Detroit Hospital Builds Organic Greenhouse

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Henry Ford Health System has hired a resident farmer to grow organic produce for patients in its new greenhouse, now open on its 160–acre campus.

The $1 million complex, including an education center was funded entirely by an anonymous donor. The greenhouse will provide clinically based educational programs for a variety of audiences, including children, to make a significant impact on the growing epidemic of obesity.

Michelle Lutz, resident farmer at the hospital, is growing a wide variety of produce in the greenhouse, including tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, eggplant, cucumber, peas, beans, strawberries, Swiss chard, Chinese cabbage, and herbs. With more than 16 years experience, Lutz is the former co-owner of certified organic vegetable Maple Creek Farm in Yale, Michigan, a resource for Henry Ford West Bloomfield since it opened in 2009.

“Our goal is to be a national model for how wellness education can improve health and reduce health care costs by providing people with resources to help them achieve optimal health,” says van Grinsven.

The produce being grown in the greenhouse is projected to reduce food costs at the hospital by more than $20,000 per year, while providing patients with healthy meals. Lutz joined Henry Ford in November, providing input into the type of crops and how they would be grown.

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Paying With Plastic: An Idea Worth Sharing

Beijing’s subway authorities have introduced reverse vending machines which allow travelers to offset their transit costs by recycling. Passengers insert a plastic bottle, wait twenty seconds until the bottle is crushed to a third of its original size. Donors then receive one jiao (1.6 cents) on their commuter passes for each empty bottle. The machines have been installed in two stations Jinsong and Shaoyaoju.

Learning to Unlearn: The Journey Inward

Learning to Unlearn: The Journey Inward

“The longest journey is the journey inwards of him who has chosen his destiny, who has started upon his quest for the source of his being.” – Dag Hammarskjold

We spend our lives gathering knowledge, integrating facts, figures and techniques into our view of the world. By the time we reach our mid-twenties we’ve accumulated a significant body of knowledge that we can use to solve a wide range of problems. We’ve also accumulated our own predilections and prejudices, based on our genetic heritage: deep seated knowledge that is virtually impossible to shift. Some are based on the cultural traditions from the environment which we were raised, others on our personal history.

Anytime we’re attempting to learn something new, this new thing is measured against what we already know. If we put more weight on what we already know, on tradition and our inherited past, then it will be harder to learn the new. The standard which new learning is measured against will be tougher, and we’ll be less willing to set aside our existing assumptions and accept new knowledge if it contradicts what we already know. If we put more weight on what we’re seeing today – on new data – then learning something that conflicts with our assumptions will be comparatively easier, as we will place more weight on what we see than what we remember and we’ll be more willing to change our assumptions.

Our nature – our bias towards an inward focus based on tradition and the past, or an external focus on what we’re seeing around us – cuts across age. Those of us who are willing to question our assumptions will find that we can unlearn (and relearn) at any age. Those who put more weight on what they already know will struggle to change at any age. Today’s digital native will be tomorrow’s digital dinosaur if they are unable to unlearn.

Taking in information on all levels, mind, body and spirit. Not resisting, not expecting, not judging, but allowing; removing previous ideas about who you are. One will come to realize that true learning is unlearning.

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Gettlove: Ending Homelessness in America

Gettlove is a nonprofit organization founded by Aileen Getty in 2005 in response to homelessness in the Hollywood community. Gettlove believes in cultivating an enhanced community that embraces and sustains its most vulnerable residents. Gettlove is committed to providing services through a companionship model, whereby the case manager and client navigate the complex journey out of homelessness together. The relationship that is developed along the way is an essential component of Gettlove’s ability to share in each client’s challenges and joys in continuing to maintain a home.

Gettlove further strives to be both a catalyst and a model within the community implementing and evaluating innovative practices that if effective can be replicated throughout the country. Gettlove hopes to demonstrate the power of relationships, the importance of instilling a sense of belonging in every member of the community, and the effectiveness of permanent housing. Success is not only measured by numbers, but by improvements in quality of life for clients and for the community. The sustainable, long-term well being of the individuals we serve, and the Hollywood community as a whole, is Gettlove’s mission.

Find out more at http://www.gettlove.org

Vibrational Attitude

Vibrational Attitude

“A belief is only a thought you continue to think; and when your beliefs match your desires, then your desires must become your reality. You have the ability to quickly change your patterns of thought, and eventually… your life experience.

Take 15 minutes daily, thinking of pleasant scenarios regarding your body, with the sole intent of enjoying your body and appreciating its strength and stamina and flexibility and beauty. When you visualize for the joy of visualizing rather than with the intention of correcting some deficiency, your thoughts are more pure and, therefore, more powerful. When you visualize to overcome something that is wrong, your thoughts are diluted with the “lackful” side of the equation. In time, your physical condition will acquiesce to your dominant thoughts.

It is natural that by knowing what you do not want, you are able to clarify what you do want; and there is nothing wrong with identifying a problem before beginning to look for a solution. But many people, over time, become problem oriented rather than solution oriented, and in their examination and explanation of the problem, they continue the perpetuation of the problem. That which is like unto itself, is drawn—so tell the story you want to live and you will eventually live it.” Abraham Hicks, Law of Attraction

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Don’t Just Exist, Live!!

