Fostering Ecological Hope
Today from Margaret Swedish:
Yesterday Jews around the world got up at dawn to recite the Birkat HaHamma, a Blessing for the Sun, a prayer of gratitude to the God that created, well, everything. It happens every 28 years when the sun returns to the point in the sky where, according to the Talmud, God placed it at the moment of creation. As the first rays of sun appear on the horizon, they pray:
Blessed are You, Adonai, our God and God of all the universe, who makes all things in creation.
This year was especially meaningful as the day ended with the beginning of Passover.
We have forgotten the sacredness of these natural cycles; we have forgotten how to pray the Earth. Every religious tradition has at its roots a worship of the presence of the sacred within the unfolding of creation and all its dynamisms — the sun and the moon (oh, did you see that full moon last night!?!?!), the winds and tides, the changing seasons, the four directions, the heavens and the Earth, the planting and the harvests. That we have forgotten these roots is not a sign of our advanced intellect, or the triumph of the rational mind, of science and modernity, over primitive being, but rather a sign of our spiritual impoverishment and false alienation from our true nature — as beings embedded within the Earth and cosmos.
In the pale beauty of the moon’s glow across the early evening sky as it rose from the east, in the western sky Orion was setting, the dog star Sirius following close behind, herald of the emerging spring, a last thrilling dance in the night as it slowly disappears from view, a constellation of the daylight hours from now until August when it will again rise in the eastern sky.
Do we pray these things? Why in the world would God make this creation of such magnificence and beauty if it was not to be observed and honored, to fill us with awe and delight, to get us up in the early morning to address the dawn, “Blessed are You, Adonai, God of all the universe!”
Whether or not one believes in a God who made the world, or sees the evolution of the cosmos as an expression of a Presence within all that is, not apart or separate from it, or does not believe in God at all but sees the cosmos itself as enough to incite reverence and awe — the problem comes when one experiences none of these things, does not SEE creation and does not care, or, worse, looks upon creation as something at the service of the human — as our western traditions so often do…
…because that alienation invites the abuse of creation which we see all around us, along with the results of the abuse in our poor, battered, depleted planet.
Today I read that John Holdren, Prez Obama’s science advisor and a brilliant scientist on climate and other things, is considering shooting cooling pollutants into the atmosphere in a desperate attempt to stop runaway global warming.
And I am stricken again by another sign of all that is wrong with us — we would rather further alter the chemical makeup of the atmosphere (geoengineering, a term that fills me with dread) in a grand experiment whose results we cannot possibly know beforehand, than do the hard work of reorganizing how we live on the planet. We would rather get the economy we know going again, with the same basic patterns of planetary abuse, using engineering to continue undoing the planet’s ecosystems (as we have the rivers and ocean shores and wetlands and soils and genetically altered plants and animals) then do the hard and holy work of learning how to live within the balance and limits of the ecosystems that made all this vibrant life — and us — possible.
So, again, it’s spring. It is a sacred time in the spiritual lives of human beings across the planet. It is a time for renewal and rebirth in that beautiful cycle of life in which we are privileged to participate. However you honor your religious traditions, or if you have none to honor, honor this blessed creation. Reinvigorate within your spirits a sense of your intimate connections with all that is — feel the sense of creation’s energies within your own being, but also all that is being destroyed by our human hubris — because we cannot separate ourselves from that either. As we are aspects of the creation story, both are happening to us.
We can lose the beauty, we really can. It is happening. If we can restore the intimacy of our connections with the natural world, we just might find the passion to save that world before it is altered beyond recognition, beyond that which has for millennia inspired worship and poetry and all that is best in the human spirit.
10 ways to control your anger - Professional expert’s advice
I am really emotional and excitable person. I think that there are two types of anger: constructive anger and a destructive one. In order to understand the anger phenomenon I decided to investigate the nature of anger, reasons of its appearing, key factors and anger management.
What does it mean this anger? Anger is a strong indignation feeling of our emotional sphere that is attended by self-control losing. Anger is a signal of our state. Glands produce an array of hormones that have a great and deep effect on all our body. The main participants of this process are adrenaline and cortisol. They activate cardiovascular system and consequently all organs. Adrenalin causes fast heart beating, rising blood pressure. These rich oxygenated blood streams to the places are responsible for reaction. Thus some extra energy is released.
There are 4 basic ways of anger expressions:
1. Straight and immediately (verbally or nonverbally) to show your anger. It gives an opportunity to free from the negative emotions.
2. To express anger in an indirect way. In this case usually suffer persons that are weaker, not dangerous and those ones who “come to hand”, usually they are our family and close relatives. Thus we hurt our dear ones. One of the best ways is to express your anger to the person who is the source of this very anger. If it is impossible- better find some compromise.
3. Restraining anger you “drive” it deep inside. So, negative emotions store will provoke a big stress sooner or later.
4. You may foresee situation of anger feeling, try not to expand this feeling but get to know the reason, understand and solve it. A Roman philosopher Seneca said: “When you are feeling of ascending “volcano”- stand still, not doing anything- not speaking, not moving.”
Anger is a normal and natural human feeling, especially nowadays as life is really fast and we have a huge amount of information to accumulate (in comparison with our previous generations). The range of anger is rather wide: from a slight annoyance to impetuous fury. Anger can be quick and long, lasting for years in form of bitterness, vengeance or hate. Anger can lead to health issues like depression, high blood pressure, hearth diseases, stresses, alcohol dependence and obesity. If you are anger- express it. If you feel discomfort from these “negative splashes”- then we can give some techniques how to manage your emotional anger:
- 1. Take a deep and continuous breath. Count up to 50 or imagine your aggressor just naked, only in socks. This will help you to calm and smile.
- 2. Have a walk. Look at high sky. Continue to breathe deep and easily. So you appraise the situation and calm down.
- 3. Do some physical exercises. When you are angry- your body is very tensed and tough. If you stretch your muscles it will relax your body, as you will spill out all your negative energy into action. Your brains will get more oxygen and it assists to clear your thoughts.
- 4. Write down all your thoughts. Write down that you are mad and why. Avoid being rational, logical or laconic. Write on paper all you are feeling this moment. Try to write all in details. The function of this technique is to shift all your anger out of your head on paper.
- 5. Be grateful. Find someone to thank. Do you not forget about yourself. Thank that you have woken up today, thank that that the Sun is shining for you, that the sky is blue and the grass is green.
- 6. Prayer. Ask God to be with you during this anger moment and lead you.
- 7. Meditation. Close your eyes, look into solar plexus, and be all your anger, breathing deeply.
- 8. Change of places. Move yourself on your enemy’s place. And look at situation from his point of view. Better look at the situation from the ceiling. Focus on details, especially on funny and absurd ones. Strive to forgive your enemy as well as forgive truly yourself.
- 9. Go back to your childhood memories. Recollect state when you were angry. Hug this child and say: “All is ok. I am here. You are good child. I love you and I will not leave you.”
- 10. Your values. What is the most significant thing in your life? Who are the most important people in your life? What kind of person do you want to be? Think and accept that point that you are living your life, and you are living your values. There is a good man inside you that wants to help you. I wish you good luck!
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