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My sister Kathy is pretty green; in fact she is the one who got me into green living from a toxics perspective years ago. I was visiting her for the weekend recently, and as it often goes when we are together, our conversation touched on healthy/green news. I mentioned that she might want to check the personal-care product line she uses on Skin Deep, the online cosmetic safety database developed by Environmental Working Group, to see if it is as healthy as she assumes.
Recently I spoke in front of a hall full of pregnant women. What a joy to see all those round bellies, and even more of a pleasure — given that this was a meeting of the Holistic Moms Network — to know how well-intentioned this group is towards their families’ health and the environment.
I gave them all sorts of tips to detox their homes, hoping to ease their minds about how easy it is to accomplish the task. I also gave them my mainstay list for non-toxic cleaning, the five kitchen cupboard ingredients I believe will clean everything in the home, and I’d like to share it with you as well:
A few days after friend’s daughter started doing some office work for me, I became bothered by the smell of dryer sheets from her clothes. I had to ask her to stop using them — at least on the clothes she wore when she came to my house. She said she was glad to comply, but didn’t know you could dry clothes without using dryer sheets. My jaw hung open, and I marveled at the power of advertising.
Despite the fact that your ego hates unpredictability, the truth is that you have benefited from it again and again. Think for a moment about the unexpected opportunities that have come your way, offers of help you never anticipated, sudden brainstorms and inspirations, impulsive decisions to move or to talk to a stranger that opened new horizons. This is the natural way to live. “Your life is already organized within itself,” Merlin said. “Life flows from life, the bud unfolds into the flower, the child ripens into the adult. Trust in each stage, celebrate it, and allow the next one to come to you effortlessly.”
Our materialistic worldview has reduced love to a haphazard flow of hormones coupled to psychological fantasies. The spiritual truth is very different. Once the walls fall down, we discover that our real problem is that there is too much love around us, not too little. Love is eternal and unbounded; it is only we who take tiny sips from its infinite ocean.
Being able to affect your whole reality at once is the essence of “simultaneous interdependent co-arising.” There is no limit to how far your influence can reach but to find that out you must engage life with passion. When you do anything with passion, you express every aspect of who you are. Passion releases all the energy you possess. If you throw everything you have into a pursuit, your defects and weaknesses are also exposed. Passion brings up everything.
When you see the world in yourself, there are no more outward obstacles to happiness. The inner and outer worlds are mirrors of each other. They change according to your level of consciousness. If you are vibrating at the level of fear, your inner world of thoughts and emotions and your outer world of events and relationships will reflect that. Similarly, if your consciousness vibrates at the level of love, then love will be present in both your inner and outer worlds. A flow of happiness and abundance will manifest when you have reached the deepest level of yourself.
– Deepak Chopra, The Happiness Prescription (Harmony Books, 2009)
Painting is surely one of the easiest and most budget-friendly decorating tricks to brighten up your home. And if you use paint that’s safe for both for you and the environment, you can’t go wrong (except, of course, when the color looked so different on your wall than it did in the store … ).