Everything is connected – our bodies, our world.

This absolutely powerful TED talk by Eve Ensler, touched me in a way I cannot explain. She shares her heart wrenching insights into the connection between our awareness of and compassion for our bodies and the body of our world.

Cancer exploded the wall of my disconnection. I suddenly understood that the crisis in my body was the crisis in the world – and it wasn’t happening later, it was happening now. Suddenly my cancer was the cancer that was everywhere: the cancer of cruelty, the cancer of greed, the cancer that gets inside people who live downstream from chemical plants (and they are usually poor), the cancer inside the coal miners lungs, the cancer of stress for not achieving enough, the cancer of buried trauma, the cancer in caged chickens and polluted fish, the cancer in women’s uterus from being raped, the cancer that is everywhere from our carelessness.

In his new and visionary book, New Self, New World, the writer Philip Shepherd says, “If you are divided from your body, you are also divided from the body of the world. Which then appears to be other than you or separate from you, rather than the living continuum to which you belong.”

Before cancer, the world was something ‘other’. It was as if I was living in a stagnant pool, and cancer dynamited the boulder that separated me from the larger sea. Now I am swimming in it. Now I lay down in the grass and I rub my body in it, and I love the mud on my legs and feet. Now I take a daily pilgrimage to visit a particular weeping willow, and I hunger for the green fields in the bush, and when it rains, hard rain, I scream and run in circles. I know that everything is connected.

 

I hope her pure passion resonates with you – like it did with me.

What struck you about her talk? Please share below!


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Interface: Net-Works (making waste beautiful)

 

I had the honor of talking recently with Erin Meezan, the Vice President of Sustainability for Interface. Her passion for her work and the positive impact on the large breadth of people touched was truly inspiring.

Interface are leaders in the industry showing that fully integrated sustainability is not merely a theoretical idea, but can be tangibly accomplished and perpetuated within a business.  They transparently report on their ecological footprint, including progress in: Energy, Climate, Waste, and Transportation.

Looking for a way to reduce the environmental impact of nylon even further, they launched Net-Works.

“Net-Works enables local residents to collect discarded nets, which wreak havoc with the marine ecosystem, and sell them back into a global supply chain – giving those destructive, broken nets a second life as beautiful and long-lasting carpet tile. The product of an unlikely partnership, the Net-Works programme is proof that when business, conservation, and communities innovate together, we can create positive, sustainable change.”  

This initiative is not only lowering their impact, but also infusing local economies, while helping to clean up coastal environments. In the first 2 years, Net-Works has expanded to reach to 24 communities, with over 4,000 people benefiting from alternative income, and more than 35 metric tonnes of waste nets have been salvaged and turned into carpet tiles.

I can only begin to imagine how this world would change, if more companies looked for win-win solutions that not only positively impacted their bottom line – but also people and the world we live in.

Can you think of innovative win-win solutions you could apply to the work you are currently doing? Please share below!

 

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#LikeAGirl – Inspirational Women: a never ending list

I hope whatever you do, whatever you dream, you have the courage to do it #LikeAGirl:

  • Run a country #LikeAGirl – Pratibha Patil (India), Dilma Rousseff (Brazil), Indira Gandhi (India), Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (Liberia), Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese (Ireland), Tarja Halonen and Mari Kiviniemi (Finland), Dalia Grybauskaite (Lithuania), Johanna Siguroardottir (Iceland), Jadranka Kosor (Croatia), Iveta Radicova (Slovakia), Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (Argentina), Laura Chinchilla Miranda (Costa Rica), Pearlette Louisy (St. Lucia), Kamla Persad-Bissessar (Trinidad and Tobago), Roza Otunbayeva (Kyrgyzstan), Benazir Bhutto (Pakistan), Sheikh Hasina (Bangladesh), Julia Gillard (Australia)
  • Win the game #LikeAGirl – Florence Griffith-Joyner (fastest woman of all time), Serena Williams (only tennis player to hold all four Grand Slam titles at the same time), Tracy Caulkins (set five world swimming records and 63 U.S. records), Bonnie Blair (5 olympic gold medals in speed skating). Mia Hamm (scored more goals in her career than any other player, male or female, from the U.S, and named FIFA player of the year twice), Ellen MacArthur (broke the non-stop solo sailing world record), Tanni Grey-Thompson  (outstanding paralympian), Jackie Joyner-Kersee (one of the best athletes of all time)
  • Lead a company #LikeAGirl – Indra Nooyi (CEO of PepsiCo, the second largest food and beverage business in the world), Mary Barra (CEO of General Motors), Margaret Cushing Whitman (CEO of  Hewlett-Packard)
  • Be brave #LikeAGirl – Malala Yousafzai (17 year old education activist in Pakistan), Emmeline Pankhurst(women’s right to vote, UK), Roza Parks (African american civil rights activist)
  • Explore the world #LikeAGirl – Amelia Earhart (aviation pioneer), Jane Goodall (world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees), Marie Curie (pioneering research on radioactivity, two-time Nobel Prize winner)
  • Save lives #LikeAGirl – Florence Nightingale (founder of modern nursing), Mother Teresa
  • Build an Empire #LikeAGirl – Oprah Winfrey (arguably one of the most influential people on earth).

 

The next time you use the saying ‘#LikeAGirl’, may it be an expression of strength and downright awesomeness! Help me to keep this list growing, by adding women who inspire you in the comments below.

 

 

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Love. Always.

I’m having one of those particularly sappy days, when minds flood with images of all those who we have really truly loved. I feel blessed by all chapters of my life, and the amazing souls who have shared them with me.

I thought I would provide a link to some of my favorite spoken word poetry, as it continues to comfort me. I hope perhaps it will also comfort you, if you are going through a similar situation.

~ light and love

 

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A strange place for gratitude

GuadalupeNOLA15Oct07Thanks

It can be heartbreaking saying goodbye – a friend moving across the country, a companion  animal who has passed away, a group you no longer work with. For me, it was a partner, who I shared the daily struggle with.

How could it end like this?

Until it dawned on me, that I could choose how I let it affect me, like every other aspect of my life. I could weave a story of betrayal, of bad intentions, of lost respect – or instead I could focus on the good, on the positive, on the uplifting. For only the things we care about, can really hurt us. We love things because we are loving, it is in our character – and that is always a beautiful thing. I choose gratitude.

I am grateful for…

1) Unselfish support, in vulnerable moments past

2) Love, that continues on even after the last good-bye

3) Inside jokes that will always be funny

4) Songs that are enriched by my memories

5) The opportunity to grow, as I start a new chapter

Change is inevitable. The way we react to it, is our choice. Is there something you’re struggling with? Something that makes you sad, angry, or worried? I’d like to challenge you to find 5 things you’re grateful for even in those very difficult situations. If you’re brave, perhaps even share them below – or better yet, send the list of what you’re grateful for to the people involved.

Trust me, it will be well worth it.

 

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