Five Powerful Lessons from Gandhi
Nature’s subtlest sounds can illuminate our being with astonishment and gratitude.
“Silence is like scouring sand,” says Gordon Hempton, an award-winning acoustic ecologist. “When you are quiet, the silence blows against your mind and etches away everything soft and unimportant. What is left is what is real: pure awareness and the very hardest questions.”
“All creative people want to do the unexpected.” ~ Hedy Lamarr
When we say someone or something is creative, do we mean imaginative, innovative, inventive, artistic or fantastic? Creativity is about being inquisitive and open to new ideas as well as new ways of putting those ideas together. Individual artists, who are naturally inventive, are central to sustaining the creative spirit for society as a whole.
Spiritual pilgrimages, religious retreats and other faith-based journeys comprise one of today’s fastest-growing travel markets, according to the World Tourism Organization. The first International Conference on Religious Tourism in 2006 estimated it to be an $18 billion industry worldwide. A Travel Industry Association of America survey found that one in four travelers said they were currently interested in taking a spiritual vacation, and the interest is spread evenly among all adult age groups.
Shifts toward sustainability in the wedding industry are now allowing brides and grooms to achieve the wedding day of their dreams in budget-friendly ways.
Couples are using the big occasion as an opportunity to nurture their personal and financial well-being, protect the environment and support their communities. We may all be inspired by their example in choosing these top sustainable alternatives to standard wedding practices.
There’s No Place Like Home ~ From venues to menus, couples are making efforts to reduce their carbon footprint and cut their budgets by keeping celebrations “all in the neighborhood.” Backyard weddings are helping guests cut back on travel, and caterers are responding to clients’ demands for more locally produced food. Wedding favors and decorations come from local artisans and shops.
Floral Options ~ Conventional cut flowers are expensive, plus, they’re grown with pesticides and have a huge carbon footprint, so couples are instead decorating with living succulents and paper flowers. Many will eschew the floral look altogether by using soy candles, fruit and found objects for table centerpieces and bouquets.
by Scott Blum
I was fortunate to spend time with an enigmatic man named Robert during a very special period of my life. Robert taught me many things during our days together, and this time of year reminds me of one particular interaction we had.
“Now that you are becoming more aware,” Robert said, “you need to begin to set goals for yourself, so you don’t lose the momentum you have built.”
“Like New Year’s resolutions?” I asked.
“That’s an interesting idea,” he smirked. “Let’s do that.” By then, I was used to his cryptic responses, so I knew something was up because of the way his eyes sparkled as he let out an impish laugh.
“Tonight’s assignment is to make two lists,” Robert continued. “The first is a list of all the New Year’s resolutions you want to keep, and the second is a list of all the New Year’s resolutions you will keep. Write the want list first, and when you have exhausted all of your ideas, then write the second list on another sheet of paper.”