February theme - Environment
Usually ever February I return to the principle of Saucha - purification and its various connotations. This year my focus was on the micro and macro environments and their crises.
The following text accompanies the images above. That's how they were posted to Instagram. Unfortunately I can't find a way in Wix to add lengthy captions or descriptions:
February is a good time to either begin a #Saucha sadhana or plan what to do for spring. Saucha is usually discussed in terms of the #cleanliness or #purity of our bodies. If we don't #cleanup and protect the planet, how clean our bodies are won't matter. Besides random litter clean ups, the other project I've been working on outside is cleaning up the messy overgrowth of vines and different thorn bushes. The bushes do have pretty blossoms and leaves, but they are out of control within a week. They grow so fast. This area is the main spot where we feed the birds. Enough bushes are left that the birds can rest to eye the feeder or the seeds and peanuts. If they need more cover for some reason the thicker bushes are 10 feet away. The big rocks provide another platform for feeding the birds and chipmunks. It's been such a slow process because of weather, having to watch Gus, and using only small pruning shears. It's exhausting work, but feels good to put on the work gloves and be productive before the aches and pains come.
Environmental news is never good these days. Because apparently Those with Great Power don't care that it comes with Great Responsibility. They only care about the 90ish years they have on the planet and that they get to be dominant and wealthy. 🔥🌎🔥🌎🔥🌎🔥🌎 From the (WMO) World Meteorological Organization: The Argentine research base, Esperanza, on the northern tip of the Antarctic peninsula, set a new record temperature of 18.3°C on 6 February, beating the former record of 17.5°C on 24 March 2015, according to Argentina’s national meteorological service (SMN). Some 87% of #glaciers along the west coast of the #Antarctic Peninsula have retreated in the last 50 years with most of these showing an accelerated retreat in the last 12 years. 💣🌵💣🌵💣🌵💣🌵 Also, The Intercept reports: Contractors working for the Trump administration are blowing apart a mountain on _protected_ lands in southern Arizona to make way for the president’s border wall. The blasting is happening on the Organ Pipe Cactus #NationalMonument, a tract of #Sonoran Desert #wilderness#wilderness long celebrated as one of the nation’s great #ecological#ecological treasures, that holds profound spiritual significance to multiple Native American groups. 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬
There's a new word to add to our lexicon: #solastagia and professionals are working on getting a clear definition for it. From Elephant Journal: "None of us is protected from what lies ahead. Our wealth, status, or distance from Australia won’t save us. Every single living human being right now is bound and affected by this #omnicide (the destruction of all life around us) and solastalgia (#ecological grief for the worlds we are losing). And if we cannot come together as one now, well, folks, we’re truly f*cked." -- Joanne Felder 🌎 "Solastalgia is a new concept developed to give greater meaning and clarity to environmentally induced distress. As opposed to nostalgia--the melancholia or homesickness experienced by individuals when separated from a loved home--solastalgia is the distress that is produced by environmental change impacting on people while they are directly connected to their home environment." (Multiple authors on a paper -- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18027145) 💣🔥🌎🔥💣🔥🌎🔥💣
DT Jr has unashamedly been an enemy of conservationists and environmentalists. Instead of supporting vile human beings who refuse to share the planet, send your support to places that are working hard. Saving #wildlife, #water, and #ecosystems = saving our collective lives. It's basic. Simple. Not complex science. We need the #Earth. 