Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Conscious Consumer

Ethical Consumers purchase with a conscience. They influence companies and the directions they go with their ethical purchasing power.

Sustaining nature in balance with the needs of humanity is the goal of sustainability. Bottom line, we need to exist in harmony with our natural surroundings. An ethical consumer chooses to respect the environment and it’s inhabitants. 

She refuses to support the suffering of any other living being through the use animal testing. I encourage you to look for the rabbit symbol on all your health and beauty products indicating cruelty free. 

Whenever possible, go organic. This means your products are free of additives such as dyes, pesticides, anti-biotics and other nasty things I personally prefer not to have in my body, on my skin or dispersed in my environment. 

Also included among my choices are non-GMO products. I am trying to avoid being part of the experiment to see what the human costs are of tampering with the genetic material of plants. Once DNA is altered, it can't be changed back. Remember to look for labels displaying the non-GMO symbol like the one below. Be on the look out for other variations as well.

Fair trade, put simply, means everyone connected to the production process is treated fairly to avoid the exploitation of workers associated with the products you purchase.

An ethical consumer is invested in protecting themselves, their loved ones, our beautiful planet and the future of all her inhabitants. I am encouraged by some of the positive changes I am witnessing in consumer choices and urge consumers to continue to drive positive changes toward a healthier way of existing that is about compassionate, intelligent and healthy buying choices.

Be passionate about your future…our future. 

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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Soft Voices-Hard World

Telephone Scammer

I fumbled through my bag to answer the phone. It was one ring away from voicemail kicking-in. I answered “hello” to the unrecognizable number displayed. On the other end, I heard in a thickly-accented young woman’s voice, “You have been chosen to receive a U.S. government grant…”

I was more annoyed than usual by this scam call. Having had another in a string of difficult days at work, I became angered. Rather than simply hanging up, I responded to the voice with, “So, you’re going to give me a U.S. grant from the Philippines? Yeah, right. Don’t you have anything better to do?”

The voice repeated the script from the beginning, “You have been chosen to receive a U.S. government grant…” This time I noticed the voice was not a woman’s voice but a girl’s. Instead of reacting to the script, I asked her how old she was. The small voice said, "13". I didn’t know how to respond. Being a former teacher, I asked if her parents knew what she was doing - and, at that, she hung-up.

That call followed me the rest of the day and into the next. I realized that of course her parents knew what she was doing. They likely encouraged it. As a matter of fact, her mother, father and siblings may have all been in the illegal call center with her. I wondered what kind of world creates circumstances where children must engage in illegal activities in order to eat.

I imagined the girl needed to choose between a sweatshop job of perhaps assembling sports shoes which pays its workers approximately ten cents per 100 pair of $80.00 shoes; or the more lucrative work of making harassing phone calls leading to identity theft. 

It was reasonably possible this young lady was simply trying to help herself and her family survive in an environment of few choices.

The Gentle Landlord

Health Care Cruelty

These last six plus years, I have spent dealing with more than my share of bureaucracies of one kind or another. It has gotten tiring to consistently be on the lookout for being taken advantage of and abused by large impersonal systems.

First, I had to fight for health care for my mother dying of end-stage lung cancer. To get her the appropriate care, I needed to be vigilant. 

I recall one terrible day when an employee at the nursing center told me Medicare wouldn’t cover my mother’s expenses unless we could prove she was making progress in her rehabilitation. “Progress? Rehabilitation?” I repeated dumbfounded. My mom was bedridden and not far from the end of her life.

To get her care covered, she had to walk eleven steps. With tears falling from my eyes, I forced my own mom to get up and walk so the nurse could count eleven slow and painful steps. All the while, I was apologizing to my mom for being so cruel. It broke my heart.

With the combination of oxygen deprivation and morphine, at the conclusion of this torture, my mom uttered four words, "Did I do OK?" “Oh, mom," I said as tears ran uncontrollably down my face, "You shouldn’t have had to go through that in the first place, but you did great."

Work Place Bullies

I was hired to teach in the public schools. I had wonderful students who worked diligently to get their education in an adult high school program for students who were unable to attain a high school diploma in their countries.

I worked hard for these students. They responded by surpassing my expectations with successful gains in their education. A sad state of affairs in public schools is work place bullying by power wielding administration and colleagues who don’t want your efforts to show them up. It is more common than you might to think.

