Losing Nemo: what’s happening to our oceans

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This short film from The Black Fish organization highlights the shocking truth about what is happening to our oceans right this minute. Greenderella posted this video and I had to pass it on. Last year I went to the Philippines and snorkeled for the first time. I will forever remember it as the summer I fell in love with the ocean. It’s like a whole other world… and we’re completely destroying it.

Protecting our oceans is more than just keeping marine ecosystems healthy and alive, it’s about helping ourselves as well. I wrote an article a couple years ago where I mentioned that 70% of the world’s oxygen comes from the ocean.

There are many things one can do to avoid supporting treacherous types of fishing. I, myself, am a vegan, sign petitions/write letters, and do my best to spread the news about what’s going on. You can do this, too! Check out the video to see the figures and find out what you can do to help.

(Original image from The Blackfish webpage)

Meditation: 5 tips for beginners & what it means to me

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I’ve written about meditation a few times before, even making it one of my life tips, and I’ve come a long way since I started a couple years ago. I’ve incorporated what I’ve learned and picked up from various sources and tailored it to best fit me.

The most well known image of meditation is completely quieting the mind and sitting in a lotus position. This was nowhere near possible for me my first (or second, third, forth, fifth, tenth, etc.) time meditating and I highly doubt many others can master it on their first few tries either. Only now, after two years of meditation, am I getting close to that image. Having said that, meditation is so much more than that simple image.

Meditation has been proven to give countless benefits and enrich peoples’ lives. It helps add compassion and calm to each day and eliminate or, at the very least, limit stress and anxiety. I wish everyone in the world meditated and that it was taught in schools at a young age. I can only imagine the improvement my life and the world as a whole would have if meditation was a part of the education system worldwide. If you’ve never tried it or have tried and given up (multiple times, like I did), then I urge you to please give it another try. You’ve got nothing to lose, but a whole lot to gain!

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Bournemouth by the sea

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These days I spend most of the year studying and living in Bournemouth, England. You may remember, last year I lived in Poole, but this year I’ve moved to Bournemouth so that I could be walking distance from my university campus. These pictures were more-or-less my first impression of Bournemouth back in September 2011. Bournemouth is one of the sunniest and warmest places in the United Kingdom and the beach sees a lot of tourist each year.

On this particular day, I took a bike trip organized by my university along the beach almost all the way to Poole, ending at a particularly nice almost-sunset where I took more photos and used one for a quote a while back.

The beach is kept clean and dotted with beach huts that can be rented out to visitors. Turn away from the beach and you’ll be looking up beautifully vegetated cliffs with all types of plant species I’ve come to be very familiar with thanks to my course. Take a look back out, past the sand, and you’ll get a glimpse of boats sailing among worn away chalk cliffs in the distance.
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Trust

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If you follow my Facebook or Twitter page, you’ll probably have noticed that I tend to post a lot of inspiring and positive articles, images and quotes. Just like the intention of this blog, I post them as much as a reminder to others as to myself.

My last post asked you how you deal with stress and all that life hands us. There are many things one can do to create a balance, but the truth is, I already know the main solution… and that is to trust the process; trust that the Universe knows what it’s doing, because it does.

This is easier said than done. We’re taught from a young age that we must have control and power over everything in our lives, but the moment we lose the tiniest bit of control, it feels like the end of the world. But we never had that control in the first place. There are times that life seems to flow and everything works out one thing right after another, but society has taught us to always want more and never be completely satisfied. So we worry and we doubt. We resist change rather than accepting and working with it. We tell the Universe (or God/your belief) “I got this!” and try and take control which only throws a curveball into what is already so nicely laid out for us.

My theory is that “worry causes reason to worry”. The more we worry, the bigger of a build-up we get of things we have to worry about. I’ve been writing this post off-and-on for a few days now, feeling a bit like a hypocrite. One moment I trust, but if I don’t get an immediate response that things are working out how I want them to, I get anxious and worry. But even if I need that reminder that things will be okay and to just enjoy the moment and trust the Universe; even if it’s a constant cycle from worry to calm and content, at least it’s a cycle and I’m getting somewhere.

The next time you’re worrying, take a deep breath and trust the process.

(Original image from workisnotajob.’s blog page, print can be found here)

When life feels like too much to handle, how do you deal?

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I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.” – Mother Teresa

Lately I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and stressed. I feel as though I have to cram too much into my days, like stuffing an already overflowing suitcase. This usually happens to me around assignment deadline time, but this time everything is piling up. I try to meditate twice a day to keep my sanity, but even my meditation sessions seem tense. With university assignments, finding a placement, dissertation; work; family; friends here and far away; my long distance relationship; Four Leaf Clover; staying healthy; sleep; etc… I just don’t seem to be handling it very well at the moment. I wish I could blog at least once a week because it is so fulfilling and allows me to feel in my element, but other “priorities” make it near impossible.

When there is so much stress raining down, it’s harder to keep things in perspective and easier to let those negative thoughts seep in. I’ve had trouble balancing and managing my time for as long as I can remember and university has made that even worse. You always give me great advice, so I’d love to know: how do you do it? How do you create balance in your life and prevent all the negativity from pouring in and clouding your days?