Saturday, August 22, 2009

Where I'm at today

I've been starting to get really into yoga lately, which I am quite excited about. Besides the physical benefits which are obvious, I have been surprised to find the spiritual benefits are drawing me in. Not in a way that would contradict religious beliefs or what have you. But yoga seems to boost my spirituality, I suppose making me reflect on my self image, how I live in the moment, and my appreciation for life. One thing that has really inspired me from my classes is the concept of respecting myself where I am today, my capabilities, strengths, desires and limitations. I often discourage myself by thinking I am not doing enough, or am not capable of what I should be capable of. Yoga seems to take the word should out of use, only focusing on what is. As well, one of my teachers emphasized being an indtender in class last week. As in doing everything you do with intention, not be default or accident, but by active choice and with care and energy. I would go as far as saying that on top of it, we should not half-ass anything, but actually only do what we really have the energy and will to do with our full heart, mind and strength. So, I'm going to start my new semester of school with those thoughts in mind.

Classes I will be taking: Biostatistics & Intro to Global Public Health
Both are requirements, and I am expecting them to be challenging but useful.

As well, I am spending the rest of August pinning down my choice for an Advisor -- who will help me focus my degree and determine what/where/how I will be doing an international immersion for my internship, field work and eventual thesis research. I spent a lot of time researching professors, what they are interested in, what activities they do, and where they are connected. I've found a few that are promising, but one at the top of the list whom I think has a grassroots mindset that would compliment mine. He arranged a meeting with me next week, and instead of the normal "meet me in my office" style, he called and asked that I meet him at an immigrant clinic he volunteers at, to volunteer with him while discussing my ideas. Right up my alley -- and hopefully an opportunity to practice some Spanish. So, I intend to find out what his research of the moment focuses on, where his connections are for international experiences, and how my interests align with his. I'm looking forward to this.

Finally, I will be intentionally reflecting on how to integrate my Public Health career objectives in the job I currently have. Instead of going through the motions at work, I want to feel like it is prepping me for my future career instead of just paying the bills and enabling a free education (though these are important). I want to have confidence that the time I am spending now at work is not just for a paycheck, but in some way will keep me on the path towards something great.

Consider it: Writing out your intentions for the week and seeing how well you focus on them

Unlearn it: doing things by default, or without passion, energy or purpose

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

waste haters

I hate wasting!! I hate all of the office waste of perfectly good supplies...paper, office supplies, furniture, etc. When did we get so the point that throwing perfectly usable things out was a norm? How do I contradict this culture and inspire others to do the same???

I'm going to start a waste haters club I think. Are you with me??? It will be Naked Lady Parties (clothing swaps), yard sales, reduce/reuse/recycle campaigns galore!

Consider it:
Check out my link below and watch the Story of Stuff. And join me when I get a chance to go live here:

Unlearn it: trashing things that can be of good use

Sunday, August 9, 2009

what's food got to do with it?

What does it mean to pursue health in a sustainable context? Can I strive to be sustainable as an individual by the way I treat my own body? I suppose when I first reflect on sustainable health, I think of health care that can be maintained in challenging contexts, supplies and equipment being provided by the natives of that area, and practical application of solutions regarding the health and wellness problems in a community.

But what about in the context of the individual? What if I'm practicing poor consumption habits, not taking care of my health, hygiene or neglecting to exercise? I think in order for me to promote sustainable health in any context I must first master and sustain my own health and well being. I suppose its that concept of taking care of yourself in order to have enough to take care of others appropriately. I must say I am personally reexamining my own health and how to better sustain my own well being. It is a challenging thing to do, especially with the past few years I have had with health issues. Injuries only further complicates the matter, and I have come to realize that making all your doctor's appointments doesn't make you a healthy person.

The topic of food seems to regularly arise when pondering this issue. I went to a lecture a few weeks ago on antibiotic use in animals we eat. Which made me want to become a vegetarian. And then I went and saw Food Inc. a week or so ago - and I recommend you see it! It was quite insightful and gave me plenty to reflect upon. Perhaps sustainable health is partly achieved through eating sustainable foods. Being responsible and consuming that which has been grown or raised appropriately and without unnatural chemicals is quite important. I get discouraged with this though, because I am on a very limited budget, and I'm not great at planning out my meals and diet in general. I suppose having a gourmet chef in the house, though quite nice, also gave me an excuse to get out of the habit of thinking and planning out my meals...since he usually did this for me. But since he has left for the Peace Corps, I have realized how my personal choices for food need to be much more educated and deliberate than they are. And really if I learn how to be smart about it, buying fresh and local does not have to be too expensive. Perhaps more time consuming, but anything where you are changing a habit is. So I'm going to check out farm shares, and start researching where and how to get my hands on fresh, local and hormone free, pesticide free food products. And I'm going to start making a deliberate effort to not consume things which use CORN where it is not meant to be used. Any suggestions?

Consider it: Is this land your land or my land? Was this land was made for you and me? And if it is, why are we allowing such abuse to our resources?

Unlearn it:
that you are powerless over influencing change. Every time you eat, you are casting a vote for how your food should be produced [From Food Inc.]