In my brief tenure in the system, my program was transformed from non-performing to graduate producing. Instead of being thanked for all my effort along with the many long hours I put in, I was torn to shreds and ended my time by filing a grievance against my principal and one colleague who made my final year a living hell. If it weren’t for the students who were counting on me, I would have left sooner.


After contending with health care nightmares, bullies and other challenges. I had come to anticipate battles at every turn.

I ended up taking a job outside of public schools with a slight pay reduction for sanity’s sake. It helped. However, it meant I needed to reduce my rent payments. With my lease expiring, I found a sweet, little place further away from the city with an honest and warm-hearted landlord.

Due to the recent battles waged and losses suffered, I was experiencing reignited symptoms of high anxiety I brought with me from childhood. As a result, I needed peaceful surroundings to heal my soul. Unfortunately, my lovely condo attracted all the 12 or so year old boys in vicinity to play with the boy who lived below me. They play most afternoons and weekends.

After hearing what I wanted to be my last ball bounce, squeal, shriek and pouncing yell of pre-teen wild abandon right outside my window, I had had it. The yelling sounds emanating from deep within their lungs cut clear through to my bones and rattled my already frayed nerves.

With the same fight I had approached my mom’s health care needs and cruel work place bullying, I hit my gentle landlord with strong complaints and decisive words of dissatisfaction regarding the constant raucaus.

To a gentle soul, I am certain she felt as if a wall of anger had run straight over her. I understandably didn’t hear back from her right away. She came back to me a couple of week’s later with solutions to the problems.

I reflected on my actions and, without awareness, discovered I had adopted a hard voice in a hard world although my nature tended toward peaceful and gentle.

Although there are battles yet ahead, I hope to address each circumstance softly with a gentle voice because I no longer want to be part of the creation of a hard world.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Holiday of Compassion

 A Step Further 

This holiday season, let’s take the things we typically complain about and flip them around. For example, where I live, the traffic is awful. It has taken me as much as an hour and a half to go twelve miles from home to work during rush hour. Beating the traffic has become a personal mission. Today, instead of my usual complaining, I have chosen to be thankful for my trusty-old Toyota, and live where the standard of living generally supports my ability to keep my car going. 

Maybe each of us can find that one daily challenge and turn it around to a place of gratitude even if only for a short time - just to see if you can. OK, you are now ready for the next step.

I would like us to give someone else a reason to be thankful. It can be anyone - a friend or colleague whose family is not close and they need someone to share the holiday with. It could be providing a meal for someone without the means or volunteering for a cause you resonate with. And, remember the little things are just as important– smile at your neighbor, open a door for someone needing a hand, give up your seat on the metro or whatever you feel motivated to do that gives another person a reason to be thankful.

Sharing a compassionate act with another creates meaning not only for the lives you touch, but for you. It makes sense to do this. It’s good for you, good for others and good for the world. 

...In fact, I believe acts of compassion are an integral part of creating a better world for everyone. 

I am thankful for each one of you who has taken the time to read my blog. Happy Holidays.

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Freedom from Fear

What would you do if you weren’t afraid? Would you give yourself permission to live? What would that look like?

The fear from within is the most persistent, pervasive and worst enemy we each battle. It translates into a fear of life. It compromises our choices and limits our perspectives sometimes without our even knowing it.

I'm not talking about fear of heights or of a tiger lurking to attack. The fears I speak of may begin innocently by watching our role models limit their choices that slowly compromise their ability to live more expansively and more authentically. 

As a result of this conditioning, we may choose careers that are safe, or marry for fear of being alone. For any variety of fears - of not fitting in, of succeeding, of failing, of commitment to ourselves and others, to our dreams and life's passions, we have defined our lives through fear. By modeling our role model’s choices, we have followed the same path.

The Decision

One example was my smart and creative college roommate. She was a brilliant and talented musician, but chose a career in IT simply because her family was financially well off and viewed that as the field that ensured the success and security they envisioned for their daughter.

I’m not saying IT isn’t a career for the creatively intelligent or a viable choice, but I believe she would have made another choice if fear wasn’t a factor. In order to justify her choice, with each example of fear playing out in a negative scenario of a musician who failed, or a starving young pianist waiting tables, she built her case against following her heart. This justification strengthened her fear and kept her pattern of beliefs from being challenged.

