Nothing has contributed more to our realization that we are global citizens-intricately tied to one another in a global ecosystem than the COVID-19 pandemic. We are clearly part of a global family and the earth is our home.
Our shared shelter and our real dwelling, is our planet Earth. And she is getting a real, overdue, deep cleanse. While some say we are celestial beings and come from the stars… nonetheless, as a species and life form, Homo sapiens (wise humanoids) live here on Planet, Earth … and we can’t biologically live in our current organic bodies as a species in any other place in the universe. Our biology, our DNA, our naturally selected selves are born out of a 3.2 billion year legacy of natural evolution here on earth. And, 100’s trillions of microorganisms– foreign to our bodies still live within us, driving most of our bio-physiological processes. These microscopic living beings also all originate here. They are important to our health, wellness, and immunity strength; so it is important that we stay connected not only to our close kin, but also to nature during this CV19 period. We are from Earth. We are of the Earth. Earth is our home.
Our health is tied to this planet’s health. And this great insight should give us great joy and relief because even as we are experiencing the pain and torment of this microscopic virus’s wrath; nature is cleaning up our home and regenerating herself. We’ve all heard about the dolphins coming back to the canals in Venice, Italy. Most of us have seen the air quality satellite image comparisons for China; pre-COVID-19 and 1 month after the epidemic and declaration of a lock-down government measure. The Himalayas are visible from the valleys in northern India as not seen in over a century; and I hear my beloved Mt Blanc in my home Valley de Aosta is shimmering.
Even if you are under a rigid lock-down order in your home and country; chances are you can taste the sweeter, cleaner air; see the stars shine more brightly at night; witness the presence and sound of more sound birds or little critters running freely around in the neighborhood. I live in a place surrounded by nature; but even I have noticed many more accounts of foxes, raccoons, skunks, voles, raptors, deer, wetland birds, migratory geese, and whales spouting closer to shore. I even saw a bald eagle yesterday launch from a high perch on the eucalyptus and soar right over my head. The coyotes howl at night and the community joins in, adding their voices to the calling out to the moon. The frogs chirp away every night their evening symphony–seeking springtime mates. It’s a wonderful world. And if you are now in a home where you can’t now physically experience these places; then there are alternatives to bring you to that place of joy and release…. in the meantime. There is so much beautiful photography in the world; and as an old professional photographer, I invite you to my Nature’s Reflection website. Enjoy.
And imagine what a spring our world will celebrate (whatever season we truly re-open from CV19) and appreciate and truly enjoy when we emerge from our home cocoons. And lastly, isn’t it a wonderful thing that what many of us miss and crave during this lock-down, shut-down-temporary pause on our work-a-day world…. Is Nature. If you read to the end of this article, then I’ve a special reflection on what it will take for us to soon be able to truly break free from our houses and enter again our Earthly nature home.
Meanwhile, our individual family homes have become our sanctuaries. And, treating our havens as such—keeping our rooms clean, adding personal touches, removing the clutter, re-designing environments, shifting around furniture, stocking the kitchen with healthy food, updating the positive soundscape, bringing nature inside to optimize the Feng-Shui- positive energy and welcome the light… All these home health improvements will only enrich our CV19 experience. In the section below I share a few of the things I have been doing in my home to maintain a positive spirit and use this time and experience as one for reflection, growth, regeneration, and preparation for realizing the world we now visualize post CV19. So, whether you are alone in a small apartment in an urban COVID-19 hotspot or a neighborhood home with a full family of five plus a dog, a parrot, and a gecko; there are many ways to awaken nature inside.
Keep On- Keep On Living Well Inside-Outside the Home-Office Box
- It’s definitely time to cycle more, drive less. As travel has been restricted in many places to local transport; our bicycles are our best mode of transport and allow easy, safe physical distance. As well, now that the streets are not buzzing everywhere with cars; we can more safely ride around our towns. Governor Gavin Newsom and the mayor of San Francisco decided actually to reclaim some of the more scenic roads in and around San Francisco for bike and walking paths. And this week, President Macron announced a slow re-open and encouraged bicycle transport throughout Paris and other French cities, even providing a stipend for people to fix their bikes and lessons to ride bikes. Don’t you just love the world, innovating?
