Whew! Lots of bad news going around these days. But there’s plenty of good stuff, too. Starting with a recent cover from The New Yorker, I talk about tending the garden that is your heart. I also share a personal story about my Dad and suggest a way that you can focus your good energy and really make a difference in the world. I even threw in a little green tip on mighty arugula. Take a moment and read the June issue of ACP Enews.
Sounds like a joke set-up but it’s not. Last month, I witnessed a guy get into a dumpster and close the lid. He didn’t come out. After 30 minutes, I called the police thinking what if he was sick, wounded, dying? Two squad cars responded within 5 minutes and he turned out to be none of those. But he was clearly disheveled, disturbed and in trouble. This incident weighed on my heart. How does one get to such a low point in life as to seek refuge in a dumpster? More importantly, what could I or anyone do to help? The mental health system continues to be overwhelmed. Police are getting special training in counseling and intervention. Street drugs have become the norm. Homelessness has arrived at our doorstep. So again, what can be done to help? I called back the police to thank them for their quick response and to ask what they suggest if a citizen wants to help in prevention or solution? The answer? 211. Ever hear of it? Me neither. Apparently, a lot of folks don’t know about it including my neighbors, my dentist, his assistant and pretty much anyone I’ve talked with in the last few weeks. 211 is the 911 for resources. Everything from suicide to abuse to hunger to shelter to senior needs and paying bills. It’s a clearinghouse for 50k programs and over 3k agencies across the nation and Canada. Anyone can call the 211 hotline and talk to an operator who is trained to listen and provide appropriate connections. Part of the 211 manifesto reads: WE BELIEVE in the transformative power of collective action. So do I. Please share this number. Visit 211.org to learn more about services and volunteering opportunities in your local community. Shine the light!
What do Air Wick, d-CON and Sani-Flush have in common? They are just a few of the 30+ power brands produced by the humongous conglomerate known as Reckitt Benckiser (RB for short). I’m focusing on Air Wick today as, once again, I am incensed by their continued false ad campaigns. Inspired by the latest blast by Truth in Advertising, I did some more digging. I wanted to know how a product that contains Dipropylene glycol monomethyl ether, Hexyl salicylate and a chemically derived camphor was getting away with it. Easy. They don’t list the ingredients on the label. None of their products do. Instead, they refer you to their website where you’ll find all the ingredients conveniently entitled “fragrance components” – wow. What’s more, RB has the nerve to claim that their Air Wick products “help people lead healthier lives” – really? I guess they’re counting on consumers ignoring the product ratings from EWG (Environmental Working Group) which has given every one of Air Wick’s 104 products a D or an F (scale of A to F) with warnings like: “Potential for skin irritation/allergies/damage; acute aquatic toxicity; nervous system effects.” So here’s my annual Buyer Beware reminder: There is no regulation for the terms fragrance, natural or pure. Branding pros can slap that on a label with no accountability. When in doubt, avoid anything with the word fragrance. Ditto the word scented. Never buy anything that doesn’t list the ingredients on the label. I use authentic essential oils daily and have for years but whether it’s oils, herbs or supplements – know your source and use wisely.
Fall is officially here and most of us couldn’t be happier. Autumn is, in fact, THE most popular season of our nation. A Gallup poll done a few years ago ranked it number one with Summer coming in 2nd, Spring 3rd and Winter 4th. This is the time of year when I remind everyone (myself included) about the power of letting go. Whether it’s stuff in your space, weight on your heart or things in your head – letting go brings clearer energy and renewed strength. Like leaves that release from their branches, Nature shows us that it is the letting go that allows for new growth to happen. So, use this natural energy to help you remove and restore on all levels. It’s SO worth it!
Watch here for favorite tips on getting clear this season.
Here’s my favorite drink for staying hydrated and pH balanced. Simple (just 3 ingredients) and satisfying, I drink this water year round but it’s especially refreshing during the summer heat. In a glass carafe or pitcher, add 1/2 sliced cucumber, juice of 1 lemon (or lime) and 1 bunch of mint leaves (about 15). Fill carafe with water. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours. Sip on the water throughout the day for a tasty, alkaline treat. Brew will last up to 2 days. Even cooler tip: Before making a new batch, use the cut up cucumber and mint in your favorite smoothie recipe.
It’s always a treat to discover a business that is authentic and clear in it’s purpose. Newly opened Briar Patch Herbs in SW Portland is such a place and I’m delighted to announce it as the latest A Clear Place Winner for entrepreneurial spirit. From the extensive inventory of organic herbs to its repurposed wood shelves and tree decor, the shop exudes healing Earth energy. You’ll find highly regarded Floracopeia products along with a commitment to showcasing quality local vendors. Owner Sheri Copans is passionate about herbs and happily offers suggestions for both newbies and seasoned shoppers. Clearly the stars have aligned to bring this refreshing herbal oasis to the neighborhood. Congrats Briar Patch and here’s to a rewarding and enriching experience for all! Check out my review of Briar Patch Herbs on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/8DteXJUwpdG2
This is a special day for me and I celebrate it with you by sharing what is closest to my heart. Clearing the way to what blocks us from love is a journey within that each of us must discover – but life offers teachers along the way. Here’s a toast to all of those teachers in their varied shapes and sizes. And here’s to breaking through barriers. See you on the flip side! Click here to read about my two very special teachers and learn about an organization that is cutting through barriers in urban territory.