Mindful Mondays: Suicide

“I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness and the willingness to remain vulnerable.”

– Joseph Addison

The tone of this Mindful Monday is a little different than usual.

Unfortunately, some of my close friends have been coping with more loss than they should ever have to deal with this week.

While we can prepare ourselves in some way for the inevitable loss of our loved ones from age and natural causes, suicide always hits hard and without mercy.

If anyone around you is experiencing thoughts of suicide–even if it doesn’t seem like they would act on them–please call 1-800-273-8255. You will be routed to the nearest Lifeline facility that can connect you with local resources that can help your loved one.

For more information, refer to https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.

Remind those around you how much they mean to you.

Thank you.

 

Mindful Mondays: Two Cents

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.
— Buddha

Events come and go; a mighty plethora of them grasping and demanding our attention.

It’s easy to get lost in these events. Easy to let them crash angrily upon our shores like vicious waves.

It’s even easier to turn negative feelings caused by these events against our loved ones. Whether they were involved or not.

Today, let us take a moment to contemplate how we can prevent this.

If we feel compelled to turn upon a friendly face, pause and take a moment to breathe.

Ground yourself in the moment and grab hold of something you love; a feeling, a memory, an event.

Describe it to your loved one,

Let yourself be free.

Vegan Thoughts: Animal Rights vs. Human Rights

This topic is actually hugely controversial.

Whoops. Here I go bringing up things I shouldn’t.

However, many vegans discuss their stances on this, so I might as well join in. The following information is purely my viewpoint and doesn’t reflect upon the community as a whole.

Why?

Because there are vegans that believe animals and humans are equally important. There are vegans that believe animal suffering is more important than human greed, and therefore pay more attention to animal rights than human rights. There are vegans that care more for human rights than animal rights, focusing more on long-term health and ecological survivability than whether or not animals are suffering because of our current actions.

There’s no good way to determine which stance is the “correct” one, in my opinion. Of course, it would make sense for humans to be mostly concerned with other humans. If it was a matter of life and death between an animal and a loved one, the overwhelming majority of us wouldn’t hesitate to save their loved ones. But that’s not really the debate here. What is being debated is whether or not we should care the other 99.99% of the time. When we aren’t being forced to choose between the life of an animal or loved one.

Personally, I believe that our species needs to strengthen our empathy. It is our own hubris that will bring about our destruction, if and when it comes.

It’s not a matter of whether or not humans should care about animals. It’s not a matter of whether or not humans should care about the rights of other humans. It’s a matter of how much.

How much should we care about whether or not an animal dies needlessly and helplessly? How strongly do we care about their suffering? How often do we buy fair trade, sweatshop free? How passionately do we fight for fair wages within and outside our own countries? How much do we care?

How much do you care?

Tunes Tuesday: Dear Evan Hansen

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Good Evening Lovely Readers!

Apologies for this coming out later than expected, but I truly wanted to treat you guys with this amazing masterpiece, and be refreshed and have the songs in the forefront of my mind for this post.

Today we’re taking it back to another musical. As the picture on the left depicts, it is “Dear Evan Hansen.” The songs in the story all follow a boy named Hansen, who suffers from severe anxiety, and writes letters to himself to ease these struggles. It’s his senior year of high school, and everything kind of goes haywire when another student, Connor, commits suicide, but with one of Evan’s letters in his pocket. When found, people believe that it’s Connor’s suicide note. This creates chaos when many now believe that Evan is actually a close friend of Connor’s. Love interests ensue, lies are thrown flippantly, friendships are thinned, families face turmoil, and so much more. This musical truly brings everything to the table, which is why I won’t spoil it further so you all can enjoy it at your leisure.

But more specifically, the music is just so refreshing. It doesn’t necessarily have too much of a musical feel, in the sense that it flows very easily and doesn’t feel too light or sappy. It hits at some very hard issues that many are facing today within mental illness, or even just in regular life. Specifically, and in one of my favorite songs, “Waving Through A Window,” which I will leave below, Evan struggles with only being who he is at this particular moment in his life. He’s always on the outside looking in, and never knows if he’ll break through this social or existential barrier that he’s found himself in. It’s incredibly moving, and maybe you’ll feel the same way about it.

Overall, there are many more beauties within this musical, and they can all be found on either youtube or spotify or probably many other sources because the interweb is quite the large space. Either way I hope you all enjoy and please tell us what you think or if there are any musical favorites that you have!

Keep Rockin,

Ellen Renee

Mindful Mondays: A Restful Sleep

“May sleep envelop you as a bed sheet floating gently down, tickling your skin and removing every worry. Reminding you to consider only this moment.”

— Jeb Dickerson

Today, let us consider the importance of good sleep.

Mindfulness isn’t solely for getting through the day.

Sometimes life gets in the way, the stresses of the morning overtaking our choices. We don’t feel able to practice mindfulness, so we put it off.

If so, why not do it as the day comes to a close?

Meditate, practice deep breathing, let the events of the past week flow away. As we drift off to sleep, do so knowing that the morning will greet you soon.

There’s so much to be hopeful for.

The Lit List: Experimenting With Humans and Animals

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Name: Experimenting With Humans and Animals

Best Features: Accurate data, historical backgrounds

Possible Pitfalls: Potentially dry/ too factual

Overall Rating: ♥♥♥♥ [4/5]

Discussion: This book was an amazing read for me, possible because of my interest in the sciences. It was assigned in a Science and Ethics course, and really dives into experimentation going back to Galen’s time (130-210 AD) and earlier to present day. It explores the rights of animals and the thought processes behind using them for scientific development and current research, as well as the change towards human subjects and the rights that have been developed for them (or should I say us all) as well. It is a very interesting read that really challenges the current methods of scientific research and the thought processes behind each. If this topic interests you at all, I would definitely pick it up.

Eco-Friendly Fridays: Exploring Zero Waste

One of the more interesting eco-friendly concepts is that of Zero Waste.

While not technically zero waste, as in no waste whatsoever, it’s more of a minimal waste lifestyleAs in, one small jar of waste per year sent to the landfill. Wild.

The idea is that instead of recycling more of what we buy, we instead try to purchase items that inherently need less recycling and (ideally) don’t ever need to go to the landfill at all. Reduced packaging, reduced waste, reduced disposables, and smarter usage of the rest. Read More