(recently published in the LifeLines newspaper)
As chiropractors our major focus is the health of the body; as such it can often be hard to consider the role that we play in ensuring the sustainability of our environment.
Recently, Sheila Donnelly and I attended the Conference on Climate Change in Seattle, Washington. These 2 dayes were filled with presentations from leading scientists and industry professionals who have studied the impacts of climate change on this earth.
My goal in this article is to allow you some insight as to the benefits and importance of considering our relationship with the environment.
To preface this article, when it comes to saving the earth people usually just want the highlights, some just want to know what to do, and others just want to delude themselves into believing they don’t need to do anything. In my experience of American culture, it is predominantly a ‘media created, fear based society’, (war on drugs, war on terror, war on war) all designed to make a paranoid, fear-based state of being. Even the climate change movement has created a lot of fear, causing people to detach from the long-term consequences of our current actions.
Unfortunately, we cannot live in a state of fear in regards to the environment or it would be a gloomy future for us all. We need to be comfortable with a commitment to incorporating meaningful change into our lives. For the most part the “war on the environment” is one that we, as humans, are definitely winning, which needs to change.
To read this article and make it interesting you can skip to whatever section you wish because most people just want to read what they decide is relevant to them anyways.
1. Why does climate change matter to Chiropractors?
2. How does climate change affect our health?
3. What is the path forward?
4. What can we do in our school to make a difference in our health and that of our community?
1. Why does climate change matter to Chiropractors?
Well, I imagine people have started reading this article with a curiosity as to why climate change and sustainability are being talked about in a chiropractic college. Inherently, we realize that the health of our environment affects the health of our body through the chemical, physical and emotional aspects. Within the first 2 hours of the Climate Change conference held in Seattle, all of these issues were covered.
We know that our primary role is the detection and correction of subluxations, but at some point one asks, “why does the subluxation occur.” We believe the cause is through thoughts, toxins, and traumas. Let me rephrase these for you, universal forces such as heat waves (trauma), nutritional deficiency or variants of food (toxins), and emotional well being (thoughts) which is influenced by the serenity of our environment.
Philosophically, we conceive that a Universal Force can be destructive to our body. For instance, heat is a universal force entering our system, how we adapt depends on our body’s ability to cool itself. We are designed to operate at a certain temperature, but as the world warms an increased demand is placed on our system. Not just the average rise in temperature, but an extreme heat wave we are not use to from which is much harder to adapt.
2. How does climate change affect our health? (Physical, mental, social)
Physical health- as the seasons change due to global warming, the degrading of water and food supply occurs creating a larger demand on drought resistant plants. (Can anyone say Genetically Modified?).
Mental health- Do you remember hurricane Katrina? What do you think happened to those people who suffered from posttraumatic stress, depression, anxiety, behavioral disorders, and substance abuse from that experience? These unfortunate events occur after major environmental alterations causing a rise in extreme of weather.
Social- Climate displacement of communities form fire, flood, famine creates stress, which is specifically referred to as Solastalgia. Imagine loosing your home and support network as you are transported from your community and are forced to rebuild in a new area.
Research presented at the conference showed a proportional increase between depression and suicide with heat waves.
3. The way forward
If only it were as easy as going to a waterpark and having an amazing day of fun and joy for all. True social, cultural and behavioral change can only be created by aligning who we are and what we do with what we value. For us that is easy because we value health. We value a higher existence of life and that means valuing the environment in which we live. Hopefully by now you’re starting to see the link.
The science talks about the global average temperature, but not many people really consider themselves a global citizen. We must realize and attach to the notion that we are the top of the food chain and are responsible for what we eat. We are responsible for everything in this world and yet we are not separate from it. We suffer, as all organisms do; yet we have the power to change and limit the suffering for all. We must realize our connection and act accordingly.
Most people have a mindset that acting sustainably is optional, but it’s not. They think of it as a game, either they are playing or not. Yet there is no way to not play this game. You can’t sit on the sideline in a game of saving the planet as everything you do will affect your environment. We are not saying you need to live in a hippy village and eat raw food all the time. The key is to start somewhere.
