All of us can recall a relationship with someone where we give, give, give, until we are so depleted, we can give no more. Maybe it was a spouse, a boss, or someone we thought was a friend. It often ends when our own need for survival kicks in and makes us walk away from a blood-sucking situation.
When a relationship is balanced, however, with a healthy give and take volley, it is a treasure. We enjoy giving and we bask in the returned kindness. It's a win-win.
Mother Nature, as powerful as she is, is no different. It appears she loves a reciprocal relationship as much as we do. At least that is what I have seen and experienced. Give to her, and appreciate her, she gives back, tenfold.
Two recent examples come to mind to showcase this phenomenon.
In the tropical, blue waters of the Cayman Islands an idea was born. Rudy Reyes, a former Recon Marine, who had been struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress and Depression after returning home from combat overseas, was transformed into a calmer, smiling person within days of his dive trip with friends. Jim Ritterhoff and Keith Samm, friends of Reyes, recognized the healing effect. The three men linked the need of the oceans' damaged coral reefs with the help these highly trained dive veterans could offer the reefs.
In return, the ocean was willing to help restore and repair the Veterans, who are so often too proud to ask for help. The power of water to heal is a term researcher, Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, calls Blue Mind.
Eager to share the opportunity with other combat divers to once again have a mission-save our coral reefs, Ritterhoff, a marketing expert, and Reyes, created a non-profit organization, Force Blue Team. Force Blue Team has tested the concept of partnering Veteran combat divers with Marine Biologists, as well as mental health experts, to restore coral reefs and improve the mental well being of Veterans, with great success. The program is a win-win for both our oceans and our Veterans.
A documentary film is being created called Mercy, Love and Grace- The Story Of Force Blue Team. I recently saw the premier of the introduction of the film in New York City. It was moving, inspiring, and if you forgive the pun, very deep. I think Dr. Brene Brown would be proud to see how these fierce, tough, men and women open themselves up in the movie and expose their vulnerable, human side. Their candidness on how their military missions have affected them and the joy of finding purpose and camaraderie again through Force Blue Team was emotive.
If you would like to learn more about how to help sponsor the film so that it can be completed, please visit this IndieGoGo page: Link.
Force Blue Team is also looking for donations and corporate sponsors. To learn more, please visit their website or contact them. Their website is www.forceblueteam.org .
Over on dry land another reciprocal relationship with nature blooms. This one in Raleigh, North Carolina, just a few miles from the Capital city.
A drive down Old Baucom Road will lead you to an explosion of yellow sunflowers standing at attention, like soldiers, to the sun. Photographers, families, dog walkers and bikers gather along the white fence surrounding the field to bask in the awe.
While the happy flowers bring immense joy to hundreds who flock to see the massive bloom, they have a greater purpose.
According to the City Of Raleigh, " The fields serve as an application site for biosolids from the Neuse River Resource Recovery Facility. The stabilized sludge (biosolids) is applied to the field as a fertilizer. The sunflowers are planted to keep the nitrogen-rich soil from washing into the streams and rivers in the watershed. Finally, the sunflowers are harvested and the seeds are used to produce biodiesel."
They also are a smorgasbord for our struggling pollinators-honeybees, bees, and butterflies. They were loving them!
Once again, Mother Nature seems thrilled to give back for the efforts to protect her.
To learn more about our reciprocal relationship with nature and how nature can help heal you and promote your wellness, sign up for Sue's blog and/or socialize with her on social media @TheNatureNurse.
When we go to the beach on a hot, sunny, summer day, what do we typically see? A group of kids with bright colored pails and shovels building a sandcastle? Perhaps some teens tossing a frisbee in the sand, or maybe a retired gentlemen flying a kite along the dunes? What we'll see most people doing, however, is sitting in their unfolded beach chairs staring at the ocean. Have you ever wondered why?
Fisherman line the shores of lakes and rivers for hours at a time, often throwing their catch right back in the water. Have you ever wondered why?
After a long day, many people retreat to a warm bath accented with delightful scents from oils, soaps, or bath salts. A major personal products brand, Calgon, built a whole campaign around the concept of soaking in a tub: Take me away! How does submerging in water potentially benefit us?
