not committed to boosting the faltering economy or assisting people who want to start businesses or buy homes. Banks want only one thing: to make as much money as they can for their shareholders (owners/directors). And if they have to pay their lower-ranking employees shameful wages, or grant people criminally irresponsible loans and then sell those loans to insurance companies, which then try to toss the hot potato until someone finally gets stuck with it, it’s all part of “business as usual.” Their only aim is to write billions on the plus column at the end of every quarter.
And this attitude is not the sole property of banks. Essentially, every business operates this way, from insurance companies, through banks and hedge funds, down to the mom-and-pop grocery stores. We call it the “free market.”

Today, however, we must all undertake a serious inspection of our system to see where we have gone wrong. When we do so, we will see that there is nothing wrong with the idea of having banks or insurance companies in our world. Banks are potentially a good thing, because without them we could not finance our dreams. Insurance companies are also positive forces because they guarantee that we will not be thrown out on the street, should something go wrong in our lives.

Therefore, all that needs to change is the business’ goal—from benefitting itself, at the expense of its competitors, to benefitting the whole of society. We should plan our financial dealings in such a way that the net profits will go toward promoting humanity, instead of the business. In business, as in politics, protectionism is a double-edged sword, which punishes its operator far worse than its intended target.

Did You Know that Mutual Benefit Translates into Huge Mutual Profit?
When TV, arts, and schools change the social atmosphere to one of caring and camaraderie, accolade will be a prize worth winning. Then, instead of the current profit-oriented system, the reward for benefitting society will be social recognition and appreciation.

Thus, if all of us aim to benefit more than just ourselves or our shareholders, we and all our customers will prosper because people will trust each other. Clearly, where money is concerned, trust is paramount.

Currently, banks have no trust in other banks. Insurance companies also have no trust in banks, or in each other, and no one trusts the borrowers, because borrowers cannot trust their employers to not fire them the next day, because the employers themselves are dependent on market demand, and no one trusts the market these days.

This brings us back to the first point: studying nature’s laws. We are not going to trust each other until we understand how we, and the whole of reality, are formulated. Then, we can collectively decide to follow that inner formula of balance. When we do, borrowers will trust their employers, who will trust the banks, who will trust the insurance companies, and everyone will trust the market.

Thus, until we learn to function as one big united human family, we will not recover from the recession. But when we do, we will not only have everything we need for comfortable living, we will be secure in knowing that we will have it in the future, and so will our children and our children’s children.
bail-yourself-out_michael-laitman
“Healthy Relationships Make A Healthy Economy!” is based on the book, Bail Yourself Out: How You Can Emerge Strong from the World Crisis by Dr. Michael Laitman.