Sunday, December 11, 2016

Stand For Clean Water; Stand With Standing Rock Part 1

Protecting our fresh water supply is not a Native American problem it is a human problem. We have a limited amount of fresh water on the planet and it's needed to sustain much of the life on earth, humans included. "Water is an essential component for life as we know it. Our bodies are comprised of more than 70% water. Humans can survive only a few days without water yet can survive a month or more without food. Water powers our bodies, from the elasticity of our myofascia (cognitive tissue) to the ability to process thoughts coherently, it literally is our life's blood." Excerpt from Water Presents Us With Deeper Reflection. The Native American Nations, Indigenous Peoples of Central and South America, New Zealand, Australia and land and water protectors have come together at Standing Rock to remind us to put the well-being of the land, water, air and people before profits for a corporation. 

This writeup is an overview for my readers not familiar with the Standing Rock Movement as well as a resource for my readers inspired to stand with those at Standing Rock. There are many ways we can help. The struggle for safe and clean water at Standing Rock is not over yet. While the Army Corps of Engineers has ordered constriction halted by revoking the easement, the corporation has not stopped construction on other sections of the pipeline and have stated their intention to continue with their plans. Winter has set in and temperatures are freezing and the committed water protectors need our help.

While Native American cultures and customs have historically  varied from Nation to Nation all shared a deep respect for Mother Earth and lived with gratitude for all things provided by The Great Spirit. They taught their young that humans were the stewards of the land and the caretakers of its natural resources and were responsible to protect the land, water, plants, animals and air for future generations. Native wisdom did not view humans as the owners of the land or the natural resources found in it, it was a "sin" to exploit or pollute it. "You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of our grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children that we have taught our children that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves."
~ Chief Seattle - Quote shared from "Native American Wisdom, Images and Quotes". 

While Native Americans were the first peoples in North America they have been eradicated on the majority of our continent and those remaining have been relegated to tiny plots of land once deemed worthless to white settlers. We have tried to erase their history, culture and language, yet without Native Wisdom our society would not exist. The original people of North America contributed to the very foundation of our modern democracies. "Indian governments in eastern North America, particularly the League of the Iroquois, served as models of federated representative democracy to the Europeans and the American colonists. The United States government is based on such a system, whereby power is distributed between a central authority (the federal government) and smaller political units (the states)". (1) They taught early settlers about the animals and plants best suited to thrive in the settlers' new world and signed treaties in good faith that were broken time and time again.

Sadly it seems that not much has changed in our treatment of Native Americans over the last 450 years. Standing Rock is a present day reminder of the injustices and poor living conditions our Native American sisters and brothers have had to endure for centuries. 

Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. is trying to build an oil pipeline under the Missouri River which many Native Tribes, Water Protectors and Land Defenders feel puts at risk the only supply of fresh drinking water to the Sioux tribes as well as any other people living down stream. The corporation is also digging on lands Native American tribes hold sacred. On April 1st a prayer ride on horseback from Sitting Bull’s burial site in Fort Yates, N.D., to the Sacred Stone Camp site initiated the movement at Standing Rock and that prayer has continued in daily group ceremonies, water ceremonies, prayers before meals, prayers with sage, tobacco and cedar, songs and chants, sweat loges and the sacred fire. The Standing Rock Sioux Nation have invited people of all faiths and beliefs to join in prayer. “As long as there’s prayer, we don’t judge. Our belief is there’s one Creator, and he taught all the nations of this world a way to pray in their own way”, Standing Rock Sioux tribal councilman Dana Yellow Fat is quoted saying. They have created the largest gathering of Native Americans in the past hundred years. Native peoples as well as those that stand in solidarity with them have come together in prayer and in action to peacefully stand their ground and protect the water for their children and our children. 

