Dazzling December: Hello, Positive Lifers! We’re excited to bring you this lovely roundup of holistic news, products and events for the month of December. Our Winter 2019/20 issue has hit the shelves, featuring oodles of inspiring content from our regular contributors, as well as an in-depth look at yoga therapy, an exclusive interview with spiritual pioneer Jac O’ Keeffe and an amazing conversation with Shaman Durek. Our main feature is a tribute to the legendary spiritual teacher Ram Dass, celebrating his life’s work – just in time for the release of his new documentary ‘Becoming Nobody’! Read on to learn about the special event we have planned to mark the occasion…
We all love a positive news story … and in our Autumn 2019 issue, we published three! The Positively Newsworthy section of our magazine is always a much-cherished read. Read on to hear about an amazing rescue, an innovative alternative plastic straws, and a sign of hope for a Central American rainforest…
In the Positively Newsworthy section of our magazine, we love to highlight some of the happy news stories we’ve heard from around the world. Enjoy this edition, featured in our Summer 2019 issue. To read the full magazine, pick up a copy in your local stockist or subscribe to receive one direct to your door.
Fabulous February: Hello, Positive Lifers! As spring begins to dawn on the horizon, it’s that time of the month again: time to sit back and enjoy this collection of inspirational events, products and holistic news we have put together for you.
Acclaimed Irish author Andrea Hayes is holding a launch event for her new book, Mind Body Soul Journal, in Lillies’ bordello on Thursday January 17th at 6.30 p.m.
These heartwarming stories from our Autumn 2018 edition of Positively Newsworthy are sure to lift your spirits! If you have not yet picked up your copy of our Autumn 2018 issue, check your local stockist or subscribe to receive the magazine direct to your door!
Local solutions to global problems
By Alison McEvoy
There are so many ways to interact with the ‘challenges’ the world is encountering. What I love most about the ‘zero heroes’ which are emerging in response to pollution and excess waste production, is their ingenious creativity.
These people, who wish to create a world in which there is zero wastage, have come up with some of the most pioneering and novel ideas around. Take the Recycled Island Foundation for example. They have recently launched the world’s first floating, recycled park on the Maas River in Rotterdam.
The students of Rotterdam University joined in and pioneered the idea of the floating hexagonal building blocks which form the basis of the floating landscape. On top of these is packed all the plastics which the foundation has retrieved using litter traps from the river and, similar to a roof garden, upon these is planted all kinds of greenery, from moss to small trees, and plenty of native plant species.
Not only does the park soften the river’s edge through creating a buffer of green, it also provides a nesting and breeding place for marine life below the water’s surface and bird and insect life above.
These kinds of initiatives clearly show us that ‘waste’ need not be wasted, that there is value in every material that exists, in whatever form it exists, and, if we engage our creativity and problem solving, we can discover new value in what was previously discarded.
The foundation are now looking for new cities and locations to continue their mission!
A Devoted Dog
Brave pup saves the day
by Aisling Cronin
Dogs are true heroes in so many ways – bringing comfort, love and solace to grateful humans all over the globe – but their heroism is never more evident on those astounding occasions when they save their humans from serious injury or even death. This summer, Paula Godwin – a resident of Arizona in the U.S. – was spared a shocking ordeal thanks to the courage of her own dog, a sweet golden retriever named Todd. She, Todd, and the other canines of the household were out on a walk one day in June, when their stroll was interrupted by a not-so-welcome visitor: a rattlesnake.
‘It was a carefree, beautiful morning,’ Paula recalled, ‘but as we were walking down the hill, I literally almost stepped on a rattlesnake. My hero of a puppy, Todd, saved me. He jumped right in front of my leg, where I surely would have been bitten.’
Todd was left with a number of injuries as a result of the snake bite, but he made a speedy recovery thanks to the veterinary care he received. He was later honoured in style at a Diamondbacks American football game, where the crowd were thrilled to see him. Paula is deeply grateful to him for saving her from what could have been a deeply painful or even lethal experience. ‘This is what a hero looks like,’ she declared. ‘Please say a prayer for my sweet hero.’
Lord of the Books
Bin man builds free library
by Aisling Cronin
Twenty years ago, Jose Alberto Gutierrez – a waste collector living in Bogotá, Colombia – found a copy of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina that had been thrown out in one of the wealthier areas of Bogotá. He decided to rescue the book from the rubbish, and thus began his passion for salvaging high-quality books from the waste system and offering them for free to Colombians in need.
Gutierrez has now collected over 20,000 books, spanning a wide range of genres. These books form his free library service, Fundación La Fuerza de las Palabras (Strength of Words Foundation), located in his home in South Bogóta. Gutierrez keeps childrens’ books, classic novels by authors like Margaret Mitchell, Mario Vargas Llosa, and fellow Colombian Gabriel García Márquez, as well as textbooks covering subjects such as science, business and medicine, to name just a few.
The library is open to community children at weekends, and Gutierrez and his wife ship books to other communities in need all over Colombia. Their books have reached over 450 territories in the country. Gutierrez has become affectionately known as ‘the lord of the books’ in his neighbourhood. As he puts it: ‘In an area that lacks access to many resources, a book becomes a symbol of hope. Listen, if humans treated each other as they do in many of the books that I’ve read, this planet would be governed only by love.’
