Pollution and sustainability practice.

“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” Isaiah 46:4

When the word sustainability is used it’s probably common to think of the environment and ecology. With my husband working in wildlife conservation this word comes up a lot in our daily lives. The growing knowledge of the availability of sustainable resources and potential action people, organizations and corporations could take makes it all the more painful when we witness instances of great greed or waste that if continuously repeated, could lead to resource depletion, thus being an unsustainable and foolish practice.

That being said, for as passionate as we are about these things in speech and conversation, there are so many ways we could be practicing better resource sustainability in our personal lives.

Our recent move has made this easier, as we can walk downtown to go out or stroll to the local stores for errands. We recently asked each other, “What could you do to live more sustainably?”

We thought of these:

1. Take shorter showers.
2. Use an entire container of something before starting a new one.
3. Recycle even when it’s not convenient. (It simply boggles my mind that in 2013 some people are still throwing cans, glass and plastic into the garbage.)
4. Start an herb garden for the kitchen fixings.
5. Plan meals and shop accordingly to cut down on food waste. Freeze leftovers.
6. Submit thoughtful letters and suggestions to local community organizations, clubs and businesses that are not practicing sustainable resource management. (Example: We were at an awesome choral and band concert last weekend, but they used an abundance of helium balloon decor, which means many of them went floating off into the atmosphere. Ballons are one of the most frequently found trash items washed up on beaches. Is trashing our ocean worth our gluttonous eye candy?)

Besides ecological sustainability, the term sustainability means something deeper to me. It means I’m conducting my life in a way that I can manage for years to come. It means that today I am making the daily decisions and using small actions that will create a brighter, healthier future for me and my family.

For me this means:

1. Daily prayer and Bible study.
2. Healthy, clean eating and cooking from whole foods.
3. Not using drugs.
4. Drinking alcohol sparingly.
5. Not smoking cigarettes (I used to smoke and am occasionally tempted in this area. Ooops! ūüė¶ )
6. Daily physical activity.
7. Daily and weekly checking in with family and friends (through phone and snail mail, preferably.)
8. Sustaining my emotional health and relationship health by daily speaking words of encouragement and edification to myself (positive self talk) and others.

Practicing these things daily leads to a more sustainable lifestyle. Ignoring what we ought to be tending to only creates deficit and deterioration.

When you look at this all at once and try to practice it perfectly it could be overwhelming. Remember our practice is not perfect. Practice makes perfect.

Little steps and small behavioral changes are the key to sustainable living and a sustainable life.

Do you think about the practice of sustainability in your life;ecologically, physically, spiritually or otherwise?

One. Day. At. A. Time.


                  James 1: 22~27

Made to bloom.

“And the day came

when the risk to remain tight

in a bud was more painful

than the risk it took to blossom.”

~ Anais Nin ~

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” ~ Romans 12:10¬†


Anybody listening?

Listen up!

Ever have that awesome sense of feeling understood or accepted by another person? It’s most likely because this person was truly listening and privy to the characteristics and thoughtful habits and results of lending an ear.

Ever feel dismissed and rejected on the regular in a working or personal relationship? You were probably communicating with a distracted individual. Perhaps you were striving to achieve insight from a person who simply does not know how to listen or someone who was simply too busy with their own “stuff” to know how to listen or understand the value of listening.

Being continuously subjected to poor listeners can leave us feeling low, neglected and unappreciated especially if these poor listeners are people we are close to or have to see every day (family members, supervisors, teachers, coworkers or maybe even spouses.)

Why is listening so significant?

“From my personal experience, it‚Äôs easy for me to think of times when I didn‚Äôt sense real listening. ¬†This triggers all kinds of insecurities for me: ¬†Do I matter? ¬†Am I included? Do I have a voice? ¬†As a somewhat introverted person, ¬†I‚Äôve often felt like an outsider. ¬†But when someone really listens to me, I can FEEL the connection. ¬†I suspect listening meets many of our basic human needs:

First, good listening is a gift that touches a core need for significance. ¬†When people listen to us, they give us time. ¬†They don‚Äôt ‚Äútake time‚ÄĚ to listen, they give it. ¬†This sends us a primal signal: ¬†I matter.

Second, when a leader listens, we feel belonging ‚Äď which is one of the most powerful human motivators. ¬†Literally, when we ‚Äúfeel listened to,‚ÄĚ we have a ‚Äúseat at the table.‚ÄĚ We are part of the group ‚ÄĒ and when it‚Äôs the leader listening, we‚Äôre part of the leader‚Äôs group. ¬†We‚Äôre in.

Feeling heard activates a third basic human need: accomplishment. ¬†We have a voice. ¬†We have a chance to contribute. ¬†We‚Äôre part of the solution.” – Excerpt from¬†Listening Leaders

(Courtesy of Google images.)

Refusing to stand still.
May 21, 2013, 3:21 pm
Filed under: Behavior, Body, Mind, Motivation, Music, Spirit, Writing

Love is Freedom.

Reminder poetry.