In September of 2016 PBS News Hour aired this new story about Standing Rock. 
Tribes across North America converge at Standing Rock, hoping to be heard



Stories From Standing Rock | Vogue - November 2016

Peaceful and prayerful Water Protecters have been harassed both verbally and physically. They have had dogs set on them. They have had water cannons turned on them in freezing temperatures, flash grenades, rubber bullets, mace and to date over 500 of them have been arrested. I had the honor of interviewing three Water Protectors that stood at Standing Rock, Lou and Rich Guerrero and Shannah Bupp. Shannah was arrested while trying to help an Elder on crutches. I'll be doing a write-up about them and sharing their stories for my next post but for now you can watch Standing Rock Part Two to get a better idea the situation.


Standing Rock: Part Two | The Turnaround: Your World in 360

Lakota People's Law Project is calling on individuals and organizations to divest from banks funding the Dakota Access Pipeline. Sign their petition at http://lakotalaw.org/pipeline-action
Check out their DAPL Timeline at http://lakotalaw.org/oceti-sakowin-camp.


Standing Rock Update From Daniel Sheehan & Chase Iron Eyes (12/7/2016) Lakota People's Law Project: You can SIGN their petition to OBAMA: http://lakotalaw.org/

Important websites and links to help you take action, support the Water Protectors and keep up to date with the movement at Standing Rock: 

Stand With Standing Rock Website "In honor of our future generations, we fight this pipeline to protect our water, our sacred places, and all living beings." The Oceti Sakowin Camp represents a first of its kind historic gathering of Indigenous Nations. The most recent such assembly of Tribes occurred when the Great Sioux Nation gathered before the Battle at the Little Big Horn.

Oceti Sakowin Camp Website Urgent Update 12/10/16: ADVISORY: OCETI SAKOWIN CAMP IS NOT ACCEPTING NEW ARRIVALS DUE TO SEVERE WEATHER CONDITIONS THIS WEEKEND.We truly appreciate your support and willingness to be on the ground as a showoff solidarity, but we are closing camp doors to new arrivals for safety reasons. Please continue to support through prayer and actions that you can take at home. Stay tuned for further updates via website, Facebook, and Twitter.

If you have a camp at Standing Rock and you have online contact info such as website, Facebook page, etc where the public can donate or learn more about your work, I would be honored to add your link to this post. Please message me or leave info in comments. 

I hope you will join me in doing what you can to help our Native American sisters and brothers protect clean drinking water for their children and ours.

References:
(1) "The History of Native Americans" Scholastic.com

Pilamaya! Thank you! for visiting. Wishing you Peace today and everyday.




Aurora's "Speak Your Art Blog Hub" combines posts from seven of her other blogs: In the Flow Studios ArtsIn the Flow Studios BodyI Love Shelter DogsMana KeepersPaaMano Eskrima & Performing ArtsSelf-Actualization thru Women's Empowerment and Speak Your Art Poetry. It brings her organizations together and offers her readers an easier way to follow new posts in one convenient location. 



POI


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The California Condor; A Story of Tragedy, Survival and the Possibility of Redemption

Friends of the California Condors
The plight for the survival of the California Condor, the largest flying bird in North America has been a perilous one. These majestic, birds with a 10 foot wing span, once reined freely over the skies of North and Central America but by 1982 were reduced to a population of 22. In 1987 conservationists and biologists surmised that the only way to save the species from extinction was to capture the remaining California Condors and start a captive breeding program designed to raise their numbers and eventually release them back into the wild. It was called the California Condor Recovery Project. To date the project can boast to over 400 live California Condors and over 200 of them have been released and are living in California, Arizona, Utah and Baja California. 

I had the privilege of watching a screening of "The Condor's Shadow" at the Placerita Canyon Nature Center hosted by Friends of the California Condors Wild and Free. I found it a moving, nostalgic, informative and inspiring film. The footage of the condors' in their natural habitat is awe-inspiring and the dedication of the humans entrusted with their care brings hope for a better tomorrow. 