Walking The Darkness into Light
By Andrew Smith
Highlights of Autumn’s Cosmic Activity
* Sept 1st Virgoan Solar Eclipse
* Sept 16th P iscean Lunar Eclipse
* Sept 18th L iving the Dream as Saturn squares Neptune
* Sept 22nd Freed Mind as Mercury turns direct
* Oct 1st Libran New Moon
* Oct 23rd What do I believe as Jupiter quincunxes Neptune
* Oct 30th Scorpion New Moon
* No v 24th Test of Power as Jupiter squares Pluto
* No v 30th Sagittarian New Moon
It’s been pretty tough of late. There has been so much positive potential within the new seeds that you have planted and yet it hangs there, just at the back of your awareness, sapping the hope from you, just as the ‘genuine’ helper who professes open generosity, yet cuts off your hand in their hungry eagerness to take your money before they reveal further secrets to help you become more abundant. It’s been all about the lies – whether it is the doctrinal believer who regularly attends ‘worship’ to give homage to divinity and scripture, yet has a handgun in the glove compartment having conveniently forgotten that thoroughly humane principle that killing under any circumstances is not spiritual, or the politician who will tell you anything just to get elected, yet has no intention of implementing their mandate… The list is endless. And it is so, so transparent these days, almost to the point of farcicalness. Yet you continue to accept those lies and the disconnect between rhetoric and reality. Why? Because of the lies that you tell yourself.
In the end, the external reality that surrounds you is merely a reflection of the internal reality that only you know exists. Our consensus reality is also a sum of the individual parts and its disease only reflects the disease that exists within. Yes, it is tough to be an outsider. Yes, it is tough to live simply, honestly, creatively and soulfully when the world you live in offers you a patronising placation of encouragement yet is terrified of what your actualisation of your potential really means for it – death. And why should the world support you when you threaten its very existence – hence the draconian authoritarianism and stark rise in fascism that abounds. Whilst there are those who cyclically pronounce that The System is dying, The System can only exist because of you.
Imagine what it would look like if you lived your dream and ignored the fearmongering and doubting Thomases who are only envious at your having the ‘balls’ to stand up and be you; imagine what our system would be like if we truly lived in accordance with what our spiritual values suggest is ‘right’ to live by – those common sense values – and imagine how healthy you would be if you truly believed that you are valuable and worth it? This is what the darkness has all been about – you. Clearing and healing those darkened voices that have been timeless and ageless. Not banishing them and imprisoning them, but openly acknowledging them, naming them and embracing them. And not just on a three day detox. Daily. Living with them. Walking with them. And in those peak intense moments spotting how the sweet seduction of numbness will not work and has never worked.
Two paths lie ahead. To your right a downward sloping avenue descending into a darkened cave. A place where the shadow of your soul roams freely, tempting you to use your power without awareness and consequence of your actions and where the darkness of your mind is projected onto the blackness and the primal fears of your soul haunt you. To your left, a steep, craggy and difficult upward climb, requiring maturity, dexterity and awareness so that you can consciously channel your energy and efforts into a superhuman drive to reach the heights, where awaits a magnificent panorama. Both will take you about nine months to traverse and the experiences of which will last in your life for another three years and both will help you deal with your sense of what power means. Which you will choose is what you are about to discover.
During this winter the issue of your sense of personal empowerment is brought to the forefront of your awareness in a dynamic manner. Work will be required to either battle forces within you that are hell bent in subjugating your will and further enslaving you to a path of dark ignorance and drama or will eventually, through hard labour, support your climb to funnel the elementalness of your being in overcoming the vicissitudes of life as you use the raw energy and determination of your soul to overcome the encouragement of The System to neglect your power or to use it to put people in their place. Neither path is easy as you feel a massive surge of energy that liberates those issues that lie deep within your soul and the intense images that flood your awareness provoke really powerful emotional responses that can serve to test your convictions, ethics, morality and to liberate you from, or enslave you to, your karma. How you handle your soul-shadow and the collective-shadow is what this nine month transit is about.
Handled delicately, this time offers serious growth concerning the issue of empowerment and of using the power of your soul to grow, overcoming jealousy, manipulation, control and a host of other emotions whose purpose is to bind and trap you to the patterns and scripts that underlie the personal interaction. As you confront the emotions that freely coarse through your veins, you are being called upon to find a path to overcome their destructive possibilities and to raise the level to which you deal with those emotions. Therefore you can expect to deal with themes of bullying, deception, propaganda, petty one-upmanship, being sent to Coventry and the abuse of power. How you deal with them is another matter, but deal with them you will because within you are wings to enable you to fly as opposed to crawl and those wings can be unfurled, as the power that exists within you seeks to find an outlet within you and within your world.
Andrew’s private practice is in Blackrock, South Dublin. Email him on firstname.lastname@example.org for further information on consultations, workshops or classes. Join him on Facebook for daily updates.