“Unless the discoveries of ecological science are rapidly translated into meaningful actions they will remain quietly archived while the biosphere degrades.” W.H Schlesinger, Science 2011.
4.What can we do in our school to make a difference in our health and that of our community?
Don’t view it as an “all or nothing” approach, just choose in every moment what you desire and stay true to what you value. Hopefully, you will realize that valuing the environment is an important aspect of your life.
The World Wide Carbon Footprint lists Americans as using 20 metric tons per year. To survive, as a world, that number needs to be reduced to 2 MT/PY.
How do you do that? The following will help:
Things you may not have heard…
- Buy food from local farmers
- Buy food that is not packaged overseas.
- Carpool to school, which is cheaper and better for our world.
- When you get food from bistro put your containers in the RECYCLE bin.
- Reuse your plastic bags and containers. You might be surprised to know you can reuse them, you don’t have to throw away a snap lock bag.
- Take one Napkin instead of a handful.
- Dry your hands with one bit of towel instead of two or three.
- Don’t ask for a receipt if your not going to use it.
- Plant some veggies in your garden, just see what happens, cucumbers are easy.
Things you have heard before but don’t do, or maybe you have and you do:
- Turn off the lights and light a candle, it is more romantic and better for our planet. But not around school, that would be weird.
- Oh wow, no one is watching the TV in the lounge, don’t just walk by, TURN IT OFF!
- Live with more people, you will have less of a carbon footprint and it is cheaper.
- Ride your bike to school, you get the benefit of a healthy body and you help the environment
- Write on your computer instead of paper.
- Ride the Bart into the city.
- Turn of the water when brushing your teeth or even when washing your hands and you are putting on the soap.
- Use a rag instead of paper towels in the kitchen.
- Use “The keeper”. An environmentally friendly way of managing your menstrual cycle.
- Just ask how can I use less products in my daily life, or how can I substitute what I do use with an environmentally friendly option.
Honestly, most of these actually save you money. Just choose one thing and do it, no need to make massive changes just yet. Just one thing and if we all did our one thing there would be an immediate difference in our communities, our environment and our world.
Can 1 hug change a life?
I went to see Amma today for a hug.... Can 1 hug change a life?
It is a question of connection to another human being who is so aligned with there purpose that they emanate a touch which brings light and compassion. We know as chiropractors that an adjustment can release the power within to create change beyond that of our ability to comprehend, that a force of energy from the outside mixes with that stored potential energy from the inside creating movement in our system. From that perspective i can see how one hug could do the same.
So how did it all go down?
I arrived around 4pm to receive my token for a hug i waited in line to be escorted into the temple and at 10:30 i was assisted into position to receive my hug. It was kinda cool and very inspiring, she has an incredible amount of devoted people who love her for her simple message of love and peace. In fact the atmosphere of the place had a lot to do with the reception of the hug. And of course being me I observed those around me intricately to see their passion and their purpose. There are some that follow Amma on her world tour, going where she goes to be around her energy, called by a purpose to be there. For most i think they wanted to connect, with Amma and those around her.
You could tell who was new and who had been before, the new ones would do things like call over the seating attendant to ask the person in front if they could take off their hat. She was unable to ask for herself.
Another would slowly creep up the line moving in front of others as they desired a more favourable position.
All the while these people come to connect yet disconnect from the energy and light right next to them, moving themselves away from the greatness of every human being. Thinking that another is more potent than the child who speaking out of turn or making some irrelevant noise. I only mention that because I was new and I had the same thoughts for a moment. I was concerned that others were moving in front of me at one point and that i would be pushed back further in the line. It was quite silly really but I realised that there was no rush. I would not disconnect from those around me and treat them as less deserving of their place. Imagine stepping in front of your own grandmother who is 1 foot shorter than you, it just wouldn't happen and yet at times we treat everyone as though we have no grandmother. I am glad that i had this thought as later in the night as i was receiving my mantra from Amma, a Swami said that it was important to treat all as if they were Amma.
Sometimes I wonder if people really connect to the message of a spiritual leader or just hear the words. I have always been amazed by those that seek connection through such experiences and yet missed the message about connection.