My former roommate, Annette, disappeared behind a veil of fear. Although her parents thought they were doing their best, she was living their fears. She further succumbed to society’s dictates of the type of husband to have, car to drive and house to live in suitable for an IT professional living an upper-middle class life style. My once vibrant, outspoken and richly alive roommate had become afraid of not fitting in.

In also keeping with her upper-middle class life, Annette’s self-alienation led to depression. Last I heard, she had prescriptions for tranquilizers, sleeping pills and anti-depressants not uncommonly used in our world of fear. She chose out of fear and lived in fear.


We all choose out of fear in some way or another at different times. We do live in a scary world. Nothing is certain and, in the end, we all suffer the same fate. Our existence is finite; but wouldn’t it be better to live fully knowing the end result?

What will you do with the time between now and then? Will you live fearfully? Will you create a prison of fear? OR will you create an authentic life of meaning?

You have free will and the ability to not be held captive by fear. It truly is a choice. I am not promoting recklessness or harmful living. Quite the opposite, I’m promoting a life of meaning. One of responsibility to yourself and your satisfaction with life.

Of course, we all must respect the boundaries of society, and those of our loved ones. However, those boundaries need not choke the most fundamental human right from us– a life of meaning.

Your Path

Your life is a blank canvas on which to paint your path. You need to confront questions of,  "Now what?" since your life will now be based on your choices.


If you don’t know where to begin, start small. Build your confidence by making small choices such as what do you want for dinner. I mean really want. 

Next, pay attention to how you feel when you go to the job you don’t like or find just so-so, compared to when you do something that transports you to a place where you find joy and meaning. Start planning from there.

It's not unreasonable to build the life you want while working to phase out the one you have. It takes courage and time to break the fearful patterns which are familiar. The unfamiliar feels like stepping off a cliff into a free fall, but pay attention to the feeling of liberation that accompanies your step out into the void and focus on that until you are able to get your feet back on solid ground.

We all battle fear. I am hoping more and more of us don’t allow fear to dictate choices that lock us into a prison of our own making, and experience the freedom we get living a life where fear does not have the final say in our choices.

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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Clover's Heart

Bestest Friend  

I rushed home after work to see my best friend. After placing my bag and jacket on the living room chair, I made my way to the bedroom where she lay sleeping in her little fleece bed. I slowly and gently reached out my hand to touch her back to let her know I was home. She opened her eyes, lifted her head as she struggled to arrange her 17 year old body into an upright greeting posture.

My beautiful Clover - almost blind, deaf with severe arthritis in both hind legs and balance challenges was doing well for someone in her hundreds, I told myself.

I carefully lifted my friend into an embrace. The kind of embrace you give a loved one whose time was running out. An embrace to express my gratitude for one more day with my dear, dear little friend, my most loyal companion, my dog.


It seems like yesterday I had brought home this goofy, awkward puppy who stuck to my heels and sat in her water bowl. I never imagined the bond that would grow with this timid, odd, tiny creature.

I didn’t fall in love with Clover right away. She was attached to me like glue where ever I was and where ever I went. Although I attempted to be careful, I inevitably stepped on her due to her constant proximity to my feet. She woke me at all hours of the night, and just didn’t seem to get the hang of things I thought a dog should. For example, she never could climb stairs. After tripping and falling down first, second or third steps, Clover resigned herself to sit on the first step and refused to go further. That is, unless I carried her.

For more than a year I tried teaching her to climb stairs. I gave up. I guess clumsy defined Clover best when it came to jumping or climbing. She could jump up on furniture with 60% success. The remainder of her attempts resulted in an ungraceful thud leaving her looking up at me with a question mark in her eyes. For the rest of her years,  I provided all transportation up high and low stairs. I couldn't bear to allow my friend to lose her footing and go toppling down.

I came to accept Clover’s limited eye-paw coordination. I adapted to the glue-like behavior and she stopped sitting in her water bowl. She made up for any shortcomings by looking at me with more love than I felt I deserved. She kept me company through college, deaths, relationship break-ups and much, much more. That little dog did not let me down once in 17 years.