Woke up with the residue of dreams

spread across my mind

stealing joy like black-robed burglars

sneaking for a dime

breaking in without invite

throwing daggers in the dark

but Jesus said the liars

They won’t leave a mark.

Jesus said, my child,

in your weakness I am strong

Don’t worry about your past

Or whatever else went wrong

See I took it all and used it

You gave it all to me

You’re not living for the moment

but for all eternity!

Stretched out before you

Can’t you hear me call you?

I took your hand

so you could stand.

So stand up! Stand tall.

I took the daggers. I took them ALL.

I took the shame. I took the fall.

And when I said “It is finished”

I mean it. It ended there.

At the cross

was the loss

of your sin and your shame

the justification


the end of the game.

Rise up in my love for you.

Stand up – I am stronger.

Only I can love you longer.

See people will talk

No man came tame the tongue

And they’ll search out doubt and lies

Until the earth is done

But understand

Take hold of that truth

that never changes

The love that never rearranges

The ordered and clear peace of my message.

I am with you.

The Armor of God

Ephesians 6

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.



(Courtesy of Google images.)

Words of Browning.

“First time he kissed me,

he but only kissed the fingers of this hand

wherewith I write;

And, ever since, it grew more clean and white.”

– Elizabeth Barrett Browning –


Depression: More than blues.

More and more depression is being recognized by the general public as a mental health issue needing treatment and understanding. The term “depression” is often used loosely to describe low feelings or passing moods, but the reality is clinical depression is an illness that affects a person’s mind, body and mood. It can be a slow, creeping chronic illness or appear as an acute episode that seems to come on quickly.

Many people dismiss depression as being “all in their head” or feel frustrated that a depressed relative or friend can’t “snap out of it,” but the reality is that depression is very real to those who suffer with it and about 15 percent of people with severe, clinical depression commit suicide.

Clinical depression does not discriminate on the basis of age, race or socio-economic class, but statistics show that those between 25 and 44 are more likely to suffer clinical depression.

Clinical depression can be treated with medication, psychotherapy, or both, and the success rate is about 80 percent. With early recognition and healthy support, most people are able to get on with their lives and overcome the burdensome symptoms of depression.

Breaking Through 3 Myths on Depression

1. Depression is a weakness, not a health problem.

In a recent survey, nearly half the participants believed that depression was a personal or emotional weakness one could just “snap out of.” The fact is that it is not a weakness. It is a mental health problem that can be treated. Untreated depression can lead to more serious physical health issues.

2. Depression is a normal part of aging.

Although aging can be accompanied by events that trigger depression, it can strike at any age, with or without events that could be concluded to be logical “reasons” for depression. Sometimes, depression simply “is.” This can be a tough reality for many loved ones of individuals with depression to understand. If they cannot see or find a reason for the depression, it is more likely to be excused as weakness or “all in their head.”

3. Depression is best dealt with by non-health professionals.

Although a healthy support group and family or friends are helpful to recovery, nothing can replace appropriate evaluation and treatment by a health care professional. The first step is a thorough physical exam to rule out other illnesses. Primary care physicians can help determine the best approach to treatment and refer patients to other health professionals, counselors or social workers.

Signs and Symptoms

The difference between someone who is sad and someone with clinical depression is the duration and severity of the symptoms. For the person with clinical depression, the blues do not go away after a long weekend, a happy turn of events or a favorite activity.

See your doctor if you experience five or more of these symptoms for more than two weeks:

Feel sad, anxious, irritable, nervous or empty.

Sleep too little or too much, trouble falling asleep or waking up.

Appetite and/or weight gain or loss.

Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed.

Restless or slowed behavior.

Persistent physical symptoms, such as headaches, ¬†chronic pain, or digestive disorders that don’t respond to treatment.

Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions.

Fatigue, loss of energy.

Feeling guilty, worthless or hopeless.

Thoughts of suicide or death.

Change in work style – working slower than usual, missing deadlines, inability to complete tasks, calling in sick often, decreased involvement with work or interaction with co-workers.

If you suspect someone is clinically depressed, the most important thing you can do is to help him or her get appropriate diagnosis and treatment. The second most important thing is to offer emotional support. Be positive and sensitive while maintaining as normal a relationship as possible.

Causes of Depression

Family History: One in four or five people with clinical depression have a relative with a mood disorder, as do about half of those suffering manic-depression.

Environmental Factors: Clinical depression can be triggered by stressful events or traumatic experiences, such as death, severe illness, divorce or job loss. Difficult work conditions, poor supervision at work or an excessive workload, sexual or racial discrimination or an unsafe environment can also contribute to depression.

Chemical Imbalance: Brain chemical imbalances, which may be inherited or acquired, are believed to be the underlying causes of clinical depression. Changes in brain chemicals such as serotonin,¬†nor-epinephrine¬†and cortisol may influence a person’s energy level, emotions, and sleeping and eating patterns.

Psychological Makeup: Are you a negative person? Do you have a negative attitude toward life events? Low self-esteem? Are you easily over-whelmed by stress? These seem to make a person more vulnerable to clinical depression.