Here are some things i jotted down while she was speaking which stood out to me.
-"Whether we laugh or cry the days go by."
-There is a seed in China that when planted will not grow, even in the most fertile conditions, for at least five years. And when it does it will grow over a foot a day until it reaches 90 feet in 3 months. She used this analogy to that of a student who may hear a message or be on their path to enlightenment and purpose and for the first 5 years experience difficulty in breaking through to rapid growth of self. Yet there is nothing wrong with the seed, it is the way it is designed to be. constantly waiting storing all that is needed. It reminds me of a subset of Eucalyptus tress (regnus) that will not seed until fire has passed through. Life and susses will not occur until the right catalyst has been experienced and sometimes that catalyst will floor everything to the ground. and for some reason that is the way nature intended it.
-If you wish to meet death with a smile on your face we must live prepared as death can occur at any moment. (that means smile, more)
So that was my experience of Amma yesterday and it was unique. In line I spoke with many who wanted to ask other people to come and check it out. I said that a trusted friend just told me to come get a hug. So i did. They wanted to express how amazing it was and inspiring to be around such great music, chanting, and vibration and yet many would not come because it sounded too strange. I tended to agree that i would not come if someone started ranting about how amazing it all was. but really "life is shorter than we realise", and we all could do with an extra hug.
A good read- 33 principles
Only now that I can actually tell you all the names of every principle by heart, am I actually able to comprehend them all. But the reason I chose chiropractic was because of the first principle. I realized that the core premise of the chiropractic profession was one that connected with my view of the world.
I was in the midst of looking for a profession that was the best at increasing the capacity of the body, when I found myself facilitating a ropes course one weekend for 20 chiropractors. I overheard a "Philosophy Jam"! They were discussing the following, which is how I first found something that agreed with my philosophy. I quickly began exploring the depths of this amazing profession, which creates enjoyment for me in every moment. Below, are the core principles that the chiropractic profession was developed upon.
No. 1. The Major Premise.
A Universal Intelligence is in all matter and continually gives to it all its properties and actions, thus maintaining it in existence.
No. 2. The Chiropractic Meaning of Life.
The expression of this intelligence through matter is the Chiropractic meaning of life.
No. 3. The Union of Intelligence and Matter.
Life is necessarily the union of intelligence and matter.
No. 4. The Triune of Life.
Life is a triunity having three necessary united factors, namely, Intelligence, Force and Matter.
No. 5. The Perfection of the Triune.
In order to have 100% Life, there must be 100% Intelligence, 100% Force, 100% Matter.
No. 6. The Principle of Time.
There is no process that does not require time.
No. 7. The Amount of Intelligence in Matter .
The amount of intelligence for any given amount of matter is 100%, and is always proportional to its requirements.
No. 8. The Function of Intelligence.
The function of intelligence is to create force.
No. 9. The Amount of Force Created by Intelligence.
The amount of force created by intelligence is always 100%.
No. 10. The Function of Force.
The function of force is to unite intelligence and matter.
No. 11. The Character of Universal Forces.
The forces of Universal Intelligence are manifested by physical laws; are unswerving and unadapted, and have no solicitude for the structures in which they work.
No. 12. Interference with Transmission of Universal Forces.
There can be interference with transmission of universal forces.
No. 13. The Function of Matter.
The function of matter is to express force.
No. 14. Universal Life.
Force is manifested by motion in matter; all matter has motion, therefore there is universal life in all matter.
No. 15. No Motion without the Effort of Force.
Matter can have no motion without the application of force by intelligence.
No. 16. Intelligence in both Organic and Inorganic Matter.
Universal Intelligence gives force to both organic and inorganic matter.
No. 17. Cause and Effect.
Every effect has a cause and every cause has effects.
No. 18. Evidence of Life.
The signs of life are evidence of the intelligence of life.
No. 19. Organic Matter.
The material of the body of a “living thing” is organized matter.
No. 20. Innate Intelligence.
A “living thing” has an inborn intelligence within its body, called Innate Intelligence.