- By all means if visual media and story continues to stimulate your creative mind, incite your imagination, allow a brief escape, and makes you happy continue to tune into your favorite programs. The creative industry loves you. Entertainment is key! Of course there’s streaming videos, movies, and bing-watching TV to no end. And, entertainment on large-screen TV’s that dominate many family living rooms is an obvious go-to. But aren’t you hungry for other home activities; also to the extent you can, explore your outdoor neighborhood?
- Jon Giegengack (Hub Research) presents really interesting results from people watching (TV, movies, Livestream etc). His research suggested that more people concerned about personal economics are subscribing to online platforms as an austerity measure during CV19 to replace other forms of entertainment. And of course, as everyone is inside more; it’s natural to go to the big screen to expand your horizons and enter into different story worlds. … But beware–don’t spend too much time in that TV (Tell-A-Vision) worm hole; or you may not ever surface back to your own authentic personal reality. You don’t always want to live in the matrix anyway, do you?
- Digital Concerts are now a Livestream phenomena—and amazing fundraising tool for supporting the Solidarity Relief Fund with WHO and UN, leading out with Lady Gaga’s Together at Home Concert on April 25th with Global Citizen and WHO. That concert was trailed by a beautiful Shine Your Light Concert on Earth Day 2020 as part of the Earth Day Network program, led by Grammy-award winning Ricky Kej and other luminary world musicians. The concert interspersed few messages about regenerating our agricultural systems, land use, ocean protection measures now and as the next normal post CV19. We supported this creative effort at Natural Intelligence with our Awaken Nature Inside music video, featuring Ricky Kej’s music. If you are feeling depressed and deflated, turn our video on for a good pick-me-up!!!
- Digital conferences. Most of the environmental conferences that I normally attend and contribute to have been shifted forward 6-12 months; but since Earth Day 2020– the 50th Anniversary couldn’t be moved; the Earth Day Network got creative super fast; and Earth X—a digital conference to follow this weekend created a multi-tiered program event. I just love that when put to the test; innovative and creative people rise!!! And the good news is if you missed any program; they are all still online virtually. The Climate Action Summit as a lead up to COP 26- the annual climate conference is now online—the program streaming periodically. The World Economic Forum, Sustainable Brands, Greenbuild, the CODE, DEW, and DLD in my creative and climate-nature sphere have pivoted similarly. I am sure it is the same for you in your universe. And the good news is that it makes content and programming more assessable to more people. The bad news is that it is hard for the organizers to monetize and there is now SO MUCH content online; you just really can’t participate in everything. And, as we are uber-social beings; I must admit I will be thrilled to meet in person again. I know our children feel the same way about school. E-learning was cool and new at the beginning; but now zoom classes seem to be more and more a bore from the testaments I’ve collected by children in my community.
- Why not sprinkle into your Smart TV watch-cycle- concert-conference stream schedule with a few superb nature programs to lift your spirits and to balance whatever news reports you are following to keep yourself informed? BBC Earth is always my very favorite… and Our Planet was epically produced just for this time. Sir David Attenborough is also coming up with another series soon, so stay tuned. Nat Geo, Discovery, BBC Nature, History Channel all have brilliant nature programming too. Warning: just watch out for titles that look aggressive and dark. I am finding these past years– a greater proliferation of dark, deadly, devastating, dangerous-type nature programming. Nature is not just dark and deadly… and you may find yourself now needing a bit more color and life and light and spring joy.
- Indeed it’s super important also, as you know, to continue to keep informed as the CV19 saga continues for this summer season, programming. And, I am sure you have your favorite newsbeats, podcasts, programs already well established by now, but hopefully not set in stone. I believe its super important to keep open to new perspectives on the CV19 pandemic, query different resources and vested interests for holding specific views, remain super critical of everything you hear, check references, talk with peers, and ultimately make informed decisions for you and your family with compassion and consciousness for the larger community that make most sense to you. I find myself that it’s easy to become mesmerized by a certain media tones-drones-moods-tempo; especially when you’re feeling anxious, overwhelmed, or jaded. My advice; don’t lose your happiness gene or hopeful edge. And when you find yourself diving too deep into the murky waters of media; know you have the agency to turn it off, take back your energy and control; so as to keep yourself from drowning emotionally. Also, as spring begins to turn to hot and summery; I am seeing emerge more and more the good news stories in the midst; resolution, respect, and resolve for adapting to the CV19 change in our lives; and, as well, more extremely exciting and creative conversation on post-CV19 next now brilliant futures we really can manifest.
