Plastic is not fantastic!

April 22nd is Earth Day 2018 and the campaign being highlighted this year is ending plastic pollution.  There’s an excellent pdf to read through if you want much more information on how the plastic we produce and throw away is seriously damaging our world, our marine life and ourselves.  Here’s the link to the downloadable pdf: Earth-Day-plastic-pollution-pdf.

What can we as individuals do to make a difference?

  1.  If you don’t do already, RECYCLE all your household waste, using the recycling bins provided by your local Council waste department.  If you don’t recycle, all your waste goes into landfill and can take hundreds of years to break down – and some of it never does.  Leave a nicer present to your children and grandchildren by helping to reduce the mountains of landfill rubbish.
  2. Much of our plastic packaging comes from food shopping.  When you are next at the supermarket, try these suggestions:
    • pick the fresh produce which is not wrapped in plastic.
    • favour glass and canned packaging over plastic.
    • Ask supermarket staff for paper bags to place unwrapped fruit and vegetables in.  If we keep pestering supermarkets, they eventually change their ways to retain our custom.
    • Take your own reusable non-plastic shopper bags to pack your food at the checkout.
    • Ask the supermarket manager when they will be introducing “plastic free aisles” such as those in Ekoplaza Dutch supermarket stores.  Plastic-free means using alternatives to plastic packaging – compostable biomaterials made from plants and trees.
    • Ask when they will eliminate plastic packaging in their own-brand products, as one UK frozen-food supermarket chain (Iceland) has already pledged to do by 2023.
  3. Use bio-bags (100% compostable and biodegradable; made from corn starch) for home bin liners and doggy poop bags.  I buy mine online but some local Councils have a supply of bio dog poop bags which you can uplift for free.
  4. If, like me, you don’t like the metallic taste of water straight from the tap, you could consider buying a filter tap for your kitchen sink rather than buying bottled water.  I’ve only just started researching these filter taps and they seem very expensive!!!  So, the search continues.
  5.  Stop buying antibacterial cleaners, complete with plastic packaging.  A study carried out by the BBC television programme Trust Me, I’m a Doctor showed that bacteria grow back within 20 minutes of using antibac products, and that soap and water were much more effective at keeping bacteria at bay for longer.  There’s a good article in The Telegraph about this.  I’ve also started using bicarbonate of soda mixed with a little water to make a paste.  I wipe this all over the surface to be cleaned (it’s great for restoring a stained sink to sparkling white!), leave a few minutes, then wipe off.  It’s really effective.  If you add vinegar, it reacts with the bicarbonate of soda and fizzes as you clean.  Who knew cleaning could be such fun.

I hope you’ve found some of these suggestions useful and food for thought.  If you’d like to share any of yours with others, please do leave your comments.  Anita.

 

Arts & Crafts Revival!

Isn’t it amazing the extent to which we have seen the resurgence of arts and crafts in recent years!  There is a growing number of television programmes in the UK dedicated to upcycling, repairing, baking, sewing, and many other types of crafts such as stained glass making and pottery.  Social media sites such as Instagram and Facebook are awash with people proudly showing off items they have made themselves!  We have arts and crafts fairs to showcase the works of these new entrepreneurs, such as my local one above.  We have community ‘repair schools’ where residents are invited to bring along broken electrical and other kinds of goods and be shown by experts how to repair them, rather than simply consigning these objects to the local refuse centre.  It fills me with this joy, this arts and crafts revival.  It also makes me look at those slightly tatty and forlorn objects in my own home to see if I might somehow reuse, refashion, re-gift or rejuvenate them instead of mentally consigning them to the next trip to the local council refuse dump.

I wrote about this subject recently, being a contributing author to a book called Goddess: when she rules (Golden Dragonfly Press 2017), an anthology of female voices from around the globe exploring the role that the Goddess energy plays in their lives.  “Together, their words echo worldwide efforts aimed at ushering in a new paradigm for peace in which the feminine principles of creativity, receptivity, intuition and wisdom—independent of gender—rise to prominence.”  Let me share a little of my essay from the book with you here:

“The Divine Goddess

Healing our planet through compassion” by Anita Neilson.

