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.

 

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 

 

Perfect Reflections

This post is for Debbie Roth’s   #forgivingconnects and my #healingwordsmon and it’s about non-judgement.  Today’s poem is an extract from Perfect Reflections (which will appear in my new book).

Show me Your light
In the evil deeds of men
For dost not evil
Merely cover the good in them?
Show me Your light
In hurtful, vengeful words
For dost not pain
Merely cover forgotten love?
Give me the strength, Lord,
To proclaim what is true:
That we are all
Perfect Reflections of You.

– taken from the poem Perfect Reflections by Anita Neilson.

I have to say right up that I have been very judgemental in life.  This all began with a childhood habit which grew into an ugly spiritual boil before bursting a few years ago.  Only then, could I see my behaviour for what it was – embedded in fear.  Fear of difference.  But ironically, now I realise that every person we come across is different, unique, and to surround myself in this bubble of fear was only hurting myself.   And yet, I choose not to beat myself up over this.  I forgive myself for my years of judging on appearances; of laughing at those less pretty or clever than I; of being a little too spoilt for my own good.

Now that’s not to say I don’t struggle with showing love to those who commit acts of evil in the misguided belief that it will bring them the happiness they seek.  But they are on their own journey through many lifetimes, just as we are on ours.  We’re all at different stages, and who am I to say that my way is the right way?  I know that there will be others who compare themselves favourably with my ‘misguided’ standards.  It’s such a tricky one this.  Yes, show love and understanding to people who do bad things but also speak out if others are being harmed.  I’d value your thoughts on this dilemma, because I do battle with this.  Anita.

#healingwordsmon – All things Irish!

My blog has been going for a little over a year, and I’ve decided to try out a blogging schedule. You’ve inspired me, my lovely fellow bloggers. It may get too much for me, but I won’t know until I give it a go! So, here is the schedule:

Mondays will be #healingwordsmon –  poems, quotes, short story, comment;
Thursdays will be #healingwordsthu – acts of Kindness, articles of interest etc.

So let’s get started with today’s #healingwordsmon –  All things Irish….!!😀💃

St Patrick

 

“I am Patrick, yes, a sinner and indeed untaught;
yet I am established here in Ireland where I profess myself bishop.
I am certain in my heart that ‘’all that I am’ I have received from God.
So I live among barbarous tribes, a stranger and exile for the love of God,”

-Saint Patrick.

 

Saints:

Ireland, like many other countries around the world, has its own patron saint – St Patrick.  This week welcomes the feast day of Saint Patrick (March 17th). But who was he?

Well, I’ve done a little research online and discovered that he was born of a Romanized family in Britain around the 4th/5thC AD (timings vary from sources).  As a youth he was reportedly kidnapped and spent 6 years tending sheep in slavery in Ireland!  During his enslavement, believing that God was testing his faith, he converted to Christianity.  He eventually escaped and returned to Britain and then Europe where he trained as a priest.

After becoming a Christian missionary and bishop, he returned to Ireland to convert the “barbarous tribes” to Christianity.  Legend says that he used Irish traditional pagan forms of worship to introduce and explain Christian theology, including the use of the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity.  From the 17thC onwards, his feast day was recognized in the Christian calendar. He is globally recognized as the Patron Saint of Ireland and is celebrated each year on March 17th  (sources:  Britannica.com and biography.com)

So what?

Indeed.  Why I am telling you about a Saint from the 4th/5th C AD?  Well, his story inspired me, and it got me thinking that we all need to be inspired.  We all have people whose lives are such a shining example of how to be good and kind that we can’t help but want to be like them, to be with them, to be them.  These could be saints, gurus, or people in our family or community.  The spiritual qualities they display, such as determination, resilience, patience, understanding, grace etc, act as magnets drawing like-minded souls to them.  St Patrick must have had quite a tough time of it in Ireland.  He is often quoted as saying that he would continue despite the derision he faced.  What kept him going?  His unbending faith.  How many of us would put ourselves out there like that, knowing that we likely faced scorn, ridicule, anger, perhaps even violence?

******* TODAY:  Think about something you avoid doing or saying because you fear ridicule.  Perhaps today you can find the courage to act.  *******

Poets:

Staying with the Irish theme, I’ve chosen an Irish poet to highlight in this week’s post:  WB Yeats.  A Dubliner, he lived from 1865 to 1939.  Here is an extract from his poem, The Choice:

“The intellect of man is forced to choose
Perfection of the life, or of the work,
And if it take the second must refuse
A heavenly mansion, raging in the dark.”

-from “The Choice” by WB Yeats.

These lines seem to point to a dichotomy between success in the material world and the spiritual world.  Yet, there have been saints who have come to earth to show that it is possible to lead a spiritually advanced life while also carrying out daily duties (indeed this is desirable).  One of these was  Lahiri Mahasaya.

We always have a choice. Every second, every minute, every time we have a thought.  We can turn that thought into word, amplifying its power (so let’s make sure it’s positive and loving).  We can turn words into actions, amplifying them still further.  Let’s make good choices every time.  Let’s be inspired by those ‘saints’ in our lives and try to adopt some of their good habits.  Much much love, Anita.🙋‍♀️🎈