Category Archives: Natural Home

What do David Suzuki and Pope Francis have in common?

Image converted using ifftoany
Image converted using ifftoany

What do David Suzuki and Pope Francis have in common? It turns out they both care deeply about the fate of the planet and have some strong words for those who will listen.  Just the other day we heard renowned author, scientist and television host of The Nature of Things, Dr. David Suzuki, speak to a packed hall about the crises our destructive human behaviors are causing to the planet.  And today we hear that the new Pope Francis is issuing a Papal Encyclical about the unprecedented destruction of “God’s Creation” if we don’t change our consumptive ways.

This is so relevant to Dean Evenson and me as we have been looking at ways we can considerably reduce our ‘carbon footprint’ and tread more lightly on the Earth. We want to look at the energy we use and make concerted efforts to reduce it by measurable results.  We hope to engage others in taking a personal look at how much energy we use, where it comes from, and how we can switch to renewable energy in most of our areas of use.

Here are some relevant excerpts to give you an idea of the depth of the Pope’s commitment to get some traction on this very important issue:
“Humanity is called to take note of the need for changes in lifestyle and changes in methods of production and consumption to combat this warming, or at least the human causes that produce and accentuate it,” he wrote in the draft. “Numerous scientific studies indicate that the greater part of the global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases … given off above all because of human activity.”

The pope will also single out those obstructing solutions. In an apparent reference to climate-change deniers, the draft states: “The attitudes that stand in the way of a solution, even among believers, range from negation of the problem, to indifference, to convenient resignation or blind faith in technical solutions.”

Mother Earth, Mother Nature, God’s Creation, whatever you want to call it – there is no doubt that the health of the planet forms the foundation of our own health.  So consider each of your actions, everything you consume or use, how it affects the overall eco system of the planet.  It’s a lot to ask, but then again, nature gives so much, it’s the least we can do.

If you are interested or have experience in doing this, please let us know.  I welcome your comments and ideas on the subject (and will send you a free music track to those who post comments). This will take more that a village to make the necessary changes to really make a difference.  Stay tuned!

Click here for some of Soundings of the Planet albums that include natural sounds. It’s our way of honoring the Earth.

And since Father’s Day is coming up, we’re offering a super discount at soundings.com through June. Use code – FATHERSDAY15.  And check out Dudley’s photos on Soundings Facebook page – A Tribute to Dads & their Babies.

 

Dudley’s Famous Quinoa Veggie Burgers

At last by popular demand, here is my basic recipe for veggie burgers that are always so popular when I take them to potlucks.  I have traveled with them too and they make a great snack that is pretty much a complete meal
Veggie Burgers Bowl
This recipe makes a bunch of small burgers – vegetarian, vegan, gluten free

Take one cup quinoa and add two cups water
Bring to boil then turn off and let sit with cover for 30 minutes
Mix in finely chopped** 2 carrots, 1 large zucchini, 1 onion, 1 beet or other veggies
Mix in sprouted beans, black beans, garbanzo beans or refried beans
Add tomato sauce for extra flavor but not too much
Stir and season with herbs, sea salt, or Spike (my favorite)
Add in flax flour to create the consistency to form into a patty
Form into patties like biscuits and place on oiled baking sheet
Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, turn over and cook another 10 minutes
Eat as a stand-alone snack, main course or like a burger with all the toppings
But please, no bread or bun! This is a complete meal with protein, grain, veggies
Great to take to potlucks, lunch or when traveling so you have healthy snacks

Happy healthy eating!  Let me know how yours turned out.  Send pictures.

*This recipe was included in the Non-GMO Cookbook: Recipes and Advice for a Non-GMO Lifestyle by Megan Westgate & Courtney Pineau of the Non-GMO Project

**I use a Ninja food chopper but a basic blender or sharp knife works too

7 Simple Steps for Stress Free Holidays

Try these seven tips based on the chakras for more peaceful holidays.
You might start by slowing down as my sweet neighbors suggest with this sign.

10 MPHHere come the holidays and with them a bundle of stress triggers and challenges that can take away from the fun and festivity of the season.  While we love to get together with family and friends, sometimes the extra tasks and pressures can add up and create situations that are less than fun and definitely not festive.  Extra shopping, more cooking, cleaning, preparing, crowds, parties, traffic or traveling with flights delayed or other inconveniences can take the fun out of the season.  Then, there are the long-term family patterns replete with buttons that are often pushed right at the dinner table after a few too many glasses of bubbly.  Whatever form it takes, the strain and tension of being overloaded can sometimes rise up and ruin our fun, family time.

So how can we deal with this inevitable stress of the holidays and put the joy back into the season?  Here are some simple steps we can take to uplift our spirits and make sure we don’t get overloaded and react emotionally in the presence of habitual family patterns or simply collapse from exhaustion when we should be having fun.  These seven steps are actually based on the chakra system and begin with the crown or seventh chakra and go down to the root or first chakra.  Check them out and see if they resonate with you.

7_chakraSet Intention (Crown)
Decide in advance how you would like your holiday experience to be.  You can use ideas like – peaceful, meaningful, relaxing, fun.  Whatever words you come up with, you might want to form them into a simple mantra or affirmation to keep in the forefront of your awareness as you go through your socializing.  Remember the aspects of an affirmation are threefold: positive, present tense and repetition.  An example would be ‘I am peaceful and relaxed’ or use whatever idea you want to remind yourself when intensity arises.  Say it often.

