A Brilliant Idea That Is Making It Easy For Us To Help The Homeless

original-23As featured on Huffington Post and TedX, The Street Store is a revolutionary way to help clothe the homeless, by giving us the tools to effortlessly open our own temporary shop.

In October of 2014, we as a team organized a homeless lunch handout where we put together vegetarian lunch packs for the homeless in the heart of Downtown Toronto. Despite being simple in its nature, the experience ended up being quite the eye-opener for us, as we learned that it’s genuine communication, love and respect -rather than food -that is the hardest for the homeless to come by.

 

Image credit: TheStreetStore

Crystals have the power to hold energies

original-13The repeating chemical structure of crystals is said to invest them with a kind of memory. This means that crystals have the power to hold energies.

You may hold a quartz crystal with the intention of filling it with your love. This is what is meant by programming a crystal. All you need is intention and focus. The crystal will remember your love, which will then permeate any environment in which the crystal is placed.

Crystals can remember negative as well as positive energies and so will sometimes need to be cleansed.

 

 

Did you know that a nap during the day can improve memory performance?

original-14The BBC wrote about a University of California study comparing the benefits of 200mg of caffeine (the average amount in a cup) to a 60 to 90 minute daytime nap on various memory tasks. They found that a nap generally improved memory performance, while caffeine either didn’t affect – or worsened – performance.

The promised benefits of sleep have even persuaded a few firms to allow their employees to nap at work.  Recently software company HubSpot designed a napping room in its Massachusetts office that features a hammock and dim lighting.  Do you have a nap during the day?

 

Image credit: Jenny G photography

NYC joins 70 cities in banning polystyrene or styrofoam containers

originalOrder your takeaway and you can bet it’ll come in a polystyrene or styrofoam container.  Until now…

According to One Green Planet, New York City has banned restaurants from using them from July 1st. They contain a possible human carcinogen – styrene, and neurotoxin – which as well as possibly damaging the nervous system, carry an increased risk of leukaemia and lymphoma.

Because styrene leaches at a fast rate, the containers end up floating in waterways and are a risk to marine life.  New York is joining 70 other cities in its ban – hopefully others will follow.

Did you know that you can do a course in first aid for depression?

original-7Melbourne university researcher Prof Jorm and his wife came up with the idea of first aid for depression ten years ago.

According to the BBC, Mental health first aid training teaches participants how to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health problems and to respond appropriately. Since its inception the training has spread around the world, reducing stigmatisation and helping people to treat mental health like any other illness. Trainer Chris Morgan says “One particularly rewarding thing is seeing people realize that everybody has mental health in the same way that everybody has physical health and we should look after our own mental health”.

Would you be interested in a course such as this?

 

Image credit: Fredrik Broden

Food For Thought …

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Do you agree?

Can we trust science?

original-4According to Aeon, scientists seeking demigod status fly too close to the sun with their claims. There’s also the increase of retractions which can leave an entire scientific community frightened of the resulting stigma.

These retractions are fascinating when they hit the mainstream – the infamous 1998 paper in The Lancet by the British researcher Andrew Wakefield and others that linked autism and vaccines, influenced many thousands of parents on both sides of the Atlantic to stop vaccinating their children.  But they’re also damaging – when there’s a lot of bad science out there sometimes it’s hard to know who to believe.

 

 

Have you tried doing ‘the Hundred’?

??????????????????????Pilates increases circulation and activates underused tissue, which helps to slow the ageing process. According to Body and Soul “The Hundred” is a great anti-ageing exercise – are you up for it?

Hold your body in the hundred position with your chest lifted, arms reaching along your sides and legs extended to a height you can hold while contracting your abdominals. Beat your arms up and down, breathing in for five beats and out for five beats. Do 10 sets of 10 beats – how old do you feel now?

Can we really wash away our calorific sins with a detox?

-UlIDC3FugguRQb17CLXl0NNvcC_-wIizNBN0QC0JzIWho is up for a detox – just wash away your calorific sins as an antidote to a fast-food alcohol-lubricated lifestyle?

But Edzard Ermst from Exeter University, UK told the Guardian that detoxing is a medical nonsense as is the build-up of toxins. “The healthy body has kidneys, a liver, skin, even lungs that are detoxifying as we speak,” he says. “There is no known way – certainly not through detox treatments – to make something that works perfectly well in a healthy body work better.”

What do you think?