Gentle and True

Clover never warmed-up to other dogs. Quite by accident, however, I discovered she liked rabbits. She met my friend’s bunny and they took to one another right away. Clover cared for the bunny as if he were her own puppy. She licked him, slept near him and watched him as a mother would a toddler. The bunny felt no fear in her presence as she only showed him kindness. From then on, Clover had bunny companions. I adopted five rescue rabbits over the course of her life. Each bunny adored her.

Even more than her kindness to her floppy-eared friends was her loyalty to me. Clover tolerated other people in my life, but never gave her heart to anyone else. Just as she kept a watchful eye on her rabbit companions, she did me. When I dated a man who treated me unkindly, she placed her body between he and I with her back to him each time he came near. She saw him for what he was. I came to realize what she knew all along and sent him on his way.

Thank You

At 17, each day with my little lady was a gift. Each day was an opportunity to be with a friend I had grown to love with my whole heart. One summer day in her 17th year, Clover was standing next to my bed in the morning with her eyes fluttering while struggling to stay balanced. It appeared I was observing a stroke in progress. Whatever it was left her with a permanent head tilt and difficulty navigating even the shortest of distances. 

I debated putting her down then, but I read up on what ended up being diagnosed as Vestibular Disease. People with dogs with this wrote encouraging stories of at least partial recoveries. Clover’s health did improve for a time and she could still go for slow walks and snuggle - that is, until September. It was then she began to intermittently refuse food and was losing weight she couldn't afford to lose.

I knew it was time. I made the appointment with her vet for the next morning. That night, I held my dear friend near. Although she couldn’t hear me, I stroked her soft coat and repeated over and over how much I loved her and thanked her for always being there, for being so kind to me and the bunnies and helping me through the hardest challenges of my life. I kissed the soft fur on top of her head and drifted in and out of sleep until daylight - the day I would say goodbye to the kindest soul I have ever known. My beautiful Clover.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

World Wishes

I wish for amazing”ness” and the exceptional.

I wish for a world of kind gestures and inclusiveness where love and compassion overpower all ills, all wrongs and all fears. The smallest, the oldest and the weakest are engulfed in belonging and no one goes hungry, is harmed by fear or struggles to have a voice.

I wish for a world of sharing where we support one another’s well being and the advancement of individual potential. We create, innovate and inspire with our work and through our actions.

I wish for a world of gentleness where we unite to enhance the quality of life for each individual, every creature and consider the value of even a single blade of grass. Here, we strive for healing, inspire service and seek to help the lonely, the frightened, and lost.

I wish for a world where we grow up bathed in love and learn there are no limits to possibility  Where we believe in amazingness and the exceptional. 

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Potential

The Dream

Riding on the metro, Lee’s thoughts drifted off to where he would be if he could live the life he wanted.

Lee read in one of his Facebook memes that creative people tend to be night owls. He agreed if for no other reason than to validate his creative side. That’s when I have my best inspirations, he thought to himself.

His first poem reflected the struggles of his own childhood. His words were so raw, rich, and beautifully crafted that they jumped off the page and into a vision of his classmates and teachers who were transported by his talent.

After high school, Lee missed the opportunities he experienced to share his world of creative inspiration with others. He couldn’t go off to college like his friends, but his mother managed to contribute some funds toward a creative writing class at the local community college. He blossomed there.

Lee’s first ever short story involved a thoughtful utopian world without the need or interference of money. His instructor was so impressed with his execution of ideas, she encouraged him to publish in the Student Collection - the college’s literary magazine. 

Lee was proud to see his work in print and brought home extra copies to share with his mom, sister and college friends. They praised him. He still remembers how great it felt to be acknowledged for what he loved doing.

The Box

This morning, Lee woke up at 5 a.m. in order to get to his job as an intake clerk at the hospital. He hated getting up so early. More than that, he hated what he was doing to make ends meet and how depleted of joy it made him feel.

For Lee, there was nothing creative about entering patient data into the computer. Lee’s boss complained he was too slow and was causing backlogs of patients. This just made him more unhappy. Not only was he not able to do anything that inspired him, he was berated for trying his best to adapt to a life of compromise.

Lee felt trapped in a life he didn’t feel belonged to him. He was a writer, an inventor - a man of creative thought. How did he end up here with a boss who couldn’t see his potential in a world he felt relegated him to an empty life.