Visualize (Third Eye, Mind)
Use mental images to picture how you would like to see the holidays unfold.  You can imagine your home beautifully decorated with family members happily enjoying a home cooked meal and conversing with one another in pleasant tones.  Or you might picture young children playing well together with their new gifts.  Don’t forget to picture yourself attending to your tasks with ease in a relaxed manner.  You may want to focus on the deeper meaning of the holiday you are celebrating and especially the fellowship of gathering together with family and friends.

5_chakraCommunicate (Throat)
Talk to family members and friends that you will be socializing with and make plans so everyone is on the same page.  Get input and add your own ideas.  Try to share the tasks and planning so it isn’t all on one person’s shoulders.  If past holidays were overwhelming, try simplifying your plans.  Consider a potluck instead of one person doing all the cooking.  You might want to add the element of giving back to the community or helping those less fortunate who need some extra holiday cheer.  This will make the holiday much more meaningful to you and your family.

4_chakraCollaborate (Heart)
Invite your family and your friends to be part of your festivities.  Work and play together and enjoy each other’s company.  Remember the love that brought you together in the first place and be careful not to let stress or emotions trigger unnecessary reactions.  This is a time to enjoy and appreciate each other.  Express your gratitude in random ways and you will find it returned to you.  Minimize gossip and politics.  People in the same family often hold different points of view so best to avoid conversations that cause conflict.  The long-term benefits of unconditional love will be the reward.

3_chakraTake Action (Solar Plexis)
If you are hosting a gathering, let yourself enjoy the activities and tasks involved.  Enlist close friends or family members to help you with preparation and logistics.  If you are attending other people’s events, be sure to help in the kitchen and contribute to the workload.  Put on happy holiday music to lift your spirit and remind you of why you are doing all the extra work – the shopping, cooking, cleaning, gifting, decorating and so on.  You may want to take time for yoga or stretching to release pent up energy so you have the vitality you need to carry out all you have assigned yourself to do.

2_chakraEnjoy and Play (Sacral)
Remember the reason for the season and even in the midst of all you are doing, be sure to let yourself feel passion and joy for the blessings in your life, your family, friends, food to eat and roof over your head.  Many people have much less in life and still manage to keep smiling. In fact, a good laugh is always in order, even when the turkey falls on the floor or your dog overturns the holiday tree or a child knocks over a glass and breaks it.  Especially turn your enthusiasm toward your elders or those suffering or in need.  This season is a perfect time to reach out to others who can use a physical or spiritual boost.

1_chakraGrounding (Root)
This is the level where you take care of the basics, the details and all that is necessary to manifest what it is you want.  This is also the place where you can connect with the earth and honor all that it provides for your physical needs.  Be specific and check off the tasks on your list so you can feel you have accomplished what needs to be done.  You also may want to ground out by taking a walk in nature or by taking a few moments to sit quietly in your room or in a sacred place in your home.  In this sanctuary, try playing some peaceful, relaxing music to help remind you of the inner peace you are so wanting in the midst of life’s normal chaos.

I hope these suggestions are helpful and you are able to find peace and fulfillment during the holidays this year.  I welcome any additional suggestions for stress free holidays whether or not they relate to the chakras.  You can see my video on toning with the chakras on our YouTube channel or listen to my chakra meditations and the music my husband, Dean Evenson, and I create at www.soundings.com.

And thanks to my teacher Anodea Judith for her wisdom on manifesting your dreams through your chakras.

Creating Personal Sanctuary – My Sacred Laundry Room

SacredLaundryRoomA personal sanctuary for rest and rejuvenation can be of great benefit for individual health as well as for the health of family and community. By allowing your soul and spirit the refuge of peace, you are able to reach out and have a positive effect on the harmony of all your relationships – including your family, workplace, community, and world.

It is helpful if you can define a physical space where you can devote yourself to inner healing work.  This can be anything from a room set aside for meditation to a small corner in your bedroom or living room or a spot in nature.  I have made my laundry room into a sacred space where I do my yoga and meditate and love the privacy and peace it provides. Whatever place you choose, this is your special sanctuary where you can do your yoga or sit quietly and meditate, free from distractions and let go of the worries and cares of the world or whatever is going on in your personal life.  In this sacred space you can focus on bringing harmony and peace into your life.

You might want to set up an altar to help focalize your meditation, contemplation or prayer.  The altar can include a candle, flowers, treasures from nature, sacred pictures or anything that inspires your spirit.  If possible, it is helpful to play peaceful music in the background to help ground and center your soul in the spirit of peace.  I would love to hear from you about the kind of sacred space you create for yourself.  It is always inspiring to know what others have discovered to help bring peace into their lives.

If you’re looking for peaceful music to use for meditation and yoga, try Healing Sanctuary which we created after 911 to give people a calm space to retreat into when the world becomes too much.

 

Welcome to Healthy Living Dreams

Welcome to Healthy Living Dreams! The official blog of Dudley Evenson, co-founder of Soundings of the Planet. Featuring helpful hints, inspiring stories and guidance on how to live a healthy life in harmony with others & the planet