- My strategy for sanity, while keeping updated with the news is to set a short timer to scan headlines prior to the daily UN press conferences. Then, I choose my feature content to focus on the future regenerative end game narrative. I am drawn to media about COVID-19 at the UN-WHO source, reading/listening to content from those on the front line who are actually involved with dealing directly with the COVID -19 crisis, locally and globally. The WHO homepage and dashboard is ground central for information, globally. Dr. David Nabarro, Special Envoy to COVID-19 at WHO and I are hosting a series with Eurovision News and Events called: “Combatting COVID-19 with Compassion” and David is writing a Narrative Series, as well. You might find these resources valuable.
- I also shifted from following just global news to global AND hyper-local news. The good news is that more good news stories are starting to emerge and change the desperate tone to heroic. Solid state and local leadership is giving me greater hope to a CV19 end game despite the US federal leadership vacuum. But still isn’t it insane that we don’t have yet a good system for universal testing, contact tracing, and deployment of masks to everyone. I am happy for the federal stimulus check; but couldn’t it have come with 20 USD less and a mask?
- Meanwhile, State Governors are now forming right alliances to share information, research, and resources to mitigate the socio-economic stress of CV19 on our states. For my foreign friends if you haven’t heard, our California Governor Gavin Newsom and his counterparts Gov. Kate Brown from Oregon and Gov. Jay Inslee from Washington are coordinating efforts to enforce the lock-down and are currently, slowly rolling out re-opening plans—according to public health recommendation based on the best scientific fact and research available… let’s say, to best of their political ability. The tension and threat of rebellion is strong; as exemplified by Elon Musk’s refusal to shut down Tesla’s Fremont plant. Last week, The West (California, Oregon, Washington) and the East (NY, NJ, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, RI, and Massachusetts) States developed decision trees to coordinate the timing of facilities, schools, and businesses re-opening — safely, securely, but plans are pivoting daily. Mayor Coumo also announced that there may be a light at this CV19 tunnel as the transmission numbers have plateaued and declined in some parts of the US, including NYC. We can for a moment feel good about most people doing their part as good citizens to keep physical distance, adhere to proper hygiene –- respecting life and the lives of those in our communities. And some communities are taking pro-active measures to protect their citizens and others. My community initiated, funded, and drove an innovative UCSF COVID19 community testing operation in our town and in an inner city San Francisco neighborhood as a model for community proactive testing. See this Marin Good News Story. That said, we are not out of the virtual woods yet. The Mercury News reported that California parks and beaches were crowded the past weekends when Governor Newsom finally conceded to open them. And today, California records the second deadliest single day since the virus appeared with 2,030 new (recorded) cases- now totaling 76,845 cases, and 3,156 total deaths. According Dr. David Nabarro, he told me in our last discussion that we are just going to have to dance with this virus; ride this red tide that will likely come in sets, re-open and close as we need; remain agile and ready to pivot when necessary.
- Looking at the sunny side of life is also a healthy strategy for survival during these CV19 days. Indeed, there are many, many stories about nature’s regeneration this spring; as our human imprint on earth systems has slowed dramatically. These are beautiful times for our natural ecosystems to revitalize themselves; so when we do go outdoors again—what a sensory feast we witness, right? I trust that you are savoring these moments and memories as I am. That said, the message should not be that we need to shut down our global economy to recover a right relationship with nature. The right message for right now is that we now have the opportunity to reset and redirect those massive recovery funds from CV19 to re-build bio-based economies and develop in green ways that have the added benefit of supporting our planetary health because now we can appreciate how a healthy planet positively benefits our own health.
