2016: The Year of Revelations and What To Do About It

Happy Friday! Grab a cup of tea and let’s really dig in and talk about life right now….

Here we are, at the first weekend of February. A lot has happened in 2016 and it has barely begun. New Year’s seems like a long time ago! I published my first book, A Green Lifestyle Recipe Book, on the 4th of January. That was a great feeling and an exciting way to start the year.
Chan'sNewBook copy

On January 8th it was David Bowie’s birthday and the release of his album Black Star. The title song had quite an impact when it was released. Two days later – he died from cancer, which was quite a shock to most everyone, since he had kept it private till the end. The album became a profound and artistic goodbye from David Jones (Bowie). Since then, many others have died in his wake. Such as, beloved actor, Alan Rickman who was 69 years old and died of cancer too.

Revelation has been the foundation of massive awakenings and pains that our country is going through.

Clearly, this is to be a year of revelations. Revelations – in the sense of: awakening, what is hidden being revealed in a manner that is both challenging, deep, and important. Revelation means full disclosure, and it comes from the Latin revelare, meaning “unveil, uncover, lay bare” (Source: Online Etymology Dictionary). The year of 2016 is the year that reveals it all and leaves us feeling laid bare. Collectively, we are weeping, speaking out, processing on the deepest of levels, feeling, flailing, wandering, and seeing it all – whether we want to or not. This is no time to check out. This is when things get going. This is when things start happening.

The revelation of the corruption that led to Flint, Michigan being poisoned (knowingly by their public officials) with long-range, irreversible consequences for the health of residents (children, adults, elderly; primarily African-American) that live there is huge. This revelation happened largely in the New Year, but had been happening for TWO YEARS, lurking.

And, before this New Year, big revelations had really already begun in the last year….especially in facing the covert lynching and slavery that exists and thrives in our country to this day. This awareness came through the senseless deaths of young black men and boys and the horrific statistics of incarceration of African-Americans in this country. Prison is revealed as a lucrative business “our” government engages in (along with war) rather than a healthy honorable system of ethics, trust, and justice.

Today, Trayvon Martin would have been 21 years old. With his senseless death and the ongoing corrupt actions of his killer and failed trial, the Black Lives Matter movement began. And so many young people are killed senselessly, but the difference is  – now everyone hears about it. And actions can follow. The Black Lives Matter movement encouraged the First Nation genocide survivors of the U.S. to speak up for their lives as well. The movements exist, not to be exclusive of what lives matter…. but because a threat to their existence exists daily based on their race and nothing else. And it isn’t that all police are bad. No. That isn’t the case. It is that there is a covert system of abuse and oppression (aimed at women and minorities of race and gender orientation) that lurks in all roles and structures of power and control in our country.

The mega amount of deep shit this country has been built on is hitting the fan in a big way. It is horribly messy, and no one person can ever clean it all up. It is too deep. There is too much. It doesn’t belong to one person. Each of us can only clean up our own. And, help when we are in a position to help in a way that doesn’t interfere with the other person’s voice, experience, empowerment, and rights. This country has some amazing good things about it and some real brilliant potential, no doubt about it. We have some amazing young people with gifts to share that can change life as we know it for the better in ways we haven’t imagined yet! And, at the same time – we have to face, change, and deal with all the corruption that exists, as we can – in real and true ways.

The revelation of Flint’s water being poisoned by elected officials has led to a more sweeping awareness in social media of the Native American (First Nation) people of this country, specifically the Navajo people, who have been living with extreme and dangerous contamination of their water supplies with absolutely no help, accountability, media coverage, or awareness by the public at large. Their water contamination is due to uranium mines used on reservation lands, against their will. Indigenous around the world are under attack against their will, as resources they honor are seized and compromised.

