Opening my heart

Thursday, August 30, 2012

'It is the mind that closes the heart. The love, all of it is in the heart, all along. It is up to me to notice whenever the mind starts closing the door of the heart. The same mind that closed the door can also open it. It is up to me to intervene and keep the door open, giving myself the sweetness of fully open heart. '

Great post.

It seems pretty simple to me.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

1.  What energy sources are expected to run out within a timeline that is conceivable to man?
     a. Solar
     b. Coal
     c. Fossil Fuel
     d. Wind

2.  What energy sources are dangerous to harvest?
     a. Solar
     b. Coal
     c. Fossil Fuel
     d. Wind

3.  What energy sources change the gas content ratios of the Earth's atmosphere when they are consumed?
     a. Solar
     b. Coal
     c. Fossil Fuel
     d. Wind

4.  What energy sources cannot quickly be replenished by nature?
     a. Solar
     b. Coal
     c. Fossil Fuel
     d. Wind

 5.  What energy sources produce carcinogens when they are used as fuel?
     a. Solar
     b. Coal
     c. Fossil Fuel
     d. Wind

I'm curious... Are there deniers out there for these as well?  I mean... "do the math"!

Why I am voting for Tim Kaine for Senate

Monday, August 27, 2012

I received an email today from the League of Conservation Voters, which referenced THIS email, from candidate for Virginia Senator George Allen.

Have you met Tim Kaine's friends?
Allow me to introduce you to the League of Conservation Voters.
They've come running to Tim Kaine's aid with an attack ad against George Allen. And here's why.
Tim Kaine and LCV have bonded over a radical agenda against affordable, reliable sources of American energy.
When the EPA announced proposed regulations to ban new coal-fired plants, LCV cheered the "nail in the coffin for new conventional coal plants." Tim Kaine has said "My advice is, don't try to weaken regulations."
Tim Kaine and the LCV stood shoulder to shoulder against the Keystone pipeline that would create thousands of jobs with energy from our ally Canada.
To lock up even more energy resources, the LCV wants to ban all offshore energy production. Tim Kaine has been on both side of that issue.
Even worse, Tim Kaine and LCV champion the Cap and Trade energy tax scheme that would result in skyrocketing electricity, fuel and food costs for hard-working, struggling families.
Virginians can't afford these Tim Kaine and LCV policies that will harm families and will cause massive job losses.
Will you give $25, $15 or $5 today to elect George Allen and stop Tim Kaine's radical environmentalist agenda?
LCV is pouring money into Tim Kaine's coffers - will spend millions on TV and have brought in over $100,000 to his campaign.
George Allen needs your help to get out his positive message of unleashing our American energy resources from our coalfields to off our coast.
He stands for clean coal, natural gas, offshore oil and gas, and more because he knows that these resources power our economy and create the jobs we need.
American energy means more affordable electricity bills. Less money spent at the filling station. And more freedom to invest and grow with our own resources.
Will you join George Allen today in standing with the hard-working men and women whose jobs are under attack from Tim Kaine and LCV's radical environmentalist agenda?
Please give $25, $15 or $5 today to make sure your voice - the voice of energy freedom - is heard in Washington.
Thank you for your continued support.
Mike Thomas
Campaign Manager
George Allen for U.S. Senate

I didn't want to make any brash decisions based on an email, to support a candidate I knew little about (Tim Kaine).  I mean, if he is asking to regulate coal-fired plants, position himself against the Keystone pipeline, ban offshore energy production and champion the Cap and Trade tax (in the words of his OPPONENT), I think I want to vote for the guy, but just to be sure I did a bit more research.

He has a great record of fiscal responsibility based on his personal track record during the time that he was Governor of Virginia.  Awesome.

He wants to expand markets for American goods and services.  Cool.

He stood with Planned Parenthood at the Women are Watching tour to support women's rights.  Great.

I know every politician is exactly that, and skews data in their own favor.  That being said, the arguments made FOR him by his OPPONENT speak the loudest to me and ring with the loudest possibility of truth.  Those are things I support.

I've donated to, I will volunteer for, and I will vote for TIM KAINE for Senate for Virginia.

I am a Climate Leader

Toward the end of the Climate Reality Project training with Vice President Al Gore, one of the participants approached a microphone and asked what we should call ourselves.  What title is assigned to the thousand new volunteers who have stepped into the breach to try, along with the 3,500 previously trained participants, to deliver a message of rapid and necessary change?

At one point during the 2.5 days we spent together, Vice President Gore had referred to us as the "calvary;" but that wouldn't provide the required level of specificity to those newly introduced to us.  We were told that we are "Climate Leaders."  I am a Climate Leader.  Now I guess I had better ramp up my game to act like one.

Throughout this process I have been thinking of our comforts - the reasons that we turn a blind eye to the drastic and horrifying changes that surround us.  Why is it that we cling to the cold comfort of denial?