Alcohol and Drug Abuse: Some people with mood disorders try to “drown their sorrows” by drinking or using other substances that reduce pain or bring false feelings of happiness. Although they can bring temporary relief, they may make depression worse in the long run. Alcohol itself is a depressant, and one third of those diagnosed with clinical depression also have a dependency on alcohol or drugs. Called a “dual¬†diagnosis¬†” this constitutes a more complicated problem that requires treatment to address both the depression and the dependency.

depression(Courtesy of Google images.)

Information for this post was gathered through a publication of the Wellness Councils of America . The information is not intended to replace the advice of your physician or health care provider.

Please see your health care provider if you are experiencing any of these issues or talk to a trusted friend, relative or professional if you know someone who is.

You can find more information on clinical depression at:

Mental Health America (MHA)

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) 

Habit-forming behaviors.

“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation.

We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence,

but we rather have those because we have acted rightly.

We are what we repeatedly do.

Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

– Aristotle –

Everything we do and are has come as the product of conditioning and repetition – from how we form friendships, to our morning routine and even the simple act of brushing our teeth or getting dressed. Without exemption, we have habits that accompany us throughout our lifetime. Some habits we form willingly. Others may seem forced due to a difficult childhood or other traumatic events that inhibit healthy development and functioning. Some habits we may battle with. Many habits we strive to create, enhance or improve. But habit is always there. And my oh my habit energy can be strong. And stubborn. Isn’t that why they say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? The older we become, the more difficult it becomes to change our habits from inert, ineffective acts to productive, healthy behaviors and that’s because the¬†plasticity¬†of our brain synapses begins to decrease the more our age increases.

“Everything we do (and think, for that matter) is governed by impulses firing across synapses, or spaces between certain cells that guide communication in the brain. When any behavior or pattern is repeated enough, the synaptic pathways associated with that pattern get used to being accessed. As a result, it becomes easier for impulses to travel along those pathways, and the behavior seems “natural.” In other words, to the brain, wake-coffee-cigarette, in that order, is practically instinctive. One action triggers the next.” Source:


Brain synapses making connections.

(courtesy of google images.)

So the theory outlined in this linked article here is purely empirical, in other words, not rooted in clinical research and study. (Empirical: depending upon experience or observation alone, without using scientific method or theory, especially as in medicine.) Introduce yourself to a new habit and stick with this habit for 21 days straight and see what starts happening. Pay attention to your motives, behaviors and feelings during the shift. Notice that changing a deeply ingrained habit can feel awkward or foreign at first. But when striving to attain healthier habits, your body and mind will soon begin to adapt to the positive changes and the actions will become more natural. Before changing an unhealthy habit or beginning a new exercise or nutrition routine, it is wise to consult your healthcare professionals.

In the quiet.

‚ÄúNow arise,¬†Lord¬†God, and come to your¬†resting¬†place, you and the ark of your might. May your priests,¬†Lord¬†God, be clothed with salvation, may your faithful people rejoice in your goodness.” 2 Chronicles 6: 41

WordPress has some very inspiring writers. It’s so much fun to receive new alerts and posts and see what everyone is sharing next. I’m grateful for this space to share musings, poetry and mental healthcare information. For me, this place is about community and connecting, but it’s also about helping myself understand and express the ¬†journey of life. I write a whole lot better than I speak. I can’t convey the same things in person as I can through a keyboard.

For me, words are little chunks of communication that sit on the page and beg for eyes. I’m here. Read me. I’m calm and quiet. These words don’t move. These words don’t stutter. These words don’t mumble or turn away from you.

I realize lately my posts have taken on a more spiritual theme and I want to offer more frequent clinical and scientific posts on mental healthcare, behavioral change/modification and minimalist organization, as this is the theme of this blog; to simply enjoy life and work at creating better balance, space and simplicity. Stay tuned for more of that.

Today is my birthday and I slept on the sofa last night. (My hubby’s away for work.) I woke up very peaceful because I had an awful dream and when I realized it wasn’t real I was so thankful. Then my thoughts go to my parents. I can’t help but think of my parents on my birthday because they’re the reason why I’m here.

I’m sure all can relate to family member’s having a designated seat in the home – dad’s recliner, grandma’s rocking chair, etc. Well, today I’m thinking about my lovely mother who perches on “her sofa” when she wants to sit. She gazes out the front window, watching the¬†bird feeders¬†and drinking her coffee. This is her “living room” and it’s her domain. There is no TV. Never any music. There is only silence and reflection. There is only peace and quiet.

My mom and I are different in that I am still learning the art of sitting still in the quiet. I am so high-energy it is often difficult for me to settle all my ways until they are gathered and at ease in the Lord. I know my mother’s sitting and the graceful way she rests is a reflection of her age and experiences. I am grateful that my mom has always helped me learn how to “rest” and her continuous prayers have been in protection for her children to find escape from the very real worldly stresses, commotion and noise.

Today I am in the living room. I am sitting still. I rest.

Stitched Panorama


(Courtesy of google images.)

“Give me the benefit of your convictions if you have any,

but keep your doubts to yourself, for I have enough of my own.”

– Goethe –

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