- Also, I see a positive CV19 benefit as being our greater consciousness about our health and wellbeing. I would encourage taking this time out alone and with family-friends for learning how to optimally maintain our innate and environmental health from the inside out. This goes beyond hand washing; but building our best immune defense against CV19-here and now. And, what also can we do to reduce/eliminate the toxins in our home environment? According to Dr. Anne-Marie Fine, Naturopathic doctor/VP of the National Association of Environmental Medicine; 99% of the CV19 deaths in China and Italy reflect individuals suffering from one or more chronic diseases-diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, asthma, allergy. As chronic diseases have increased in parallel with greater exposure in our indoor/outdoor home/work environments to harmful chemicals, plastics, agricultural herbicides/insecticides, heavy metals, PCBs, detergents, chemicals (e.g. the deadly dozen); we can expect that our immune systems are compromised more than we realize. Dr. Fine suggests that many home indoor environments may even be 5-18% more toxic than outside our home. Solution?
- Take this time-out to do an environmental home evaluation and deep clean. Why not do a complete re-assess of the water, food, light, air, potential environmental pollutants (in paint, carpets, veneers, toxic detergents) you bring into your home? It’s the opportunity to do an internal-external environmental check on personal health and home. Time to detox. Contact me for references to Wellness practitioners whom I know and trust. As well, ensure that you are eating nutritiously, staying on top of an outdoor exercise routine, feeding your mind healthy, positive affirmations. In my next conversation with Dr. Nabarro tomorrow I am going to ask about how we keep our immune system active and energized; while keeping our exposure to each other and CV19 reduced. Stay tuned!
- In my Combatting COVID-19 with Compassion interview series with Dr. David Nabarro, special envoy to COVID 19 for WHO, we discuss the fact that finally after decades of working to educate people on the importance of personal hygiene; now most everyone around the world is taking heed and practicing better hygiene. I say fun for the family might be to create something of a treasure hunt or game or competition for enlisting (literally) everyone in the household to optimize hygiene and enlisting new higher personal-family health protocols.
- Realize that our food is our medicine and remember that we are what we eat; so now’s a very good time to slow down, know your food and learn where it comes from.
- Now beyond news, virtual concerts, favorite programs… there are also so many ways to use that audio-visual portal to the world in your home called the TV. A friend converted his TV to an art gallery of images that he’s collected in his travels to museums and other cultural adventures. I now do the same, and love to create rolling streams of my nature and culture images from travels on loops to soothing music when making dinner. Imagine also looping family vacations or trips with loved ones! What a way to recapture the magic of those moments and start planning the next post COVID-19 adventures, right?
- Certainly oodles of content live on Disney Plus for children and there is now interactive programming on [email protected], as well, a cool Safari at Home project NatGeo produced for Earth Day 2020. Some public libraries are hosting entire day child programs and activities during CV19. Check out your local library… And it’s all virtual; so feel free to cruise over to Marin Public Library. They have a program. Of course the virtual gaming community is having a hayday as more people are Ready-Player One traveling with their avatars to virtual games and experiences in other dimensions and story worlds.
- Speaking of multimedia and story worlds, I am really enjoying the classic art of reading a good, solid book again. I’ve blazed through a number of books I’ve had on my reading chair and by my bed. It’s a wonderful feeling to be filled with new knowledge and rich story worlds that your creative mind has to interpret from words on a page. Why not allow yourself the luxury of even 30 minutes a day to just immerse in a good book…and yes, an actual physical, tangible book? Yes, I also have 100’s of books on a kindle. But, aren’t we tired of screens after a day of virtual zooms and work. Even if you do have a UV/blue light spectrum glare-reduction filter, like me, to protect our digitally-damaged eyes from more exposure; wouldn’t’ you want a break in the least to a new room environment sans electronics? That said, whatever brings you into a story world and a place of joy- do that. Also, audio books on the run (with or without dogs) is something I enjoy normally, but I am finding that my outdoor time is quite precious; so I am more interested in being present and awake to the nature, people, world around me now when I am outside. You?
- The best interactive entertainment to create social cohesion and connection is to in fact call a friend or family member on the phone. My mom is now a wiz on Facetime and getting better on Skype. Zoom and Teams seem to be the virtual meeting spaces of choice. I love to change my backgrounds on Zoom. I just wish the AV was broadcast quality; so we could use zoom for interviews… maybe I’ll switch over anyway. And if you find yourself needing a humor break, just Google “hilarious zoom calls during the first days of CV19”. I am sure some TV writer’s stall has figured out a few good sitcom program ideas. If you hear of one, write me back. I’d love to be writing on such a show!