No. 21. The Mission of Innate Intelligence.
The mission of Innate Intelligence is to maintain the material of the body of a “living thing” in active organization.
No. 22. The Amount of Innate Intelligence.
There is 100% of Innate Intelligence in every “living thing,” the requisite amount, proportional to its organization.
No. 23. The Function of Innate Intelligence.
The function of Innate Intelligence is to adapt universal forces and matter for use in the body, so that all parts of the body will have co- ordinated action for mutual benefit.
No. 24. The Limits of Adaptation.
Innate Intelligence adapts forces and matter for the body as long as it can do so without breaking a universal law, or Innate Intelligence is limited by the limitations of matter.
No. 25. The Character of Innate Forces.
The forces of Innate Intelligence never injure or destroy the structures in which they work.
No. 26. Comparison of Universal and Innate Forces.
In order to carry on the universal cycle of life, Universal forces are destructive, and Innate forces constructive, as regards structural matter.
No. 27. The Normality of Innate Intelligence.
Innate Intelligence is always normal and its function is always normal.
No. 28. The Conductors of Innate Forces.
The forces of Innate Intelligence operate through or over the nervous system in animal bodies.
No. 29. Interference with Transmission of Innate Forces.
There can be interference with the transmission of Innate forces.
No. 30. The Causes of Dis-ease.
Interference with the transmission of Innate forces causes incoordination of dis-ease.
No. 31. Subluxations.
Interference with transmission in the body is always directly or indirectly due to subluxations in the spinal column.
No. 32. The Principle of Coordination.
Coordination is the principle of harmonious action of all the parts of an organism, in fulfilling their offices and purposes.
No. 33. The Law of Demand and Supply.
The Law of Demand and Supply is existent in the body in its ideal state; wherein the “clearing house,” is the brain, Innate the virtuous “banker,” brain cells “clerks,” and nerve cells “messengers.”
A story about a journey
In a time similar to now, there lived a young apprentice. He was tutored by a very knowledgeable builder. Possibly the greatest engineer of his time. From the age of seven he had studied with this man, always with the knowledge that one-day he would have passed onto him the greatest secret of a master builder. Despite constant pleading, his tutor did not avail. Until, such a time, that the masters age was overcoming his ability to work effectively. So, he instructed his young apprentice to pack enough food and water for three days. They were going on a journey; a journey that would have him discover the true purpose of his chosen life.
"So, where are we off to?” he asks with eagerness.
“That is part of the secret”. Despite the dismissive reply, he cannot stop, but be happy with joy over what is to come.
The two continue to walk the path out of their village, both with a brisk step to exaggerate the excitement of their journey, the master is also pleased for he is happy that he can pass on his greatest secret. They talk about all the times they have had together, from when he was a young boy struggling to lift more than one brick, to now the strong young man that knowing nearly every aspect of creating the finest structure. But still he knows there is something more. Something that he has not grasped, and so once again he asks, master is there no clue that you give me, on this journey, surely a day earlier will not change anything, but the master simply laughs and says “it seems our timing is perfect”.
After camping the night by a beautiful river they soon reach a meadow with two paths splitting of in the middle, one continues roughly in the same direction forward and the other takes a sharp turn to the right.
Above the trees at the far end they can see there final destination upon the top of the furthest peak, the master explains that that is where they are heading and that both paths will take them there. The younger apprentice quickly urges them to take the more direct path and heads straight forward, overcome with excitement he barely even notices the master slowly turning of the path to the right. But due to his absolute desire to look after the old man who has taught him so much he stops and shouts back.
But surely this path will take us there quicker. The master does not even waiver on his path for a second simply saying “quite right you are”, and yet he still continues on his path.
The young apprentice is of course dumbfounded but does not want to push his luck so he continues on following in his mentors’ footsteps and soon again they begin to discuss more happier things.