“The real you is not a puppet which life pushes around. The real, deep down you is the whole universe.”
In this brief video, ‘The Real You’, Alan Watts teaches us to wake up from our self-created, self-centered world view, and see that not only are we a part of the whole, but we ARE the universe itself. His teachings give us an insight into our irrational fears and hesitance towards death. Through these concepts we can grasp with deeper understanding our own impermanence, and learn to live more fully.

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Half the Sky: The Movement

Half the Sky Movement

The central moral challenge of our time is reaching a tipping point. Just as slavery was the defining struggle of the 19th century and totalitarianism of the 20th, the fight to end the oppression of women and girls worldwide defines our current century.

Hidden in the overlapping problems of sex trafficking and forced prostitution, gender-based violence, and maternal mortality is the single most vital opportunity of our time — and women are seizing it. From Somaliland to Cambodia to Afghanistan, women’s oppression is being confronted head on and real, meaningful solutions are being fashioned. Change is happening, and it’s happening now.

Journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn took on this urgent moral challenge in 2009 with their acclaimed best-selling book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide (already in its 25th printing in hardback). They encouraged readers all over the world to do the same.

Now, a landmark movement — inspired by Kristof and WuDunn’s work and also entitled Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide — is working to amplify the book’s impact. Ignited by a high-profile national television event and fueled by innovative multi-platform initiatives, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide is galvanizing even more people to join the burgeoning movement for change.

Find out more at http://www.halftheskymovement.org

Be More Having Less: Live Simple

Be More Having Less: Live Simple

We’re living in a world that contributes in a major way to mental fragmentation, disintegration, distraction and incoherence. We’re always doing something (especially NYer’s), and we allow little time to practice stillness and calm. When we’re at work, we fantasize about being on vacation; on vacation, we worry about the work piling up on our desks. We dwell on intrusive memories of the past or fret about what may or may not happen in the future. In this world of “dramatic distraction” and information overload it is too easy to become overwhelmed, lose focus and be swept away from the things that matter most.

Here are 7 suggestions on simplifying your daily routine in order to gain the most out of life:

1. Live With Purpose – Map out an overall game plan each week, create simple daily task and effectively execute. Be proactive in your thoughts & begin each morning with productive intent conducive to fulfilling your personal task.

2. Keep Focus – Throughout the completion of a task, the average person is distracted every 11 minutes. Distractions are detrimental to productivity. Manage your time wisely & stay on course!

3. De-clutter Your Space – When you start to care about your home, it’s a sign you’re starting to care about yourself; the health of one begets the health of the other. Donate or sell the belongings you no longer use. Organize your closets, underneath your bed, your work space, your drawers. When you clear out the clutter, you then evoke space for newness in your life.

4. Get Off The Grid – Turn off the TV, put away the cell phone, forget your emails and just BE!! Meditate, read, sing, dance, sew or have a discussion. Technology dependency tends to push us into isolation. Sit with your thoughts and enjoy the “real world”, you may like it 🙂

5. Moderation Management – Exist within reasonable limits, not in excess or extremes. Enjoy the better things in life in moderation. Be frugal, make smarter decisions on purchases. Create a healthy balance between the things you want and the things you absolutely need.

6. Respect Your Body – Eat foods that are whole and nutritious. Get the proper amount of rest. Select sexual partners wisely. Remain active and listen, your body has the capacity to heal itself, stay in-tune with it’s rhythms.

7. Learn To Say No! – The difficulty that we often experience in saying No!, in being true to what we really want, can be a significant cause of stress. Whenever we are not true to ourselves, we create disharmony that is painful or that gradually festers and saps our life of joy. No one else knows our thoughts and feelings with certainty, so it is up to us to set our own boundaries, being firm about what we can or cannot do. It is so easy in this world to take on too many commitments. We often feel obligated to people and projects, overextending ourselves & spending time that in all actuality we really don’t have. You need to be able to say No! and do what’s right for yourself in order to preserve the person you are.

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Heartbeats of Fiji

Ben is searching for purpose. Masi is following a dream. From separate islands, yet connected through music, their paths crossed at the Fiji Beat Making Lab. Ben is the type of musician the world needs more of. Bringing the worlds of art and activism together—he’s an artivist.

Beat Making Lab builds studios in cultural centers around the world and trains youth musicians in the art of beat making. Follow their journey at http://www.beatmakinglab.com

Man Up! Brooklyn

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363 Days No Shootings No Killings.

This week one year ago, an East NY Brooklyn neighborhood development organization, Man Up!, began to send people into the streets to figure out where the violence was going next so they could hit the pause button. Mediate. Listen. Talk.

Some workers in the project had been street criminals themselves; others had been victims of violent crime, losing partners and children to it.

“You get tired of going to people’s funeral that you grew up with, or their kids’ funerals, from gun violence in the street,” a member of the group, Athena Collins, 43, said. The father of her five children was murdered.

By JIM DWYER, NY TIMES
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