- A very social creature, my mother has decided to call one friend in her rolodex (literally paper rolodex) every day during CV19… And, when she gets tired of that routine or needs a break, she suggested that she might just randomly dial a few local numbers within her prefix. When my great grandmother was restricted to a wheelchair later in life and homebound; she would randomly call numbers in her area code and just invite a conversation. I love that way of spreading positive good vibrations. Today, I was also invited to connect on LI by someone I did not know in my network… He explained to me that he decided he would meet and greet virtually 5 new people a day… That’s a lot of new friends and colleagues to add to the mix each day; and what a great idea.
- Speaking of neighbors, have you already connected to your neighbors on Next Door or created a Neighborhood What’s Up group? Our local conversation is quite lively on Next Door. We even have a local bi-weekly paper that’s really hyper-local news just for our small 1,200 person town.
- And what about hosting a spontaneous creative collective event? Have you done that yet? Remember the Italian opera balcony singing? Note that this type of spontaneous social event is not restricted to crowded apartment complexes where people share similar national pride and anthem songs. I live in a rural community that’s also a wildlife sanctuary. We love animals and treat them as our neighbors. So, every night at sunset everyone on the mesa in our community belts out a “gratitude howl”- yes, neighbors, children, dogs, and wildlife. Indeed, the coyotes join in. It’s really quite fun and extraordinary. And when the coyotes initiate the real howl at the full moon light; everyone lights up the sky with a twilight symphony. Yes! Sing to the mountains. Sing to the stars. Sing to the ocean. Sing to the fields and plains. Sing to the neighbors next door. Everyone by now is going stir-crazy; so it’s a great time to unleash the call of the wild.
- On that howling note, do you have a healthy form-way-norm of “freak-out’ release??? First things first, turn off the news…maybe a nice hot shower and scream…? Running as fast and furious as you can in place and scream? Jumping jacks, push-ups to loud music (maybe with headphones) and scream? Maybe just trail that with one small bowl of ice cream. A curator for Edvard Munch’s The Scream did a super cathartic activity for visitors, recording them screaming and interviewing afterward. Apparently, it was super powerful for everyone. Now beaches and some open spaces are starting to open up…so soon we will all be able to really run free and enjoy nature again.
- Meanwhile, also check out our 1.5 minute video for WHO– Awaken Nature Inside for good ideas about bringing nature inside; as we will likely go through a few pulses of open-close-re-open-close over the next year, at least; and good indoor release strategies are important for our mental health and collective sanity.
- One Minute. The Bramha Kumaris have traditionally been active in praying in the UN HQ while the UN assembly is in session to create a positive vibration that travels throughout the building maze. They have this 1-minute prayer they do every hour to keep an intention or remembrance that day floating in the ether. It’s like the Catholic Hours or the Muslim’s 5 prayers/day. And now that it’s Ramadan, our friends in the Middle East and everywhere are in a solemn prayer mode. Regardless of religious background or beliefs, we are all human (Pope Francis Laudato Si). It’s a super idea to build a moment of silence for the COVID 19 losses and gratitude for the life today we have every day, maybe even around a lit candle in the evening as a family. I am also a big fan of the Oprah/Deepak meditations. Omvana, Insight Timer, Gaia media, NuCalm, and others have great meditation resources too.
- Adorn your home with affirmations. You can find wonderfully, inspiring quotes everywhere on the internet. Or, ask your friends to share favorites on FB. We definitely need a bit more light in that COVID19-overrun space. Also, sticky notes, sidewalk chalk, or special pens for glass or whiteboards, notes on the refrigerator… all work supremely well I’ve found to start the day with a smile. If you ever find yourself in the XPrize HQ women’s bathroom in LA or Creative Visions HQ in Santa Monica; thre you can find all kinds of positive affirmations to spark your imagination. Love it! Oh, and keep that affirmation dialogue fluid; change up your favorite quotes every now and again.
- Until we are all able to obtain a good N-95 mask; I imagine you already by now have few favorite designer masks… But I wanted to alert you also to the bandana mask, if you don’t know about this origami-made-easy bandana mask if you are ever in a pinch. Here’s a great YOU TUBE video to make a bandana face mask. Super easy. And if you find that you really like to make masks; there are a number of start-up mask-making groups, donating to local medical workers. As well, you might just think to watch a YouTube on oragami or even advance to kite-making; something to give you hope and aspiration for the day when you can hug your friends and fly free again. ANd, why not print an affirmation; like Be Kind, Spread Joy, Love, Be Peace… on your mask???
