Archive for February, 2014

February 4, 2014

Following Pebbles

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At one point in time, a friend of mine told me I’ve made more life and career direction changes than anyone she knows. 

Fourteen years ago I left a job I hated where I had friends I loved and went back to school for landscaping.  I graduated from that program a couple of years later and had been in the landscape industry ever since.  A few years ago, landscaping started losing it’s luster.  I still love the industry and have made some incredible friends who I love dearly and hold close to my heart but something changed inside me, I needed something more, so I left the job I’d been at for about 8 years.

When people would ask “What’s next?” I would tell them what I was up to at the time, but usually follow it with, “I’m just following pebbles. I’m not sure where they are going to lead.”  I’m a firm believer in that if we put out to the universe (or God or whomever) what we are looking for, that we will be given signs as to what we need to do, which direction we need to go and the opportunities will come to us. But it’s up to us to notice them, to trust in them and to choose whether or not to follow them.  Those are my pebbles.

When I left the landscape job I had been at for years, I was presented with an opportunity to switch into a completely different industry and use a foreign language that I had studied in college.  I followed that pebble, but I only stayed a year because as much as I liked the people I was working with, and enjoyed speaking the language a little again, it just didn’t feel like the place I was meant to be.  So I moved on, or back, you might say.

I went back into landscaping, this time focusing my efforts on edible landscaping and edible gardens.  Using land for something useful, pretty and also providing food felt like a better fit, but I wanted to learn more.  I felt like I had gaps in my knowledge and to be able to really help my clientele, I felt like I needed to fill in the gaps.

That’s when I found the Urban Farming Certification Program.  It was another pebble and I followed it.  I ventured into Permaculture wholeheartedly while converting a large portion of our front yard into a food garden, including both annual vegetables and fruit as well as perennial fruits and pollinator plants. Another good fit.  I loved the program, I still love the conversion of our yard, I love growing food and I love sharing with others how easy it is to do the same.  But it doesn’t feel like enough.

For as long as I can remember, even back to my childhood, my parents were focused on health, healthy eating, being active, wellness and personal growth.  These seeds of health and wellness that they planted in my mind have germinated, grown within me and guided me along the path of my life.  Which brings me to the present.

Over the past year, while growing food and wanting so badly to share it with anyone who would take it, I’ve been watching friends, neighbors and family members suffer through the pains of Cancer, weight problems and other health problems.  Each time I learned of something happening all I could think was, “It doesn’t have to be this way.”

I’m, what you might say, a junkie for health and wellness information.  I read, watch documentaries, read more, go to seminars, take classes, listen to podcasts, follow blogs… and I’ve found that the more I learn about health and wellness, about growing food and about the environment, the more all of these pieces seem connected and this is why, I believe, deep down, that food is the core of what harms us but that it is also the core of what can heal us.

This interest in understanding food sparked a long time ago and has slowly been burning, ever greater, until, finally, over the past couple of weeks it has turned into a blazing fire, a deep yearning to learn even more about it so that I can help help others, because I truly believe in my heart that we don’t have to live this way; we don’t have to watch friends and family endure pain and suffering.  I think that we have everything we need to be healthy if we just learn where to look and how to use what is given to us. 

My goal going forward is not only be able to help people learn how to grow their own food, but also to help guide them in living a long, healthy, happy life.

This morning I registered for a year-long program to become a Certified Health Coach so I can do just that and I couldn’t be happier or more excited! So here I am, following yet another pebble.  And from where I stand right now, that pebble feels more solid than anything I’ve ever done in my life.

So, my dear friend, here we go again!

Here’s to chasing pebbles, following your passion and living fully.

Be well.

Kate

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February 3, 2014

Environmindful Monday Tip #13: Wash Your Hands of Antibacterial Soap

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Everyday we get up, we fight a battle.  Our enemies surround us, yet we can’t see them.
We’re told that they are there. We’re told they will get us when we’re down. We’re told they can make us sick… or worse.
How on Earth are we supposed to fight an enemy we can’t see? “Use this!” they say. So we do. And we use and we use, but since we can’t see the enemy to begin with we don’t really know if it’s working or not.
Years go by and we come to find out that the weapons they gave us to kill our enemies didn’t kill them after all. It killed some, but not all. The ones we left behind got more and more powerful, so strong they now have super strength, because you know what they say, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. ”
What’s worse, is the weapons we chose, instead of killing them, are killing us.
This could be the plot of any science fiction movie, but instead it’s the state of what we have done in our battle against bacteria.
Triclosan, the word might not roll off your tongue, but trust me, you know what it does, or shall I say, what it was supposed to do. Triclosan is the chemical in antibacterial soaps, dish soaps, and yes, even toothpaste. And Triclosan is the weapon we chose to fight bacteria.   It’s time to lay that weapon down. It’s not working and studies are finding that it’s doing more harm than good.
I know, it seems scary at first, to let go of that antibacterial soap we’ve become so accustomed to using. It feels like you’re saying,  “Hey, Bacteria! Yeah,  you, look here, I put my weapons down. I’m defenseless!” but the reality is, we’re not.
By choosing not to use products labeled antibacterial,  we are choosing to take our lives back. We are choosing to take the super powers away from the bacteria and leave them simply as bacteria. And when we choose not to buy antibacterial products with Triclosan,  we are choosing to take our lives back from Cancer, from infertility and from many other diseases that sound way worse than bacteria if you ask me.
So the tip for the week?
Environmindful Monday Tip #13: Wash Your Hands of Antibacterial Soap and go back to regular soap and water. Wash your hands. Wash them well, for at least 20 – 30 seconds, scrubbing the germs off and then rinse them down the drain. When you’re done, wipe your hands on a towel to grab any stragglers that may have gotten missed.
The simple act of washing our hands is just as effective as Triclosan and way less detrimental to our health.

Be healthy,  be safe,  be well.
Kate