Beginning January 16th, a worldwide discussion, which you are invited to participate in FREE, will begin. Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, author of the book, Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do, will host a weekly book club meeting, which participants can join while reading one chapter a week. Readers will have a variety of ways to participate.
If you would like to join in for what should be a great learning opportunity for all, sign up here now for FREE link. Details are also on this link. You will need to purchase the book or audiobook or take it out of your local library. Hope to see you!
No matter where we are in the world today, we may be feeling rising tensions around us: whether it is a bombing in Syria, mass shootings in a mall or a peaceful demonstration that turns into a violent riot. It can feel hard to escape what is going on around us or to us. There are healthy ways we can cope and unhealthy ways. Here are three holistic modalities we can use to get ourselves into a calmer state of mind in order to better problem solve and avoid the hazardous side effects to our health that stress causes.
1. Awareness, also known as mindfullness: the simple act of stopping ourselves in a tracks to check in with how we are feeling and deciding is this how we want to be or do we want to invite something better, more helpful into ourselves. For example: Anger gives us energy. Think about the last time you were FURIOUS! What did you do with that energy? Was it productive or could you have channeled it in a better way?
2. Nature: One of my favorite modalities to calm down and reassess what is going on inside. Taking a walk in green space has been shown to relieve stress. Getting on, in, on top of or near water can achieve a state called, Bluemind. A term created by Dr. Wallace J. Nichols. Water is so powerful for our well-being that a new initiative, Bluemind Rx, #WaterIsMedicine , was recently presented at the #OurOcean conference in Washinton, D.C and shared with over sixty countries.
3. Energy healing: we are made up of a very complex set of interacting parts. Energy being a very big one. Growing information about how our cells react to different energy is showing that unless we are trying to run away from a tiger in the jungle trying to attack us, it doesn’t do us any good to be churning in negative energy. Reiki healers, therapeutic touch and many other energy healing modalities can reset our nerve system. Even drumming circles have been shown effective in taking a group of people and connecting their energy to a calmer, collective state. This process is known as entrainment.
There are a lot more options, more of which I will discuss in upcoming blogs. In the meanwhile, maybe you want to try one of these if you are feeling stressed by all the chaos around us. Even stopping for a few minutes to close our eyes and take some deep breathes will help. Imagine what a more peaceful, cohesive world we all could live in.
If you have a favorite holistic stress remedy you would like to share, please do in the comment section below. The more we have in our healing toolbox, the better we all will be.
Like climate change, ocean pollution is affecting all of us. There is no longer any beach you can visit that won’t have litter.1 One of the biggest contaminants is plastic.
Take a look at some sobering statistics:
80% of ocean plastic comes from the land.2
¼ of fish sold as food in California contains plastic and has shown to be linked to cancerous tumors in lab animals.3
The Environmental Protect Agency estimates only 9% of plastic gets recycled in US.4
Harmful BPA’s from plastic affect our health. How we are being exposed to this may shock you. Take a look at this list.
Plastic doesn’t biodegrade.6
Over 50 billion water bottles are purchased each year-over 80% are not recycled.7
By 2050, we could have more plastic than fish in the ocean.8
Artists around the world are using their creative talent to help bring awareness to this pressing issue. The Smithsonian Zoo in Washington, D.C. currently has on exhibit seventeen marine life statues made from over 315 pounds of plastic retrieved from the sea: (Link)
An Artist in Rio de Janero created giant fish on the beach made of water bottles to bring attention to the issue of ocean plastic during a United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development: (Link)
Grace Bay, voted the number one beach in the world for 2016 by Traveler’s Choice Awards, isn’t immune to the problem of marine debris. During a recent visit, I found this sculpture made from trash found on the beach.
Awareness is the first step to change. If you would like to find out more about this issue and steps that you can take to improve your health, the health of our oceans and all the marine life, please follow me on my social media channels and/or sign up for my weekly blog posts. If you have creative solutions to reduce, reuse or recycle plastic, please feel free to post them below. The solution to this problem will require all hands on deck. If you care, please share this post or the information in it. Thank you!
#oceanplastic #plastic #marinedebris #health