Ah, love. Each Valentine’s Day, lovers take pause to recognize that special someone in their lives. Pink and red hearts ornament retail locations, and flowers, chocolates, jewelry and other gifts are purchased and exchanged. Hands are held, sweet nothings are shared and love is in the air.
But what if these tokens of romantic affection mean something more sinister than the celebration of love and friendship? What if the production of these goods comes at a grave cost for the people directly connected to them?
By The FIRM Master Instructor Kelsie Daniels
The holiday season is once again upon us. And because I am one of those people who fully enjoys holiday dining, I have to prepare myself for the usual question that comes as I am stuffing my face: “How do you stay in shape?” One of the people who always asks me this question is my dear Aunt Jo. She asks it every year and then follows with how she wants to start working out and eating right.
I know that the moment you read this title, “Finding the Goodness in Life,” some of you cringed. Why? Because there is a lot going on at this point in time that would not be considered “good.” But what if, in everything, goodness existed?
I once had a client who was contemplating suicide. They did not see any reason for living and could find nothing in their life that was worthwhile. Every week, I prayed that this person would continue to show up and work with me.
I love Yuzen for the great products and brands it introduces me to. (What? You haven’t heard of Yuzen? Read my review of it here.)
Case in point: These Dark Chocolate Covered Cacao Nibs from sweetriot. They’re like a healthy, chocolate-y, antioxidant-packed version of Nerds candy. (Remember Nerds?). Or this Lavender & Lemon Hydrating Lip Balm from Tilvee.
With every new season, Yuzen delivers the kind of eco-friendly-but-also-super-luxurious products that make me wonder, “How did I ever live without this?”
I took a lot of the summer off to rest and rejuvenate. It was a really powerful time for me and I used it to contemplate and reflect on many areas of my life. It is very interesting to me that when we slow down, the opportunity to witness our thoughts and behaviors amplifies.
One of the things that I noticed is that there are times when I will resist something or someone only to discover that the event or person is bringing me an amazing and unexpected gift. I paused and asked myself to explore the habit of resistance. It’s a habit I often see in my clients, so we work on dismantling the need to resist without reason. And then, here I am, watching the same behavior in myself. (We never really arrive, do we?!)
Whether it’s a free sample at the grocery store or a new brand your best friend just recommended, discovering a fantastic new product is almost like falling in love.
That’s why it felt like Christmas in July when we unwrapped Yuzen’s July “box of Zen,” beautifully packaged and filled with products that are nourishing for the body, soul and planet.
Yuzen, a Boulder, Colo.-based company, makes it easy to find — and fall in love with — the best new eco-friendly products. It’s also an invitation to pause and take a quiet moment to enjoy some of life’s simple pleasures: a hot cup of tea, the smell of fresh flowers or a mouth-watering bite of dark chocolate.
I’m a sucker for love letters and chocolate, so it should come as no surprise that I look forward to Valentine’s Day. Show a little love for your partner and the planet by having an eco-friendly holiday this February 14!
Here are four ways to do it:
With the holidays approaching, no doubt many of us are making a list and checking it twice. Ensuring that we find just the right gift to give to those we cherish in our lives.
Yet the giving is only half of the equation. We’ll undoubtedly be receiving gifts, too. And while many of us are world-class givers, can we say the same about receiving?
With the creation of Small Business Saturday this year (and its huge following!), there’s another movement taking shape this holiday season: Buy Handmade. At www.buyhandmade.org, people around the world are pledging to buy handmade gifts for loved ones this holiday season and ask that others do the same for them.
I had an interesting realization last month when I joined my sisters-in-laws on their annual pilgrimage to the mall for some Black Friday consumerism. We all left the mall pretty much empty-handed, and I realized that I just don’t really shop at malls and chain stores anymore, particularly for gifts. Instead, I am trolling the cute indie boutiques for the perfect, unique gift, and searching online for interesting options from fun online retailers. Luckily, when it comes to foodies on my list, there are plenty of options, so shopping’s a breeze. Here are some places to look online for some wonderful cooking-related gifts that have an environmentally friendly focus.