Life is an extremely complex subject, like a river delta there are many tributaries that feed and lead off into many different directions. Some are calm, some are violent rapids, some pass through beautiful views and others contain dangers lurking beneath. There are also many tools that people use to filter or make sense of the pictures, sounds, images, feelings and experiences they encounter whilst travelling these many paths through life.
I am in no way planning to explore the many facets of these intriguing routes Continue reading →
I moved from the UK to Canada in 2008 because it was a beautiful country with amazing vistas and to support it’s peoples love of the great outdoors. As time progresses and the more I read and understand about the Harper government, the more I begin to see corruption and a seedy underbelly to this country. Greed, money and a political interest in the ‘value’ of nature, is turning my love of Canada against Canadian leaders.
Are you Canadian, do you love this country, do you love your leaders, what makes you proud to be Canadian these days?!
The free trade agreement is all about exploiting Canada’s natural resources & agricultural commodities and importing products produced in jurisdictions that have much lower wages in many cases. After WWII, the Canadian manufacturing sector made up 29% of our economy, but now it only makes up 13% (a 55% decline). This trend will only continue to get worse based on the decisions the Harper government is making. Our government should be supporting and promoting local businesses rather than outsourcing local economic potential. In addition, now that the 2012 Omnibus budget has been passed, environmental assessment on natural resource projects have suffered a serious blow. Projects will be fast tracked. The goal of the Harper government is to exploit Canada’s resources as quickly as possible in an effort to sell the raw material to developing nations so that we can purchase the finished products using bank credit. You can easily see where this is going.
Last year I watched a documentary called “Garbage Warrior”, it is about this fantastic man who designed a zero carbon emission home and has been fighting the long process of obtaining permits for building these very necessary homes.
It is possible to volunteer on Earthship projects to learn the skills necessary to build these amazing homes. The only problem is, you need to build it in what Mr Reynolds terms as a ‘pocket of freedom’. In other words an area where old laws no longer constrict the building of carbon zero houses. These are usually in developing countries. You can find out more about Earthships at their site http://earthship.com/
This video highlights the challenges the team faces.
Life can be challenging, that’s for sure. Some people have it easy and some extremely difficult. Everyone however has the strength to make their own choices and to do this must truly connect to who they are.
One minute people tell you to live your passions and to focus your attentions in one area, after all nothing can be achieved without attention and determination. The next minute however, you are advised to introduce balance into your life and to give things a break!
“But hang on a minute!” you say, “I thought I was supposed to live my passions and do what is important to me?”
Yes, this is true, but maybe all your passions require equal attention?
It can be hard to remain focused on all passions, I can liken it to planting a number of seeds. Perhaps you plant five seeds, they all need taking care of, but maybe all in different ways.
Maybe you neglect one, or over water another. Maybe one requires less water than another, but you go ahead and give it the same anyway. This can result in a lot of dead plants. You need to now how to cultivate each passion, if only there was a label!
The only observation I make here, is learn how to nurture your seeds, stay awake and focused, stand back and look at all your plants and understand what attention they all require and deserve.
It’s hot in Costa Rica. Today, the temperature says thirty three degrees centigrade. It feels so much hotter. I decide to have a shower to cool off.
I haven’t had a hot shower since arriving here on February 3rd. Only a couple of the places we have stayed have had hot water, all the others are simply a pipe coming out of the wall with cold water. This is perfect and in this temperature it is all one needs.
It is way more refreshing to have a cold shower and due to the scarcity of water, it is a sure fire way to reduce the length of time in the shower.
Because of this, I started thinking about the water people waste and have now begun turning the water off whilst I apply the soap. You don’t think it’s all that much, but if half of the time your applying soap and the other half your washing it off, then you can cut your water usage down by half.
Also, if we all were to try and reduce the heat of our showers too, we would save energy and potentially even more water as we wouldn’t ‘hang out’ in the shower for as long.
So moving forward maybe we can all reduce the strain on our valuable water resources and take colder shorter showers! I know I am definitely changing my habits from now on.
Over the last few days I have been living in what I might term ‘minimal luxury’. I have been taught an extremely valuable lesson, by building on my already existing beliefs of less being more.
I have stayed in a tent on the beach, a treehouse in the woods and now I have a tent pitched on a mattress on a concrete lookout high above an outdoor kitchen.
These living arrangements are the most basic of basic, but have everything one needs. There are cold water showers in bare brick outbuildings, outdoor sinks and bins hanging from the bamboo built kitchen frame. The kitchen floor is a mixture of dry dirt and stones, with an occasional tree root thrown in to test your agility. A gas canister powers a four ring burner and a bungee chord holds the fridge door closed. I have just made use of my coffee bag and sit here in amazement at how perfect all of this is.
This lesson came to me whilst taking a shower the other day; the western world sees wealth and excess as luxury, the higher quality something is, or the more expensive and pristine, or the more bells and whistles something has, then the better it is. However, I am now seeing this as simply excess. I imagine some parts of the western world see the living conditions I explain above as an ‘unfortunate’ way to live, or even a situation that needs to be fixed, “those poor people need money for a better life!” Well, I say no! Money and luxurious items, do not make a person happy, or even make the person. The stripping down of all, has hilighted the unnecessary excess of an exploited western society.
Many have grown accustomed to a certain ‘class’ of living and anything less than that will just seem neanderthal, but richness can be found in the bare bones of the true necessities of life.
There is a great family from Colorado living in the house next door here in Mal País. They have a young son with them called Colin.
This morning the couple on the other side of us and ourselves were both left small notes to awake to, addressed to each couple, on our shared table on the terrace. Upon opening the note we were greeted by the picture you see below.
There is something very heart warming about these types of gestures, especially when so much innocence is involved.
Valentines is not about corporations and extravagant gifts it’s simply about connectedness and love.
Thanks Colin and family for highlighting the simplicity of love.