When I was a girl I remember the debate over the correct action for humans to take over the fate of these birds. Some said that the condor had had its day and should be allowed to become extinct, others felt that humans had directly contributed to its potential extinction and that humans had a responsibility to preserve the species. I agreed with the latter. I remember going to the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park and seeing their enclosures in the late 80's and early 90's. I visited the Los Angeles Zoo and learned about the captive breeding programs and the plans to reintroduce them into the wild. The film brought me back to my journey with the California Condor, at times it was sad, at times it was incredulous and then the miraculous happened, condors we reintroduced into the wild and hope sprang eternal.

"The Condor's Shadow" encompasses much more than the conservation history of the condor. It takes the viewer behind the scenes and shares the world not only of the condor but of the biologists and conservationist that work tirelessly to protect them. One of the most poignant parts of the film for me was when, Jane Hamber - condor biologist and activist, read her journal entry on the day the last free condor was captured. Her entry eloquently illustrated the depth and breadth of what so many must have felt that day. It brought me to tears and gave me a new understanding of the tremendous weight of responsibility these biologists and conservationists must have felt. 

The Condor's Shadow is a bittersweet story told beautifully and authentically. It captures the plight of the California Condor's survival and the work of diverse groups of people coming together to ensure its success. Below is the trailer from the film. Please visit the links provided to the film's website for more information about the film and for screening opportunities.  

The Condor's Shadow - Trailer - YouTube


I had the opportunity to meet Joseph Brandt, one of the featured condor biologists in "The Condor's Shadow", at the screening. Spending over a decade in the field and interacting intimately with the magnificent California Condor, he brought firsthand knowledge of the birds and their struggles. While he clearly conveyed the challenges that face this bird he also brought stories of hope for a brighter future. People like Joseph Brandt are the unsung heroes of our planet. They quietly and consistently endanger life and limb to protect the wild for the rest of us and for future generations. Without the vision, commitment and compassion of those lovers and protectors of nature our own future as a species is in jeopardy. A heart felt thank you to Joseph for taking time away from the field to meet with us and to inspire us out of our doldrums.



He was sporting this beautiful shirt designed by a group of grade school students, reminding us that we each, regardless of age or ability, have talents to contribute to the conservation effort. Whether we are painters, poets, photographers, musicians, biologists, hunters, geneticist or third graders, we all have unique and needed gifts to share. 



In his TEDx Talk, "How we brought the condor back from the brink", Michael Mace shares the amazing story of the California Condor, the challenges it still faces and how far the population has come from the beginning of the California Condor Recovery Project in the 1980's to the present.


How we brought the condor back from the brink | Michael Mace | TEDxDeExtinction

There are three major challenges faced by California Condor to its successful survival in its natural habitats. 



One of these challenges is something called micro trash. While many people wouldn't give littler of this small size a second thought it is lethally dangerous to young condors. Parents bring the micro trash into the nest and the babies feed on it. It is impossible to digest and can cause fatal impaction of the gut. We can all make a difference in the accumulation of micro trash. We can make sure that we don't litter even small plastic bottle caps. We can make sure to pick up after ourselves even bits of broken glass or wires. We can carry a bag to fill with trash when we go on walks or hikes. We can also volunteer our time and labor for Micro Trash clean ups. 

Another potentially lethal challenge is lead poisoning. Studies have shown that condors ingest lead by eating the remains of animals that have been hunted with lead bullets. While in our modern society, responsible hunters provide an important food source for the California Condor and help ensure its survival, hunters that use lead ammunition are directly poisoning the condors. At least half of the wild condor population must be treated for lead poisoning on a regular basis. If a bird with high levels goes untreated for too long it is fatal, as we see happens in the film A Flight Plan for the California Condor. If you are a hunter and are interested in learning more about how you can help save the condor by changing your ammunition please visit Hunting with Non-lead Ammunition's website.

Challenge number three directly relates to the previous challenges. Our human behaviors such as littering and hunting with lead ammunition are directly responsible for almost every condor fatality in the wild. Therefor we need humans dedicated to the welfare and health of the condors to intervene on behalf of the rest of us. It is currently the only way to counter act our ignorance and potentially fatalistic behaviors towards the condor in particular and the natural world in general.  