1. Connected & Present
Our constantly connected digital culture doesn’t have the greatest rep. Great things have happened because of technology but it can draw our attention away from the present moment. But are retreats where your precious phone is ripped from your tightly clenched fist for three days the best way forward? Or is there a more graceful way to have it all? Chris Flack of UnPlug and London based Vinaya’s CEO Kate Unsworth believe we can.
Vinaya are the creators of Altrius, a smart-jewellery range that notifies you of only the most pressing alerts. Chris Flack who’s a big a fan of the idea gave a lovely example. A husband and wife go out for dinner, they want to spend time together away from the kids and the phones. But if something serious arises back at the nest, of course they want the babysitter to get in touch. According to Chris, even leaving a phone in sight, screen down, impacts the dynamics of a conversation. Altrius is programmed to alert you only to calls from chosen contacts. Pop on the uber-stylish ring or pendant and forget about Facebook notifications pulling your attention away from your partner’s lovely eyes and smile.
Flack is also reworking the idea of digital detoxes to offer people something we can use even when we turn back on the phone. “UnPlug teaches you how to manage your technology instead of letting it manage you.” And it must be working because they’re running sellout retreats. Just as we shouldn’t need to rid every shred of negativity from the world before we find happiness within, so must we find a way to become present – with or without the phone.
2 The Kindness Trip
You’re a cafeteria worker in a University. Every day, you chat to the students, ask them about their classes, see how they’re doing and keep track of them throughout their time at college. It probably makes your job a little nicer and you’re a caring, loving soul, so you enjoy it. The last thing on your mind is probably that these consistent, daily gestures of loveliness are going to end up taking you on your dream holiday, but such was the case for Vicke Davis of Barrett College. In January, over 100 students showed up to surprise her with news that they had raised enough money to send her on what they knew was her dream holiday – a trip to see the Northern Lights – and presented her with a camera too so that she could bring some of the magic back with her. Her response, “See, that’s why I love my babies,” tearing up as she makes her way through the crowd to hug as many of them as she can on her thirty minute break and exclaiming, “I’m gonna bring back a lot of key chains!”
3 Kids These Days
Once again, kids are showing us adults up for their huge efforts in goodness, kindness, generosity, perseverance and dedication to positivity and helpfulness the world over. What’s lovely is that their ideas are always really simple, and have an instant and direct positive effect. A pair of Australian best friends were named Young Australians of the Year for their laundry for the homeless project. A little under two years ago, Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett converted a van into a mobile laundry unit, it had two washers and two dryers and began bringing the van to parks, homeless shelters and anywhere else they thought they could be of use. Now, the boys oversee five of these vans and at absolutely no charge, have washed over 75 tonnes of clothes. Across the oceans to Florida, some even younger kids are getting active to help out the homeless. Inspired by a story they’d seen online (proving good news stories in the media have a nice knock-on effect!) , a group of girls from a local church collected over 100 jumpers and coats before an upcoming cold spell in the area. The girls tied the clothing to lamp posts with messages explaining that it wasn’t a lost coat, but one that could be taken and used to stay warm.
Manoj Bhargava is the founder and CEO of 5-hour Energy, the company which markets the energy shot drink. He attended Princeton University for one year but after that, he returned to India, where he lived in an ashram as a monk for 12 years. His net worth, in large part due to the energy shot he developed on returning to the US, is $4 billion. But he’s pledged 99% of his wealth to charity and he’s doing it in the most incredible ways. He created ‘Billions in Change’, a movement to save the world by creating and implementing solutions to the world’s most basic but perhaps most important global problems – water, energy and health and he’s using the wealth he created to fund it.
“We believe talking about change changes little. Creating awareness doesn’t stop pollution, grow food or heal the sick. These things take doing. And that’s what Billions in Change is all about – creating and implementing solutions…creating a positive impact on billions of people.” You can see what they’re doing in the video they’ve produced and put out on YouTube which is incredible as well as moving. But they want your help too – though not through money. “Tell others – friends, coworkers and officials in local, state and national government. We have the technologies to change the lives of billions of people. With your help, these technologies will be adopted and implemented quickly.”
By Elva Carri
Philippe Morgese became well known to his Facebook friends for the creative and wonderful designs he’s was doing his daughter’s hair. I’m not sure if you’ve ever had long hair or tried to do ‘creative’ things with it for friends or family, but it’s harder than you might think, yet Philippe had mastered the art with flair!
His mastery then went on to win him a competition and making a TV appearance. Rather than just reveling in the glory, he saw this as an opportunity to do something bigger and lovelier than that french braid, he’d share the skills, and the bonding opportunities, with other people and created a ‘Dads and Daughters’ hair class in his local community.
“We had a prison guard, mechanic, general contractor, ATT tech, Apple tech, healthcare recruiter and a carpenter,” Philippe said. “Definitely out of their element but they were all excited to learn. It was beautiful.”
Not only is he finding a wonderful way to help his daughter, spend time with her and bond with her, he’s helping other dads do the same, making it cool for guys to be great at hair, and breaking the mould of what it is society used to expect a dad to be. Now where do the boys with long hair sign up to be part of it too?