🐘🦏🦒🦌🐆🌎🌍 Support @africanwildlifefoundation @alaskaconservationfoundation DT Jr already killed a rare #endangered sheep in Mongolia with special permit. Now from The Guardian's Patrick Greenfield: "A week-long “dream hunt” with the US president’s son Donald Trump Jr is being auctioned at an annual trophy hunting convention in Reno, Nevada alongside expeditions to shoot elephants, bears and giraffes. The four-day event organized by Safari Club International (SCI) and advertised as a “hunters’ heaven”, will culminate on Saturday with an auction for a week-long Sitka black-tailed deer hunt in Alaska with Trump Jr, his son and a guide. At the time of writing, bidding for the yacht-based expedition stands at $10,000 (£7,685). Other prizes include the chance to shoot an elephant on a 14-day trip in Namibia, an all-inclusive hunt package to Zimbabwe to kill buffalo, giraffe and wildebeest, and a 10-day crocodile hunting expedition in South Africa. The proceeds from the auction, which campaigners say could exceed $5m, will fund SCI’s 'hunter advocacy and wildlife conservation efforts', according to the organization." https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/feb/04/donald-trump-jr-trophy-hunting-auction-nevada-aoe
When it comes to the rollback of protections for clean water, there's another word you might start coming across. #Oligotrophic: having a deficiency of plant nutrients that is usually accompanied by an abundance of dissolved oxygen. 🌎🌧🌱🌍
From the @africanwildlifefoundation page on #giraffes: "The world's tallest land animal has lost 40 percent of its population in just 30 years, and recent reports show #poaching and #wildlife trafficking are contributing to this decline. Giraffes are easily killed and poaching (now more often for their meat and hide) continues today. The IUCN lists four main threats to this species: habitat loss, civil unrest, illegal hunting, and ecological changes (#climatechange and habitat conversion). As human populations grow and increase agricultural activities, expand settlements, and construct roads, the giraffe is losing its beloved acacia trees, which are its main source of food." The tl:dr is that humans are causing extinctions. 🦒🦒🦒🦒🦒🦒🦒
When I learned the word #petrichor many years ago, I hoped I would never forget it. It's a word that sounds beautiful as you speak it and has a beautiful meaning so many of us needed when we described our love of the rain. 🌧🌎 "a distinctive, earthy, usually pleasant odor that is associated with rainfall especially when following a warm, dry period" -- merriam-webster
#Animals give us so much whether they are domesticated #pets, working animals and livestock, or wild animals who keep our delicate ecosystems in balance. When we love them, we love them hard, fully. One of my favorite #charities is @thejacksongalaxyproject and one of the services they provide is called #SafeHaven. This project allows #domesticabuse shelters that house survivors to allow pets in safety. People can be empowered to leave abusive situations and take their animals. "Nearly 50% of pet-owning women will delay leaving an abusive home because they are afraid for the lives of their pets." The JGP is one of the Greater Good's signature charities. That speaks volumes. When it comes to our environment, it's ok to start where life is closest to you then work outward. Take the steps for your micro biosphere to be safe and healthy for you and your loved animals. www.thejacksongalaxyproject.org 🐶🐱🐈🐎🦔🐠🐍
#Phenology - #patterns, cycles, and rhythms of #nature Spotting nature's cycles and patterns can be breathtaking, truly producing awe. Flowers, seashells, leaves, waves, and billions of other things on our planet. Then there's also phenology seen in space and other galaxies and systems. It's beyond comprehension really. Look around. Spot a pattern in nature. Meditate on it. 🐌🐚🦋🕸🌼🌳
With #environmental #saucha, which can be the yogi way to save the planet, we work together across the spanse of the globe. 🌏 I posted the wonderful new word #solastagia before someone on Twitter recommended the book from where it was invented, #EarthEmotions by #GlennAlbrecht. It's a beautiful book of being connected to the living planet. Even if we work individually like say picking up litter when we spot it, it still part of yogis, secular environmentalists, and green witches working together. #Soliphilia - working with others to protect loved spaces. 🌏🐨🌏🐻🌏🦌🌏🐯🌏
Place Pathology: • what happens when a place becomes unhealthy and toxic. Glenn Albrecht quotes Edward Casey on this toxicology. Symptoms include: disorientation, memories, homelessness, depression, and various modes of estrangement from self and others (seen in both Western culture and Navajo).