A Flight Plan for the California Condor

In the film A Flight Plan for the California Condor we hear from field biologists, geneticists and condor activists. The film shares the important roles key zoos have played in the breeding program and the challenges they face in keeping a healthy population in the wild. There is also information about the California Condor live streaming program. It gives people from around the world an opportunity to get to know these amazing birds in their natural habitat.

Education and knowledge are key if we are to ensure the California Condors' survival for future generations. Teacher and educators can play an important part in educating our future generations about condors with Condor Kids, a curriculum designed to help students fall in love with the California Condor. 
About The Program:

Condor Kids has received the 2016 Superintendents Award in Excellence in Education. 

The curriculum is designed with active learning in mind. All 27 lessons are teacher friendly and standards aligned – correlated to NGSS & CC standards & organized with the EQuIP rubric. This curriculum is part of a much broader conservation partnership between U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Santa Barbara Zoo. Designed with Fillmore Unified School District students in mind, our project includes the development of this curriculum, nest monitoring strategies (and live streaming cameras), as well as student field trips to Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge, Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge, and the Santa Barbara Zoo. This link, Condor Kids, will take you to their website.


The California Department of Fish and Game is a great resource for all things related to the California Condor. They even have live streaming cam links directly on their site. 


Hopper Mountain National Refuge is another incredible source of information with live Condor cams and links to references and resources to protect, educate and inspire. They have a "get involved section" on the website offering several opportunities to make your own contribution towards the survival of the California Condor. 


If you are a Facebook user The Condor Cave is a page you'll love to visit. About The Condor Cave page in their own words. Flights, camera, action! The stage is set to watch a wild condor nest develop from hatch to fledge thanks to the first wild condor nest camera. Follow the highlights on our page!







In closing, I hope you will enjoy this song by Roland H. Ferrer of Sound of Zero inspired by the majestic California Condor. It is also a thank you to Joseph Brandt and all of the people that have dedicated their lives to protect the condor.

Placerita Canyon Nature Center
A special thank you to Placerita Canyon Nature Center and to Friends of the California Condors Wild and Free for hosting "The Condor's Shadow" and for all that they do to protect and preserve nature and all of the creatures that live in it (including humans).








Thank you for visiting. Wishing you Peace today and everyday.



Aurora's "Speak Your Art Blog Hub" combines posts from seven of her other blogs: In the Flow Studios ArtsIn the Flow Studios BodyI Love Shelter DogsMana KeepersPaaMano Eskrima & Performing ArtsSelf-Actualization thru Women's Empowerment and Speak Your Art Poetry. It brings her organizations together and offers her readers an easier way to follow new posts in one convenient location. 

POI

Monday, April 4, 2016

C.G. Jung Wisdoms and Quotes

Carl Gustav Jung's hand print
Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and contemporary to Sigmund Freud. He founded the school of analytical psychology. He theorized and developed the concepts of the extroverted and introverted personality, archetypes, and the collective unconscious. Carl Jung used his personal experiences to inspire much of his research. It is said that for many years Jung felt as if he had two separate personalities. One personality was introverted and other was extroverted. This awareness and introspection resulted in his study of integration and wholeness. His work has been influential not only in psychology, but in religion, art, metaphysics and literature as well.

Jung was born on July 26, 1875 in Kesswil, Switzerland and attend the University of Basel from 1895-1900. Jung studied biology, zoology, paleontology, and archaeology, before deciding to pursue medicine. He also explored philosophy, mythology, early Christian literature as well as religion at length. Jung became an assistant physician at Burgholzli Psychiatric clinic under Eugen Bleuler. In 1902 he obtained his M.D. from the University of Zurich. His dissertation was entitled "On the Psychology and Pathology of So -Called Occult Phenomena". 

Later Jung published "Psychology and the Unconscious" which argued against some of Freud's ideas. In 1912 "Symbols and Transformations of the Libido" was published. Jung wanted to understand the symbolic meaning of the contents of the unconscious. In order to distinguish between individual psychology and psychoanalysis Jung gave his discipline the name "analytical psychology."