- Subscribe to my Naturally Intelligent by Design podcast and take a moment in the morning together as a family (or just post the animal daily inspiration somewhere in the family commons). Every day that I post a new animal, inspiration, reflection, and activity you will receive an email with our featured animal for the day. My 8-year old and 10-year old niece and nephew are my quasi-reliable editors.
- Speaking of family, I am sure by now that most of you have established some sort of periodic family (across the country or world) check-in. We have this; but it got me thinking, how can I take advantage of mom now on Facetime to connect in a new way.
- So now, every (well almost) day, mom and I do Dr. Zac Bush’s 4 minute work-out. It’s excellent for all ages and super-easy to do. Everyone has 4 minutes you can spend with mom, each day. Thanks Zac!!!! And, there are many more workout options for every level, as hopefully you’ve already explored… Please share your favorites.
- Speaking of workouts, Yogaworks has now over 1300 online yoga classes and 100-livestream class per day. That’s a lot of yoga. I know I really used my subscription when I was traveling. I ebb and flow with doing these online classes…. Think it’s time again to flow. They have free Livestream classes this coming week. #YogaWorksLive And there are 100’s of core-training, 5-10-20-30 minute killer abs, stronger legs, healthy heart, deeper breathing exercise every muscle in your body in place online courses.
- I am sure any avid cyclist also knows that if you can’t go outdoors, these rollers are a great substitute. When I used to race I used mine all the time. Then you’ll be ready for the long country road ride and inspired when we are let loose to really enjoy our local natural world again.
- Now to working out your mind, body, spirit connection and find peace in this COVID 19 storm; one of my favorite and gracious places on the planet; Spirit Rock, is offering all their retreat programs Livestream too for the next few weeks. I imagine other spiritual retreat centers are offering similar programs. This is quite a gift and the programs are powerful. Thank you!
- And on that spiritual note, if you are an avid church-temple-mosque goer; then you might appreciate a virtual mass. I know my mother is finding great joy in switching from the broadcast from her local church to St. Peter’s and the Pope in Rome. The Catholic Church in Rome organized on Good Friday—meditations on the Stations of the Cross, written by people in prison and their families. It was very powerful and still online to listen (I think its now translated into English, too.) There is a lot of wisdom there from people who have spent years in confinement. Now we are getting a little taste and insight to their plight. My local church is small enough that we are actually doing interactive zoom calls at our mass time… and we are now thinking of ways that we can have church outside in a safe, physically distanced way.
- I have always listened to biurnal beats and natural soundscapes while working and writing at the computer. Now, I also start my day with a few of my most inspiring, uplifting, sing-a-long songs; oftentimes to a quick, 15-minute core strength workout. Nature’s music and natural sounds can be so soothing and healing and centering. Especially if nature is not nearby for you; just calling the audio-visual nature forward through our digital devices does help stimulate one’s natural resonance. The Earthtones created a special COVID19 music mix; and our friend, Ricky Kej has also produced a number of new world music hits.
- Indeed, it’s certainly not a bad time to fill our time and home with light and sound and new creative gear to explore and expand our creativity… as an obvious outlet for anxiety and fear. Add some great music, and all of the sudden, joy appears. I know some of you are taking the opportunity to learn a new language, pick up a new instrument, and art form. I created a watercolor corner in my studio and finally starting again to play with different base palettes and overlays to some of my photography work.
- Now for the moment we can exercise, visit the beaches and ride our bikes; locally- wonderful. And when the restrictions on outdoor movement come again; as they likely will; this time prepare your home space with nature inside. We know that when we can’t go outside, then the next best thing is to imagine being out there. I know there are a few virtual nature experiences available. And as many of you know, it has been one of my NI dreams to produce and to share a few immersions and collections, so let’s see what the future holds.
- And if you can’t go on vacation, the next best thing is to plan a post-COVID 19 family vacation. My goodness, there are supremely fantastic rates for flights abroad now. Making that a family project and really doing the research together; assigning different logistic roles to different family members, can be super fun. Here is where having an informed travel agent to help curate a safe, enjoyable family vacation might be helpful. I have a few suggestions; if you are interested. WRITE HERE
- Friends and colleagues I know are hosting themed Digital Lunches- discussions and interviews. A few sprinkled throughout the week I have found to be a great social, education-oriented break.