 

Interviews with the Leading Edge: Ed Murphy, Spiritual Warrior

Ed Murphy

Ed Murphy

Today is an exclusive live video interview with Ed Murphy, for the interview series “Interviews with the Leading Edge.”

In this series of interviews, I engage with people who are on the leading edge of transformational change, doing work to further the consciousness revolution and how it is manifesting in culture, politics and spirituality, in order to help bring along a more enlightened society.

Ed Murphy is one such person.

Ed is a spiritual warrior, a peace and labor activist and the Executive Director of the Workforce Development Institute. He was a former military intelligence soldier who exposed the CIA’s Phoenix Program in April 1970, was a leader in the Vietnam Veterans Against the War movement that sprung up in protest of the Vietnam War, and was active and played an instrumental role in reuniting the U.S. and Vietnam after the war ended.

Ed was born on an ominous day – August 6, 1945, which was the day the nuclear bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. It may have been pure coincidence, but being born on that day surely left an indelible mark on Ed’s psyche and helped commit him to a lifetime of activism towards peace.

Raised in Staten Island, NY, after attending public schools, Ed decided a life in the priesthood was his calling. He went to seminary in Baltimore with the Paulist Brothers, and his third year was spent in silent retreat in a cabin in the woods. During that time, after much soul searching, Ed decided to leave the seminary. It was an important decision on many regards, one of which being that as no longer a student, he had to surrender his draft deferment. He then chose to enlist in the military.

He was found to have an aptitude for intelligence, and Ed was sent to U.S. Army Intelligence School, where he learned the Vietnamese language. In 1968 he was shipped to Vietnam, where he served as a sergeant for one year. After the year was up, he came back to the U.S., and served another seven months in the military, completing his military duty in Jan. of 1970. While he was stationed in the U.S., one of his military duties was monitoring the anti-war movement.

As soon as he left the military, he immediately spoke out against the Vietnam war and use of the military to spy on domestic activities, and became an early organizer of Vietnam Veterans Against the War. In May 1970 he spoke out and helped exposed a secret C.I.A. program called The Phoenix Program, which was a program that tortured and assassinated suspected members of the North Vietnamese-backed Viet Cong, but in reality harmed, maimed and killed many innocent Vietnamese civilians.

Years later, In 1991, Murphy left his position as Deputy Director of the New York State Division of Veteran Affairs to work on reconciliation with Vietnam, do business and environmental consulting and provide humanitarian assistance. He participated in the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)’s 1991 Investors Forum in Ho Chi Minh City and subsequent meetings with government leaders in Hanoi.

For a decade Ed worked with government, businesses, organized labor, NGOs and educational institutions interested in establishing programs in Southeast Asia. Through his alma mater, the College of Staten Island, he lectured, initiated programs related to and assisted in development of the City University of New York’s establishment of English language training in and educational exchanges with Vietnam.

On one of his trips to Vietnam, Ed brought his daughter Zoeann along with him, and that journey ended in a book they co-wrote, “Vietnam: A Father Daughter Journey.” In addition to that book, Ed has had four photography exhibits related to Vietnam and participated in the development of two movies also related to Vietnam.

In 1999, Murphy began to work with the NYS AFL-CIO, and helped establish the Workforce Development Institute as a national leader in workforce intelligence, education and training of unionized workers. The Workforce Development Institute’s mission is to improve the lives of working families across New York State by providing programs in workforce intelligence, economic development, training and education, cultural enrichment, family support, and disabled and dislocated worker services.

In addition, with his work with the Workforce Development Institute he is currently collaborating with the actor Mark Ruffalo training workers with skills to work in the renewable energy field.

I met with Ed at his home just outside Saratoga Springs, NY. There we talked at length about the issues near and dear to Ed’s heart, of peace and the meaningless of war, and how decades after the war ended in Vietnam how important is it to learn those lessons so that we don’t repeat them – although as evidenced from what the U.S. is currently doing with its military presence in the Middle East, we are repeating them.

For Ed, as he says, “Vietnam lives in my soul.”  It is a mantra that for him carries many meanings – reconciliation, love, forgiveness, and the universal brotherhood of Man.

This is an inspiring interview with someone who has made peace his life’s mission, and has seen upfront and personal what happens when we don’t reach out to those different than us in order to find common ground and instead seek to destroy their country and their culture.

Let us all learn these lessons of life – and as we do so, we will remember the words of Gandhi: “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”

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