After a long hike up the mountain they reach the top exhausted and tired the young apprentice looks around a little unsure as he cannot see a thing in site that would make the place special,
The master turns to him and says, you have done it, you have studied under me for many years and finally you have become ready to learn my greatest secret, he turns to head over to the cliff edge where he picks up a rock and then places it in the hand of the apprentice. Not knowing what to do with the rock he says thanks, and after a slight awkward pause he says what am I suppose to do with it. The master simply says whatever you want,
The apprentice is of course confused “but Master we have travelled for three days to the top of this mountain, you have promised me the greatest secret of all time and all you simply do is a place a rock in my hand. What does it mean, is it something to do with having good foundations...., even the biggest mountains crumble....., we are all just a rock in this world...., the grey of stone has many shades......, am I suppose to eat it....., surely there is more to this.
A smile begins to form on the masters face, he says, always you have thought the secret will be on top of this mountain, the entire time you have been overcome with excitement and now you get here and you are disappointed. Thankyou for making this easy to explain, the journey we have taken has been grand and very enjoyable. For some reason we all think that the true joy will come at the end, when we have completed our task, reached the top. Our true joy is always the journey we take, the present and the now is always a gift that is greater than the end result. Had we of taken the straight path our journey would have been shorter, if we took a short cut we may of missed something.
The sun that shines on you is the sun that shines on me, we just see it from a different perspective, but from the point of view of the sun we are standing right next to each other. No matter where we are on this planet we can always be right next to each other it just takes a different perspective.
The Satelight Centre.
The Satelight centre
Surrounding major cities approximately 1/2 an hour to 1 hour out from the CBD will be the location of these centres.
In our world the most important thing to our human race in a sense of connection, this is called community on a local level.
Our major Communities are made up mainly because the members have something in common. Children and their education forms the bulk of local communities in our world.
When i was growing up, across the road from our school was the Kallista Community centre, it was a preschool during the day and an after school care in the afternoons. It served as a community meeting ground. It was in the centre of our town.
My idea is that across from elementary or primary schools would be a Satelight Centre that would service the school population. The name is Satelight because it would link up the world with a.
The centre would provide 3 Separate resources, a Health Centre, a Cafe and an Early Learning Centre (ELC) for children.
The Health centre would focus on care that establishes greater expressions of health. Chiropractic, acupuncture, feldenkrais, naturopathy, and any profession that chose health. Any of these profession could work from there, have their own office and work together for each patient. Those who used the service would be members of the organisation. It would be a one stop shop for your families well being.
The Cafe would be promoting a healthy lifestyle with organic and ethical foods, some of which were even grown in the garden of the ELC. It would be a place that people would naturally come for great food. They would be drawn to the place just for the food.
The early learning centre is primarily an experiential education based environment where every day students are learning through doing. after school each day students would help grow the garden, build toys, create their own adventure.
Each of these 3 separate business would fall under the same umbrella and support each other. All would own equal shares in the business and be in alignment with the vision of the Centre;
"to create a community focused on enhancing health and connection through a common desire to vibrate at a greater frequency"
The greater the capacity of our communities the greater we increase our ability to help each other out. I don't want these centres to be for the rich life style, i want them to create a rich lifestyle for anyone. Child care is something most people need. A body that can adapt to its environment is something everyone needs.
A place to feel connected to others is something we all need.
This is my way of creating change and influencing the environment for the better.
I want ideas on how to make this work. I think it would be incredible.
Whenever I have been out in nature with everything I need on my back, there is an incredible freedom, to know that everything you need you have. The appreciation for life is in knowing that at any point you always have what you need. You are free to camp and walk wherever you choose. Just because there is a path in front of you, you do not need to follow it. You can be in any part of nature and know that you have everything, shelter, food, warmth, water. Some find it concerning to be away from all their things. But life becomes so simple when you live this way, you walk, camp, eat, sleep. Pack up and do it again the next day. If you allow it the world slows down. I guess it is what they call being present. That moment when you can just enjoy yourself in its relation to its environment. You can get rid of your watch you don’t need it. In nature you can not decide what is going to happen, you have no control over the environment or what time the sun will set or rise. So often in life we are trying to think that we are a part of everything and that as such we can contribute to everything. Thinking that this will give us power. But true internal power which can only be described as acceptance of what is, knows there is no trying, you simply are nature, this is accomplished by the release of ones need to control. To have, to hold, to conquer, once you have a need it controls you. You are its slave. And so the moment you release your needs and allow the now, you give yourself more power than any other and that is the ability to choose any reaction. Now most would say well of course I have the ability to choose, I just choose this way of being, and I choose it with conviction. But what I mean is that you have no desire to be on either side because you truly have no need to be on either side. You can go either way. You have no desire to choose. When you say I choose this way but I could go that way, than why are you not. I think people look at me sometimes when I am like this, especially in a relationship and think I am not putting my desires forward, its just I let go of my needs when it comes to 2 people. When the other wants me to decide I can. I can also put out an opinion, if it is adopted or not, than ultimately I can then choose where to go after that.