- Speaking of socials, I’ve heard of virtual pub-crawls and birthday parties…. And now we have Easter and Passover celebrations. The good news here is that the money you save from NOT actually buying a gift or a drink; you can now (if you choose) donate to those medical professionals and on the front line. If you listen to Episode III: Combatting COVID 19 with Compassion; you will learn where your money goes. WHO Relief Fund
- Many of us may not have a lot of space to move around in; but even if you have to look out the window, most everyone should have access to the sky—night and day. This is a glorious gift because it means that you can watch the clouds and literally “daydream”-imagine what stories and messages are hidden especially for you in the wisps of white during the day. Then at night, hopefully you are able to see the stars… and if you can’t there is a really cool APP called Sky Guide that guides you across the night sky with a beautiful entrancing music backdrop that shows you where the constellations are in the sky. There have been some really stellar nights this past month. The Lyrid meteor shower right before Earth Day was a great example…and there are more to come.
- It’s a beautiful thing when you go to the garden store and you learn that you can’t find new gloves or a spade. It’s a super Sunday when the fruit trees and plants are cycling out of the nursery at record speed. Everyone is in their garden planting these. Whether you have a windowsill herb garden or a colorful potted plant porch or a small vegetable garden in the backyard or an entire rose nursery or fruit orchard; you are lucky to have decided it was important to maintain your connection to plant life in your home. And if you’ve never had a garden, but want to start one… here’s a good garden grow reference.
- Every week I am going to the market to collect fresh flowers. I am really enjoying arranging them in vases every week; having them in my space over the week. I then appreciate that they then start to wilt and discolor at the end of each week. There is something about teaching me impermanence and appreciation of beauty in every moment in this new ritual I have recently integrated into my life. I’m also thinking that if I picked up a few more flower; I could pick an elder buddy in town and gift a bundle of color to them. Imagine if everyone in the world starting doing small acts of kindness.
- It was March 17th and St. Patrick’s Day when we were grounded in Northern California; and already then I was due for a haircut. Today, I saw my hairstylist in town picking flowers along one of our favorite neighborhood trails. We stayed 6 ft apart and brainstormed ways she could cut my hair, while being physically distant…Already, many of you know that there are stylists giving lessons online, offering virtual haircuts to teams of people sheltering together. Are we creative or what? And, I’m in the lucky position that my long hair is just getting longer; so I can probably hold off another month until those bans are lifted… or?
- Bring Out the Homemaker: I can already see the flowers of the blackberry bushes in my backyard and in the neighborhood start to blossom; so I am thinking jam. The lemons and oranges on the trees have been wonderful; but soon it will be time to move onto the figs and blackberries. Meanwhile, I’ve made enough sauerkraut to last for a year…Ginger, sauerkraut, and Echinacea are super for building our immune system. I’m soon going to move along to mixing herbal teas and tinctures. A good friend of mine has become a master baker of homemade breads and treats… and sharing his secrets and recipes online. I know a lot of people are enjoying the time to really develop their cooking skill and take the leap to try and recreate their favorite restaurant meals. And those of you who stress out about cooking; there is always Blue Apron as an alternative to take-out.
- Why not take some time to surf around online and find a citizen scientist activity or a community service volunteer opportunity to become a part? There are so many; and now especially around CV19. One I can share again from my last article is the Bee Recovery program with Google and Perfect Fungi where the bee feeding mix includes sugar water and anti-viral medicine essentially for the bees to help their populations come back from near annihilation in many places.
- Finally, I hope this quiet time alone (or with small family) has been one to not just “do” fun, novel, entertaining things; but also to just “be”… and contemplate our living reality and our universality.
- Please share your ideas for celebrating the Home! I am learning more and more ways to live better from you; every day.
Dr. Catherine Cunningham, PhD, Natural Intelligence Media is committed to awakening Natural Intelligence in the World. She produces multimedia content — books, films, and podcasts with her creative companions that aim to inspire everyone, everywhere to live a happy, healthy, naturally intelligent life.
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Listen to our Natural Intelligence Worldwide Podcast HERE.— Published on May 18, 2020