A World without Money

Lee always felt he was onto something when had written about a utopian society where the citizens shared the mundane tasks of maintenance such as street cleaning, trash collecting and the like, but were encouraged to grow into their passions and talents - and into their potential without money being a limiting factor.

If you wanted to heal, for example, you could become a doctor and your dream was supported. If you were interested in making words explode with imagery, you were supported to become a writer-and much, much more.

Lee’s utopia believed in the value of a realized human being as opposed to the slave labor mentality Lee faced going to work as a desk clerk. He worked under a boss also beaten down by the weight of a world that didn’t care what happened to either of them. Their souls were in bondage. 

Lee believed the way out for all people engulfed in this feeling of bondage was to remove money as an obstacle for developing the greatest resource of all - human potential.

Lee's Book

Lee’s mom supported his writing, but encouraged it as a hobby. She too had had dreams left unrealized. However, she tried to derive satisfaction from her job as a teacher’s aide in the morning and a convenience store clerk in the evening. She accepted her fate as truth and thought she was doing her son a favor by helping him accept his as well.

Lee’s spirit was strong. Although he felt his job sucked the joy out of him. He was determined to come home each night and write. He was writing a book based on the utopian society rooted in compassion and focused on developing human potential.

Lee is asking all of you to keep an eye out for Moneyless Potential: Living Free from Financial Bondage - a guide for developing a world that lifts the spirit of humanity, utilizes individual gifts and recognizes value.

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Unsettled Baggage

Emotional baggage comes in all shapes and sizes and affects different people in diverse ways. Despite this, everyone agrees that baggage is a weight needing to be jettisoned. Is it so easy?


I used to get annoyed when people would tell me to forgive. My response had always been, “I’ll forgive when and if I feel like it.” Of course, these forgiveness freaks always had a comeback for each of my comments.

They would tell me the forgiveness wasn’t for them it was for me. OK, I can understand no one wishes to trudge around through life with a great big sack of resentment. It’s heavy. It’s painful, and adds a distortion of darkness to life that colors everything in view.

But what about serious crimes such as rape and murder? Is it really reasonable to expect someone to forgive in these cases? Forgiveness poses a hard challenge as the infractions become more damaging to our lives, our hearts and perhaps, our souls.

After many years of contemplating this matter of forgiveness, here is where I arrived: I never insist anyone forgive anything. I only ask, “How would you feel if you no longer had to carry that hate, hurt, fear, anger, or loss around with you? How would your life be different?

Here are some other thoughts. Forgiveness never means what anyone has done was right. It doesn’t mean forgiveness can happen immediately solely by proclaiming it. Forgiveness is a process. Anyone who has undergone this process understands you may be able to one day wake up and realize whatever the matter requiring forgiveness had been resolved. At that point, you let it go. Of course, forgiveness would be much easier if the perpetrator of your trust asked for your forgiveness. You’re lucky if that’s the case. Most of time, you will be on your own.


Don’t underestimate the healing power of time. Time truly heals wounds. Does it heal all wounds? I am unsure.

What time allows is distance and growth to occur from the moment of the painful incident to some point in the future where your perspective has changed. Perhaps without any awareness on your part, the situation resolved naturally and the negative feelings simply no longer exists. You let it go.

Holding on

Holding onto guilt, pain, loss, anger and the past is human. Holding on for too long begins to define your existence. For example, someone could believe, “I can’t love again because I will never love anyone as much as I did my husband.” That thought can define choices and limit opportunities if left unchecked.

In my case, I left a job that was OK and went to one that was worse. I regretted that decision for a long time. Regretting my choice didn’t change my circumstance, or make me happier. That was a suitcase of regret packed tight with remorse that served no earthly good in my life. In perspective, it was a risk I took that ultimately led me to pursue other dreams and opportunities.


Moving into our future can be daunting, frightening and uncertain. We can’t know the future. We can only know the past, and that provides security because it’s familiar. The future is risky, but it is everyone’s destination. We can arrive there laden with suitcases of baggage to manage, or we can arrive ready to create anew.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Shine your light

Public School

Tessa was in a state of suspended disbelief and sometimes shock her first year teaching in the public schools. The terrain was completely different than she had in other academic work environments. She was unsure how to navigate.