A lot of us understand this premise well. Maybe you're someone with a chronic illness who has to pretend to be "fine" all the time. Maybe your illness is invisible so you have "act sicker" when people are around lest they start quizzing you or yelling about how "you don't look sick." Maybe it's an every day thing based on obligations and trying to have it all. "Working to sustain illusion is it's own hell," is a quote from #MarkNepo's upcoming book, The Book of Soul. 🐡🐡🐡🐡🐡🐡🐡🐡
#kairos - A time when conditions are right for the accomplishment of a crucial action: the opportune and decisive moment. 📅•🕠•🌒 This word's definition is exactly the way I would describe when I finally decided to take yoga teacher training with @romyoga. I spent decades having the thought of it fly in and out of my mind - especially when layoffs would loom over my jobs. Then I went to massage school. But finally found my place more at home with yoga. I think my 600 hours of massage training made me a better yoga student and teacher so it was certainly not wasted. And the many times I considered #YTT, there were really no places around here to even find a class. We used to drive so far once a week. Even when I had joined the YMCA they could not keep a yoga class on the schedule because of low attendance. It took years. Finally Honor Yoga opened 5 minutes away and then I found that Gibson's had yoga too and was offered that class. Now there are plenty of studios to pick from but this was not the case before. Eventually things fall into place.
Today is by far not the first day of Muslims being attacked in India. It happens to be the first time for some people in the west to see the headlines because Trump was in India. While there, riots and horrific attacks on individuals were happening and he takes a silent stance against violence since he believes all Muslims are terrorists. This is a person with no empathy or compassion, subjects discussed in a new book about how technology is altering our abilities to feel.
"When researchers started really digging into #empathy in the early 1900s, there were two commonly accepted types: instinctive and intellectual. Instinctive empathy involved an uncontrollable emotional reaction to someone else's experience -- crying when someone else cries, for example, or blushing with secondhand embarrassment. Intellectual empathy was more distant: recognizing someone else's emotion but not feeling it yourself. These two terms eventually morphed into the two that are most commonly accepted today: cognitive empathy (understanding another person's mental state) and affective empathy (responding emotionally to the other person's mental state -- i.e., sharing their feelings)." -- Kaitlin Ugolik Phillips, The Future of Feeling: Building Empathy in a Tech-Obsessed World
This will be controversial or at least uncomfortable. The word "necrophilia" was coined in 1892 as a form of sexual psychopathy, according to etymonline.com. In Glenn Albrecht's Earth Emotions, he uses the word freely as a way to describe "The love of all things connected to death," which he associates with the destruction of the earth through industrialization and man's propensity to murder, neglect, and destroy life. He calls such people #terraphthorans, meaning "Earth destroyers." I had never put together the less sexualized meaning of necrophilia before, but then I recently heard it on a ridiculously over-the-top crime show I watch, Prodigal Son, used the same way as opposed to the psychosexual meaning of sex with a corpse. I'm sorry to touch on that. But considering how we, in modern life and myself included, want convenience before thinking of consequences, the word seems like it certainly could be applicable. There are plenty of us who love fall and winter -- the seasons of nature dying. The #terraphthoran, however, is extreme with love for destructive with mining, #pollution, and a lack of concern for any #ecosystem; calling climate change a hoax and reducing #environmental protections. 🌱🌏🌈🌪🌨🌀☄
Locally, there's a dedicated group trying to keep farmland from being turned into a warehouse district. First, the traffic nightmare 🚐. Second, there are already a LOT of empty places from businesses that closed or moved 🚫. Third, they wouldn't have to pay taxes 💰 but would pay a yearly fee which means since it's not collected as "taxes" the town won't be required to use it for roads 🚗, schools 🏢, police 🚓, etc. They can allocate it anyway they please. Some people are just giving up saying it's too late; that these situations have be protested in earlier stages of the development process (plus it feels impossible to stop development at all). It sucks. And when it comes to local public officials they do not care what someone who is not a resident of their jurisdiction has to say so if you're a local worker or in the next town, you're screwed. When I worked for the local government, the Planning & Zone Board wouldn't even let renters speak in public meetings! The man in charge said they rent and therefore don't "pay taxes" as if rent wasn't going towards that through a landland. #NJ#NJ governments are so corrupt in the smallest ways. #topoaversion -- The feeling that you do not wish to return to a place that you once loved and enjoyed when you know that it has been irrevocably changed for the worse. 🌏 🚜 🛣 🚦 🦺