I admit I have needs and those are the times that I am not so capable of choice. But I am seeking to first be aware of when I am a slave to those needs and when I can let them go. A friend called it, letting go of our daily rules.
Some things just make sense to do, eat well, live well, as long as they are not a rule that dictates but a choice that liberates. So today I hope you are having a glorious day. There is a moment after the sun sets that lasts about 20 minutes, when the sky is orange and blue
and yellow and sometimes green, it is my favorite part.
wisdom and knowledge
When have you learnt the most in life?
Was it when you came from a place of knowing nothing?
So often when new information comes into our world we add it on to what we already know. In fact usually this is how we learn everything, on top of everything else. And so how can we learn something that is absent of our own previous beliefs and perceptions, I am not sure it is possible. But there is a way to help interpret what comes into your world. To do this is to form wisdom. If you don't is to be opinionated and judgemental.
When you presume you know something and have an opinion on it, you can be called knowledgeable. To be called wise you must accept both sides of the story, all aspects of the portrait and then come to a conclusion.
When you listen to another you must incorporate their belief into your own without rejecting it. Their belief is true to them. Your wisdom is made up of more than just your opinion. Present all the shades of grey or the rainbow and you can paint a fuller picture in anyones mind. Truth as we know evolves, as soon as you stop it is no longer truth, but an old belief.
How do we know when in life we should say yes? Is it our intuition that should guide us in moments of uncertainty? Is it the right thing to follow? To become clearer on intuition and what it is trying to tell us means to always in any given situation focus on the choice that allows you to create and express the highest parts of who you are. This is when we should say yes, this when we realise the following.
Each and every day we are asked to make decisions based on all the available information. The majority of a decision is so often based on the information that comes from our environment, we then take it all in in and apply our own filters of perception to say what information is in alignment with the decision you wish to make.
And on top of that there is another source of information. It is the creation of that which is being decided. Even in the creation of a decision we are given more information based on the evaluation of the situation. This evaluation allows us to create a gut feeling an intuition of what is happening.
In life we are given constant opportunities to grow and explore while we are here. We give these experiences to ourself, we bring them into our own consciousness and reality.
And so in any given moment when you are seeking to make a decision there is a component which comes into play when you don't know what to do. It is the thing that people always say to help you out, "Trust your feelings".
When you have truly been in that moment it does not always help because most of the time you don't know what you are feeling. It is the feeling that can create the confusion, And so currently I am in this place, its kinda cool, I am enjoying the process. What I have realised is that as a part of every decision is an opportunity to express grow and become something greater.
This may in fact mean that you say no to a situation that is detrimental as it does not allow you to evolve or grow but maybe another decision allows you to say yes because at no other time in your history have you had such an opportunity to explore who you are and what you are capable of. And that is when you don't have to trust the feeling. Because the feeling is simply what serves the greatest expression of who you are. You can instead trust the opportunity that you have created for yourself. Following your intuition and gut feeling is becoming aware of the fact that you created the opportunity out of your unconscious. it is your unconscious saying 'dahhhh', i brought this here for you, now do it. stop wasting our time and jump.
Where we land and what we achieve is all in line with what else your unconscious has been creating, and if you have been focusing on good things than most likely life will be good. So be aware of what yo are creating and trust your feelings, trust your intuitions. Stay strong to them and follow the path you have laid out.
James Evans and Jenna Watson are always updating their opinions and will often change their minds.