In the book "Psychological Types", Jung shared his interest in the study of mythological and religious symbolism. His studies took him all over the world where he had the opportunity to observe many different cultures. He was interested in tracing the analogies between the contents of the unconscious in Western man and the myths, cults, and rituals of primitive peoples. Jungian therapy deals with dreams and fantasies. (A discussion is set up between the conscious and the contents of the unconscious.) Jung's total amount of work is very large. It is estimated that he authored 200 papers. An edition of his Collected Works in English was completed in 1972 by the Bollingen Foundation in New York and Routledge and Kegan Paul in London.

Jung inspired and continues to inspire introspection on a personal as well as global level. His work is as relevant today as it was when he originally published. Here I share some of his better known quotes. I hope you'll find one that inspires you. 

"We are born at a given moment, in a given place and, like vintage years of wine, we have the qualities of the year and of the season of which we are born. Astrology does not lay claim to anything more."

"For a young person, it is almost a sin, or at least a danger, to be too preoccupied with himself; but for the aging person, it is a duty and a necessity to devote serious attention to himself."

"Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better take things as they come along with patience and equanimity."

"The man who promises everything is sure to fulfill nothing, and everyone who promises too much is in danger of using evil means in order to carry out his promises, and is already on the road to perdition."

"Great talents are the most lovely and often the most dangerous fruits on the tree of humanity. They hang upon the most slender twigs that are easily snapped off." 

"The most intense conflicts, if overcome, leave behind a sense of security and calm that is not easily disturbed. It is just these intense conflicts and their conflagration which are needed to produce valuable and lasting results."

"Inferno It all depends on how we look at things, and not how they are in themselves."


"Just as we might take Darwin as an example of the normal extraverted thinking type, the normal introverted thinking type could be represented by Kant. The one speaks with facts, the other relies on the subjective factor. Darwin ranges over the wide field of objective reality, Kant restricts himself to a critique of knowledge." 

"The Christian missionary may preach the gospel to the poor naked heathen, but the spiritual heathen who populate Europe have as yet heard nothing of Christianity."

"All the works of man have their origin in creative fantasy. What right have we then to depreciate imagination."

"Origin Shrinking away from death is something unhealthy and abnormal which robs the second half of life of its purpose."


"A human being would certainly not grow to be seventy or eighty years old if this longevity had no meaning for the species. The afternoon of human life must also have a significance of its own and cannot be merely a pitiful appendage to life's morning." 



The Jung Page http://www.cgjungpage.org


Thank you for visiting. Wishing you Peace today and everyday.


Aurora's "Speak Your Art Blog Hub" combines posts from seven of her other blogs: In the Flow Studios ArtsIn the Flow Studios BodyI Love Shelter DogsMana KeepersPaaMano Eskrima & Performing ArtsSelf-Actualization thru Women's Empowerment and Speak Your Art Poetry. It brings her organizations together and offers her readers an easier way to follow new posts in one convenient location. 


POI

Monday, March 28, 2016

Turning Adversity into Positivity

A quick post about overcoming adversity and keeping a positive attitude during challenging times, about believing in yourself, and remembering that this too shall pass.

Sharing a bit of wisdom from our dear friend William Shakespeare. Don't let adversity, fear or defeats define you. Take the opportunity to find the jewel hidden within the challenge. And remember, this too shall pass. 





"Rise up this mornin',
Smile with the risin' sun,
Three little birds
Each by my doorstep
Singin' sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Sayin', ("This is my message to you-ou-ou: ")

Singin': "Don't worry 'bout a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right."
Singin': "Don't worry (don't worry) 'bout a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right! " Bob Marley



Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise states plainly what so many visionaries already know..."Things are only impossible until they are not". Don't let anyone dissuade you from being the first! 


The Road Not Taken
BY ROBERT FROST
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Image by AZ Quotes
Thank you for visiting. Wishing you Peace today and everyday.



POI