I have a secret...  I, too, like this dirty power that we use.  I like my computer, my television, my car.  Until we are at the point that these things simply aren't available, I don't think we will be able to find a winning answer that includes asking us to step away, to step back, from any of the things we have today, whether they be cars, computers, or ubiquitous hot water.

The bigger issue is that there are no readily available alternatives. And why is that?  Why can't I get renewable (solar, wind, wave) power from my power company today?

Because the few that are at the top of this power struggle, the people who have amassed power and wealth (lobbyists for coal and oil interests) have skewed things in their favor.  This should not be news... but maybe it is.

Think about it. Throughout history this pattern has repeated itself - Whatever is scarce and highly in demand is "sold" as the most desirable and as a status symbol.  It is then tightly managed by a few powerful, wealthy people until something happens to either commoditize the item or make it irrelevant.  Salt, sugar, and spices have all been down this path.  In dangerous times, religions have been the item at hand.

We must first see the noose that binds us, and then speak out demanding change.  I firmly believe that if we, as a people, demand better options, they will magically appear - it is simply a matter of getting the demand to critical mass.

I have been taking very small personal steps, and feeling hopeless and helpless toward the bigger picture.  That has to change.  Personal action matters, but I am a Climate Leader, and personal action is a very indirect form of leadership.

The presentation that I am going to be sharing with anyone and everyone that I can has three requests.  Speak up.  Deepen your commitment.  Don't give up.

I am going to speak up.  Consistently, and loudly.
I have deepened my commitment.
I will not give up.


A l l   l i v i n g   b e i n g s   a r e   i n   j e o p a r d y.
...won't you join me?


"I am in a hurry"

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

After almost being killed by a coworker speeding through the parking garage (who came right at me, on my side, coming around a corner at high speed - luckily I was able to slam my brakes and he to swerve), I was thinking...

How much bad behavior do we self-justify with that phrase - "I am in a hurry"?

What do we really gain from this mindset?

What price do we pay?

This is one of many indicators about how we are losing our connection to our humanity, to ourselves and to each other, in a quest for "more."  And the funny thing is that there is no satisfaction in this more - the faster, higher volume, greater noise level.

What are we afraid of?  What are we trying to tune out?  Or have our "fight or flight" instincts just redirected in an unhealthy way to a constant state of reaction as a result of our environment and ever-increasing volume of inputs (twitter, facebook, foursquare, linkedin, email, phone, text, radio, TV, movies, cable, radio, internet....)?

I have been musing a lot lately on the value of less.  Less hurry.  Less inputs.  Less physical things.  Less worry.  Less stress.  Less holding tightly.  Less illusion of control.

This Pema Chodron quote doesn't feel like a puzzle piece locking fit to my post, but it feels right and relevant.  (Addendum:  here it is; this is where my mind is trying to take me...  Substitute "hurry" for "blame" when you read the below.)

"There’s a slogan in the mahayana teachings that says, “Drive all blames into oneself.” The essence of this slogan is, “When it hurts so bad, it’s because I am hanging on so tight.” It’s not saying that we should beat ourselves up. It’s not advocating martyrdom. What it implies is that pain comes from holding so tightly to having it our own way and that one of the main exits we take when we find ourselves uncomfortable, when we find ourselves in an unwanted situation or an unwanted place, is to blame.

This slogan is a helpful and interesting suggestion that we could begin to shift that deep-seated, ancient, habitual tendency to hang on to having everything on our own terms. The way to start would be, first, when we feel the tendency to blame, to try to get in touch with what it feels like to be holding on to ourselves so tightly."

- Pema Chodron

The secret language of the dying

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I have a lot to say, and it can only come out with a lot of tears, and now is not the time and place for that...

But, I wanted to say that I get it now.

The sudden flashes of anger, the vast swings of mood...

He's experiencing them too.

Outside the lines

Monday, August 6, 2012

Our human tendency is to normalize everything.  We want to make it all fit within our expectations... to make it neat. 

We want to keep life "inside the lines."

Life refuses to conform.  We rationalize, explain away, continue to try to find a comfortable, familiar, acceptable path. 

Life stays messy.

Sometimes, finally, in the face of inescapable evidence, the sick feeling finally sinks into our belly (into our soul).  We resign ourselves to facing what is true, and painfully relinquish our grasping control. 

Never easily.  Never voluntarily.  Only when all the other choices are so far-fetched that the reality must be the one we have been trying to avoid.

I want my house to be secure.  I want it not to have been broken into.  But it was.
I want my housekeeper to be trustworthy.  I want her to not to have stolen from me.  But she did.

In the middle of the night, in the dark, holding my breath under the covers...

I want my father to be the same vibrant, alive man I've called "Daddy" for 42 years.  I want him not to be dying.  But he is.

It is easier to look away.  To deny.  To pretend that it is OK. 

But it's not.

My Humble Domicile - by Templates para novo blogger