Her classroom adjoined another where English and marketing classes were held. The main instructor, Maria, had a small office space between the rooms where she spent her planning time. 

Tessa said hello and tried to get to know her neighbor, but it never led to much until one bad day following an incident where Tessa showed how green she was. 

Chocolate Alcohol

After the holiday break, a student showed up with a small box of candy. To be precise, it was chocolate in the form of small bottles containing liquor.

Tessa knew the student and, therefore, knew he truly didn’t get that he had done anything wrong. She took the candy away from him and stored it in a place away from the other students.

A busy day turned to a busy week. Tessa forgot about the tiny alcohol-laden chocolate bottles. That was until a fire alarm went off due to a malfunctioning microwave in Tessa’s wing of the school. The assistant principal was checking all the classrooms and stumbled upon the contraband.

The next morning, she and her neighbor were called in to see the principal who held-up the box of “candies” and asked, “Do either of you know about this?” 

Tessa shared her story of how the tiny chocolate bottles ended up in the storage area. “Do you realize this is an alcohol infraction?” Tessa told the truth – she didn’t think about it being a serious offense since the bottles were so small and the student wasn’t known to deeply reflect on his actions. She believed removing it was the right action, but to satisfy the principal, agreed to be more careful in the future.

The Conversation

After that incident, Tessa had her first full conversation with her neighbor. Maria shared the secret of how she survived public school, and gave Tessa her first piece of valuable advice, “Trust no one”. Now she understood why she never formed a friendship with her neighbor. 

Maria went on to say that after ten years there, she only confided in one other person. She told Tessa to watch out. She also said she had been observing her. “You have a good rapport with your students. They seem to be learning. You seem energetic, enthusiastic - uh…well…and attractive. They’re gonna try to knock you down,” but didn't specify who "they" were.

After the incident with the chocolate and a couple of others that displayed her inexperience, Tessa became a target just as Maria predicted. She was bullied by the assistant principal first and others to follow. 

There are a lot of bullies in the public school environment and I am referring to staff, teachers and administration. A lot of talented teaching professionals get run off by them yearly. On a deeper level, people there, and in other toxic work places, will knock you down because they can’t bare to have your light outshine their flicker.

Tessa realized that people were talking badly about her to prevent others from liking her and noticing her efforts which, for the most part, were successful.

Life Lesson

Tessa understood that she either needed to be tougher to remain or leave. She cared about her students and she loved teaching them, but the environment was stifling to someone who was open, warm and creative. She left public school teaching. Maria left the following year.

The sad truth is insecure people are out there in force. They will deliberately knock you down behind your back and to your face. Their objective is to make sure you stay hidden so you don’t remind them of what they believe they don’t have, or that their own light has dwindled to a mere flicker.

IN THE END, both chose to keep their inner light burning strong. 

How do you shine brightly?

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Monday, October 6, 2014

Why Organic?

Organic Health

My Story

Sometimes a detriment and often a benefit to my overall well-being, why was my favorite word. This characteristic, although annoying to my mother, caused me to not take things on face value, to ask questions, and to live life according to my own assessments.

As a teenager, I began using natural products. To me, they tasted better, smelled better and felt better. Granted, I was the weird kid who liked her vegetables and was always experimenting mixing this ingredient with that to see what would happen; but it was at that time, I became dedicated to living a healthy and natural life.

Healthy and Ethical

I have chosen to use organic products whenever possible as they are free of additives such as dyes, pesticides, anti-biotics and other nasty things I choose not to have in my body, on my skin or dispersed in my environment.

Included in my choices are non-GMO products. I am trying not to be a part of the experiment to see what the human costs are of tampering with the genetic material of plants. I encourage you to do the same and look for labels displaying the non-GMO symbol.

Organic products are beneficial in more ways than you and I know. What I do know is they support health as they are richer in nutrients needed for health such as vitamins and minerals. They are free of harmful chemicals including pesticides. Organically grown products are safe for animals and all other life we need to support on our planet for their health and well-being. Most of all, by choosing organic, we are protecting our future and the lives of the many generations to come.

We are currently unaware of all the damaging effects the use of the varied chemicals and GMOs will have on us, our environment and our future. It is critical we make safe and ethical choices to safeguard our planet and protect our future.

Choose the Future

Join the organic Revolution