Saturday, 4 May 2013

Seeds of Hope

Sushi-Spiral  Ephemeral Art on the Beach
Our local Korean-owned Sushi shop is a healthy snack option for everyone, including Vegetarians.  A selection for lunch cost less than $10 and I enjoy the fact that even though their English is limited, there is always a smile for customers.  I usually use my very limited Korean - Annyeong hob se yo!  or Hello.  And Kamm sang nee dah (spelling is not guaranteed - thank you) which they really appreciate.
The first time I called out Ann yeong, they looked surprised and asked how I knew they were Korean.  They said most people assume they are Japanese, because it is a sushi shop!  Well, probably, the 7 years we spent in Auckland, hosting various language students, helped hone my Japanese vs Korean differentiation skills!
Actually, pigs do fly here...
Now, last year some time, I was concerned to see that our Sushi shop had the usual recyclable take-away plastic trays, along with plates for eating sushi in-house.  The plates were polystyrene.  I held one up and asked if they could please consider using paper or washable plates, which were far better for the environment.  The lady, who is by far the better English speaker, understood me and explained that they do not have the space or facilities for washing plates, and that the polystyrene plates were far cheaper than paper plates.  Being a small outlet and given that I understand the economics of small businesses, I thought that it was a cut and dried deal.  I quietly vowed to never use the polystyrene plates, even if I ate there.  At times, when I remembered, I even took my own plastic container to collect my take-away sushi.
Garden Art (photo by Shayni)

photo by Shayni
Yesterday my daughter and I went for a lunch snack and upon arrival, I immediately spied the paper plates!  Given that there were no other customers in the shop at the time, I picked up a paper plate and made a little happy song and dance for them, in appreciation. I thanked them and asked if they knew that polystyrene takes a thousand years to break down (well, apparently they NEVER break down, only the pieces get smaller and smaller).  The owner's eyes widened and she smiled at my show of gratitude.  Goes to show, when you plant seeds of hope, you NEVER know if they will grow, or how long it will take!  Plant them anyhow!  Perhaps, other eco-conscious shoppers also shared their concern about the polystyrene plates.   Anyway, what a choice day!!  Sushi with a conscience!  Hip, hip - hooray!

Peaches from a seed-sown pip..... the rewards
I don't want to seem like I am bragging or skiting here, but really, the power of suggestion is never to be underestimated!  I often find changes can be made, for the better, by merely suggesting it to others.  Ultimately, people want to do the right thing, and even though your suggestion is the polar opposite of what they are currently doing, they will think about it.  Sometimes a change requires a shift in gears, to accommodate the new idea and may take several miles before that change can take place, but along the road, they will encounter other people or articles which fit alongside that suggestion, till finally, they make the slow change-over.  It may concern their health or simply the way they do or view things.  We never got to where we are by accident.  We reached this point with the help of suggestions, by others, through reading articles, magazines or books, watching documentaries or listening to teachers.  Not teachers in the academic sense, but outstanding people who were in touch with what they do..... Joe Polaischer comes to mind, permaculture guru.  R.I.P.  He showed us a way of gardening and farming, that did not harm the planet or us!  Don Tolman, my health and well-being guru.  He set us straight on what really constitutes a healthy diet (even though, before meeting him, we thought we had a healthy lifestyle and diet!).  He teaches ancient wisdoms - from the likes of teachers such as Hippocrates - "Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food".  What a great way to live and be well!

Nature's medicines
These two teachers had a profound impact on our lives.  They shared their wisdom with us and I feel that it is imperative to share this with others.  Our world and it's people are getting sicker and sicker by the day!  Louise Hay is another teacher from whom I learned that we create all illnesses within ourselves.  And if you find that depressing don't!  The antithesis of that is that if you are powerful enough to create the illness within, then you have the power to un-create or heal yourself!!  I love that idea!  It is so empowering!  Before, I would gladly give my illness over to a doctor.  Now, I look to "curing" myself, whatever that illness may be.  I took back my power!  I hear so many people say, "I suffer from this........ I wonder if it is related to the pills I take for that...."  Sad.  Real medicine should cause no harm!
The sky's the limit when it comes to Seeds of Hope
We have had so many people share our home, from different parts of the world, through the HelpXchange network, and everyone is dealing with something!  Everyone!  Be it emotional, or be it physical.  Something that binds and holds them back from reaching their full potential!  I sow seeds of Hope for them.  I show them EFT, share books or DVD's with wisdoms they may not have yet come across.  We see some people changing old habits right before our eyes, or sometimes, they tell us via email, of changes they have made, for the better, and how it impacts on their lives.  I find this humbling, but so encouraging and enlightening!  Not in the spiritual sense of the word, but in hope and outlook.
Garden Visitor is fed corn seed by hand
I have always said that advice is like a gift.  You cannot be attached to the gift you give away.  When you gift someone a present, you can encourage them to open it, you can encourage them even to use it but you can't force them!  Same with advice - one can't be attached to the outcome of the advice given - you can't expect someone to implement or use the advice!  It is a gift.  Given with love.  The more love that accompanies the advice, the more chance there is that someone will find it useful!
Hopi Red Beans

Purple Yeome Beans

Saving Seeds of Hope..... Central Tree Crops Association Seed Saving Project
Saving North American Indigenous Bean seeds from extinction
Seeds of Hope.  Working with children is like planting hundreds of seeds of hope each and every day!  You watch these children take on board your advice, or provocations for them to come up with a solution and sometimes you are amazed at what their thinking is capable of.  As Don Tolman points out, "You are the sum total of all the books of knowledge of all the people that came before you", i.e, your ancestors.  These children too, are my teachers!  I have learned so much from them - to take my time and not be hurried along, to stay in the moment and enjoy each and every moment, to see things in a simplistic way and not to complicate everything, to accept things and not always fight them, to smile and laugh often, to hug everyday and at every opportunity you get,  to share your ideas, no matter how crazy they seem coz' that's how we solve problems and to never be afraid of trying - sometimes all you need is a helping hand to overcome your fear.
Life's little miracles
My husband and I always acknowledge how blessed in life we are.  We have a beautiful home, garden, family and life.  We do not live in a war-torn country, we aren't living in poverty or violence and we are certainly not hungry, hurt or disadvantaged.  So once we were financially able to, we decided to spend $100 on charities every month.  He loves the idea of sponsoring children through World Vision (having done that for 5 years a while back, at the suggestion of my son when he was about 7), I was not so sure as I had become attached to the child, Ana, from Guatemala and was devastated when they informed me 5 years later that her community no longer needed sponsoring and I did not even have the chance of writing a farewell letter.  So he sponsors 3 children in India (which means he has to write to them as well) for $60 a month (cheaper to sponsor via World Vision India, rather than through WV New Zealand, which includes admin charges here).  I get to spend the remaining $40 on charities of my choice each month.  The list changes every month - from Green Peace saving the oceans, to saving bears in India, seals in Canada, AVAAZ campaigns, pigs and chickens in battery farms or whatever cause comes to my attention during that month!  It's a great feeling to be able to sow seeds of change and hope.  
So I encourage people to plant seeds of Hope, whatever or wherever they may be!  Give away the gift of advice.  Sow seeds of Change and stand back.  Watch as they grow and blossom.

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