It was to my earthly mother that I ran when I cut myself as a child. She would comfort me in her arms, cleanse the wound then apply a healing salve before sending me out again into the world—renewed, rejuvenated, uplifted. It is to my spiritual Mother that I turn again and again for all of life’s challenges. She resides in my inner wisdom, in my growing intuition, in a longing to show love and kindness to all life. She is known by many titles, such as Divine Goddess, Sacred Feminine, Moon Goddess, Divine Mother among others. I watch her influence smooth its healing balm across the planet, knitting together our self-inflicted wounds of egotism, intolerance, judgement and ignorance. I see her reflection in each full moon simultaneously pulling me skyward and inward. I feel her energy course through me during meditation, writing and periods of reflection or prayer. I hear her matter-of-fact voice answering my questions with the tolerance and patience of a heart full of love.

The Goddess energy has been growing in recent months and years to counterbalance the ego-bound mores of intolerance, distrust and fear which have pervaded our dealings with each other over the centuries. More and more, we awaken to what is needed now: a raising of the vibration of love and compassion in all our hearts. A beautiful consequence of this inner healing journey to re-balance ourselves is that we are then better equipped to spread love and kindness to those around us. We can lead by example not judgement; we can be guided by intuition not fear; we can accept difference with delight not suspicion. This is the Goddess in action!

Let’s actively seek out Goddess pearls of grace which encircle the planet yet have for so long been obscured by our ingrained habits of ignorance and desire. Below is one such Goddess pearl which brightens our lives. As kindred spirits and carriers of the light, we ought to make it our sacred duty to share this divine Goddess energy with others:

The resurgence of crafts and the traditional ways of doing things. The ‘old’ (feminine) wisdom of healing herbs, of make-do and mend, of making our clothes and growing our own food—these have all recently made the transition to mainstream institutions, homes and new businesses after half a century of being consigned to the peripheries.  Society now values these creative skills and attributes.  

Let us embrace this Goddess energy in every cell of our being by following our inner wisdom, listening to our growing intuition, and showing love and kindness to all life— for that is the legacy of the Sacred Feminine. 

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from my Essay.  I used to be an avid knitter and sometime sewer.  For a while I also tried my hand at making jewellery (earrings mainly).  I no longer do these things but content myself with still retaining an element of creativity in my writing!   It just doesn’t feel as cute and fluffy as a blue knitted sheep!  Have a happy week, Anita.

Remember me

For today’s #healingwordsmon a few lines from the wonderful poem, Remember by Christina Rossetti.  What does actually happen to our loved ones when they leave their earthly shell?  It’s all down to faith, isn’t it, for none of us can really know. Some believe that this life is all there is and then we’re gone. Others believe in the tenet of reincarnation, that we are reborn again and again until our soul reaches perfection, at which point it resides eternally in the astral world (what we call heaven).  What does your faith tell you?

I Surrender!

“For like the olive
I cannot be without
The sturdy tree;
And like the nectar
I cannot flow without
The blossom at its Source.”

-Anita Neilson

Surrender:

The above quote is taken from my poem In the Garden which I wrote last year at Easter time.  It got me thinking of the issue of surrender.   The more I read and talk about spiritual matters, the more the word surrender raises its head.  And I’ve finally understood it!  Just as in the poem, an olive cannot exist without the sturdy tree which gives it life; and nectar cannot flow if there is no blossom from which it may flow.  So neither can we exist without that which gives us life – the Creator / God / Brahman / Source.   I’ve also realised that the more I/we fight this higher power and try to do things our way, even when it feels wrong, the more we become immersed in “I”, the ego.

The ego is the part of us that is entrenched in the duality of the material world.  It believes in all the dramas playing out before its eyes.  It has desires, needs, wants and believes that these will bring it the happiness it seeks.  But, deep down, we know, don’t we, that the soul has always had the right idea all along – we just didn’t want to listen!  For the soul is linked with wisdom – Divine wisdom – and it directs us towards courses of action which will be for our highest good.  Always.  We just have to surrender to it and have faith that everything will be as it should be, for our greater good.

Surrendering doesn’t mean giving in and doing nothing.  It means listening to our inner wisdom and choosing a course of action in line with it, one that will be for our good and the good of others.  It means doing the right thing just because it’s the right thing to do and not wanting or expecting something in return (praise, reward etc.).   This is non-attachment to the outcome of our actions, which is a highly desirable spiritual quality we should all endeavour to attain.

This Easter time, whatever your religion or belief system, why not take a moment to think about the avatar, Jesus Christ, who came to earth over 2,000 years ago as an embodiment of Divine Forgiveness.  Think of his teachings and the example of his life of renunciation and selfless service.   He was and remains an inspiration to many, and yet he was condemned by his people.  #healingwordsmon

Surrender  –  Faith  –  Non-attachment  –  Forgiveness