After what was an amazing retreat in Glastonbury, it’s been a little tricky fitting back into “life” in Guernsey this week. This has not been helped by the rather challenging shifting energy of the autumnal equinox.
I’ve a sense that this equinox is always rather tricky but this year it’s been particularly testing. And we haven’t even reached D-day just yet!
Work has been especially difficult. Most people don’t realise that I’m a company secretary by profession, working part-time and flexible hours for a wealth management company. Well, this week, the egos have been out in force – I suspect I’m a little more sensitive to it due to Mabon and the Glastonbury experience, but nonetheless, phew, it’s been a touch interesting.
It seems that the fact you have “Head of”, “Director” or some other inane title to define your role means that for some reason you think it’s OK to treat others as if they are less worthy. Umm hello people, we’re all people, right? One day we’re all going to die and titles will be utterly meaningless in the grand scheme of things. People won’t remember us for our job title, they’ll remember us for how loving, compassionate and kind we might have been (and forget us quite quickly if we haven’t been any of these things) and whether we’ve made a difference to people’s lives/the world.
I find it incredible that people – sensible, intelligent, responsible people - can create such a divide within an organisation, and yet not have any awareness of this or the impact on people’s lives, nor on society and the world as a whole. We need to remember that we are all connected and our actions affect everyone, not just those immediate to us.
We are all the same. Human. People. Living. Breathing. Remember! The sooner we realise this the better for everyone.
I can’t tell you how happy I was yesterday reading about the landmark ruling against two leading drug companies, which could save the NHS hundreds of millions a year. The case centred on the treatment of patients with a common eye condition, wet age-related macular degeneration. Twelve NHS bodies in the north east of England were offering these patients Avastin, a cheaper alternative to the licensed drug, Lucentis. The drug companies were trying to prevent the NHS from doing this.
Drug company Novartis said they were "disappointed" because patients were being asked to accept an unlicensed treatment to save the NHS money. The truth is, unlicensed or not, the drug was doing the job. Crazy that the drug company thinks the NHS should have to pay more for a drug in the first place – don’t they want to help people? Perhaps they do but clearly making money is much more important.
The pharmaceutical companies have been holding people to ransom for years and putting profit ahead of people’s wellbeing. I don’t doubt that there are scientists working for these companies who truly want to find a cure and make a difference to people’s lives. But I’m also well aware that the bottom line is what is important to these companies. This saddens me beyond belief. People’s lives hang in the balance because of a balance sheet and a profit and loss account.
But sadly this is the very nature of many companies, especially the bigger ones – maximising profits regardless of the ethics. Not only do they put people’s lives at risk for the bottom line, but so many people sell their souls to work in these organisations, trapped because they don’t see they have an option as they have to pay the mortgage. I’ve lost count of the number of times someone tells me that they work for an organisation that they have little interest in, but they feel they have to do it to afford to live.
Perhaps fundamental to this is the fact that we live in a debt-driven society. It keeps the masses controlled so I can’t see this changing any time soon. Ridiculous when you think about it, that so many are sadly and effectively ‘trapped’, spending their lives working in jobs they don’t enjoy to pay mortgages for houses that they rarely inhabit as they’re at work paying for them. But that’s how life has become and there doesn’t really seem to be many options to live differently.
What’s even worse is that many end up sick, suffering with stress, depression, anxiety and/or paranoia as they try to live a life that doesn’t truly suit them. This isn’t helped by the modern pace of life that sees us constantly rushing…always rushing…there’s never enough time, always too much to fit in, too much to do, too many deadlines, too much choice, too much of everything.
And we destroy our beautiful planet in the process of all this rushing, because we don’t have time to do things differently. We put redundant “stuff” in landfill because we can’t be bothered/are too busy to recycle them, we continue to buy products wrapped/held in plastic even though we know we shouldn’t but they’re easy and we’re too busy. We ignore litter at the side of the road because we think it’s someone else’s job and we don’t have time. We clean our houses, our schools, our hospitals and our offices with chemicals that get flushed or washed into the water system.
We’re also too busy rushing that we don’t always have time to look after ourselves, not properly. We don’t have time to grow our own food, or to pop to the veggie stall, choosing some plastic-packaged produce from the nearest shop instead, too busy to cook from fresh, putting foods into our body that have very few nutrients and certainly lack the love of good home cooking cooked by those of a loving heart.
Then there is the land being utterly destroyed with all the building and the quarrying and the reaping of the natural resources so that we can keep living as we’re doing, and so we can keep rushing. I’ll never forget a little 4-year old boy I met commenting that my car emitted pollution. I was quite taken aback because my car was no different to anyone else’s and then I realised. Yes. My car does excrete pollution. So does his Mummy’s, he wasn’t judging me, just making me aware. Using my car means that I can rush more easily!
Elijah is fascinated by smoke coming out of a vehicle. On our trip to Glastonbury he was always looking for exhausts with smoke. It was heartening to see so few now really emit smoke, but emit we do. Pollution. Into the air. That we breathe. That nourishes the plants we eat.
On and on.
We’re living in a way that isn’t sustainable but who really cares? We just keep living the same way because that’s all we know and because that’s how society goes. I can tell you from experience that it’s difficult doing things differently, going against the norm, but perhaps it’s time that we all started doing this a little bit more.
This week it has gotten to me a little bit and I’ve been thinking about the many ways that I don’t live in harmony with my inner truth and with the world as a whole. Plastic is a good example of this. I loathe plastic and seek to reduce my use of this. But still I continue to buy plastic packaged fruits because there is no other option if my sons want to continue to eat the berries they love. I’ve tried to overlook it or make excuses for it, but how can I expect things to change unless I, the consumer, make the change.
I haven’t yet managed to avoid buying the berries, but I was delighted to come across www.theplasticfreeshop.co.uk where I invested in a number of plastic free products including deodorant, toothpaste, dental floss and lunchboxes. I was delighted when my goodies arrived in record time and beautifully packaged and with a thank you note from the lady running the site.
I also finally got around to ordering a starter pack of reusable and environmentally (and vagina) friendly sanitary pads from www.honouryourflow.co.uk. I’ve been meaning to buy these for a while but the initial cost always seemed so high… I wish I hadn’t waited so long because they’ll more than pay for themselves before long. Until now, I’ve tended to use the Natracare range, but I find that they can leak and cause soreness.
The Bodyform stuff doesn’t leak, but it’s non-environmentally friendly (made entirely of plastic) and definitely creates soreness, especially with that awful scented stuff. So these soft and beautifully packaged and presented pads are a revelation and every menstruating lady should get themselves a starter pack - you get a free couple of goodie things and a thank you note from the owner too. I can’t tell you what a difference these thank you notes have made – people selling products that they actually care about, that come with heart energy, a revelation after the ego events this week!
So while I’ve been a little despondent this week, it has spurred me into action and I’m pleased I’ve finally made some progress to reduce my reliance on plastic - plus there have been many other positives like that drugs case. It seems I’m not alone this week though in becoming increasingly aware of how badly we are treating this planet. I almost laughed out loud therefore when I read the astronomical reading for this week in my moon diary (written at least a year ago);
”The innovative and revolutionary T-square continues to hold between Taurean Uranus, Mars, still in the earliest degrees of humanitarian Aquarius and Venus, now in Scorpio and is guaranteed to bring the shocks and uncertainty that raise adrenalin levels. Evoked by deep-seated anger from the collective, a new awareness is awakening – of the limits of existing attitudes to acquisition, growth and natural resources.”
So it seems it’s in the field and change is afoot.
Change is afoot in other (and yet related) ways, because the cycle of the wheel is turning and yesterday was the autumnal equinox, when the night time becomes equal to the length of the day time and the sunrise and sunset align exactly east and west. The final fruit harvest time is upon us and root vegetables are now plentiful – it’s time to prepare for the hard winter times ahead.
Some call this the festival of Mabon in honour of the God of Light, son of Modron, for others it is Alben Elfed “the light of water”. The God of Lights is defeated by his twin and alter ego, the God of Darkness, and many stories talk of the gods and goddesses returning to the underworld.
It’s a time of shifting as we too shift to find our new balance. You might feel therefore totally out of balance, and a little all over the place as some of the older ways of being drop away and the new has yet to come in. These periods of transition can be tricky and this is the reason I’m always keen that we’re aware of transitioning in yoga – how we move from one place to the next? This is the reason I love to flow (consciously), not simply focusing on the beginning and the end, but on that place in the middle too, the link.
The transition is a practice in its own right because how we transition on our yoga mats might give us an insight into how we transition in our lives. Can we retain our balance when everything around us is in flux? Can we hold true to ourselves when everyone else is doing something different? Can we stay centred as everything falls apart to be rebuilt again in a way that might be better aligned? Can we resist the fear and maintain a solid base, rooted and trusting (always a challenge when fear kicks in!).
It seems to me that this truly is a time for letting go of all that’s been and trusting that we end up where we now need to be, re-aligning and re-adjusting to a new way of being, of both endings and new beginnings. This is also a time of purples and greens (think blackberries and hedgerows), and trusting in the intuition and the heart, as we get truly to the heart of things.
I really hope that this seasonal shift creates a shift in how we’re living and that we start being a little kinder and compassionate to ourselves and to each other and that we start taking better care of this beautiful world in which we live – we’re lucky to be able to call it home.