And, the latest revelation is that Nestle, (the company that owns child slaves that harvest their chocolate for them and who was also lacking any moral restraint with water amidst the California drought) has been getting LOTS of water from Michigan and selling it in plastic bottles for profit, all the while the citizens in Flint were being poisoned by the Snyder administration. The aside is that Snyder’s wife works for Nestle.

Meanwhile, we are witnessing the circus that is called the run for President of the U.S., yet in the midst of the usual garbage, fakery, bought politics – is a truth teller who is rooted in countless decades of integrity with real moral action backing up the talk. And what is happening? People WANT to hear the truth! People want, need, and cry for positive, life-affirming, humane, ethical, moral change and leadership. Bernie Sanders is calling for a political revolution, and he means it. And so do the citizens funding him. His ability to abstain from the SuperPac norm of corruption is inspiring. This is only the beginning of revelation becoming revolution – in the positive and productive sense, this year and beyond.

Yesterday I posted about the new sneak peek trailer for the upcoming documentary, “A Plastic Ocean”. That trailer is gripping, revelatory, and urgent. The release of the trailer yesterday coincided with Cancer Awareness Day. I think that nearly everyone on earth is super aware of cancer. And, I doubt there is any person who has not been affected by cancer in some way.

Awareness is just the beginning. Once you become aware of something you can’t take it back! And then, things can begin to change. New life can be born from awareness.
The shock of David Bowie dying of cancer hit me in a real big way.  And that experience connects to plastic pollution, my new book, and this year of revelation, in some deep way.

I wrote A Green Lifestyle Recipe Book because I see the urgent need to, as quickly as we can, live in a different way that is more conscious, more harmonious with Nature and health, and in a way that aims to eliminate toxins and single use, disposable plastics for good. The reason I was able to write the book is because I have been living and aiming for the Green lifestyle in a real and conscious way for the last 8 years. I have been using and adapting the body care, oral care, cleaning recipes and using them consistently. For the last 20 years I have been living in a way where I eat and create meals and buy food based on compassion, awareness of resources, and animal welfare.

Eight years ago, I had an awakening about the state of our oceans and other bodies of water in relation to plastic pollution – how it has entered our food chain and how animals, sea life, and the health of all our Earth’s waters is compromised, in dire need, and suffering.

The disposable, plastic, convenient lifestyle we have been programmed to live from birth is overwhelming, outnumbering, and killing our precious life-giving resources, all the while spreading toxins that breed cancers. One of the biggest links to cancer is plastics and the chemicals that make plastics, as well as pesticides and other toxic chemicals.

I said that I wrote my first book because of the urgency we face. Yes, well, that is part of it. The other part is because I have seen a lot of cancer. It is brutal. It is ugly. It is merciless. In about the last two years my oldest sister, our dog, and two cats all died from cancer. Each one was brutal and devastating.

Before that, in 2007, one of my dearest friends lost her husband to cancer. He was my friend too. And I walked with them through it, when I could. It was also brutal, leaving her and two children in his wake, against his will. Chances are, unfortunately, you know exactly what I mean, because you have gone through it or witnessed it too.

And in 2003, my good friend and amazing mentor died from cancer after an 8 year battle. He also left behind a family that he didn’t want to leave.

Before that, in 2000, I had a dear little cockatiel who died from cancer when I was pregnant. That was the first being close to me who died from cancer. Before he died he drank my tears as he lay against my neck. I never even wanted a bird. He was given to us by a woman who could no longer care for him and somehow he became mine. And he was one of the sweetest and gentlest, most loving souls I have ever met.

We planted a bush to feed the wild birds in his memory. We do loving and healing things to honor our loved ones. That is what we do. That is our natural way. The way the world and resources are run, abused, pillaged, poisoned…..it is not natural or right.

In between all of the cancer casualties I witnessed firsthand, I also have two dear friends who are cancer survivors. So, needless to say, there is a fire in me to stop this literal insanity of living in a way that poisons our very lives and home. The experiences of all that loss and suffering due to cancer instills in me a necessity to live in a different way. I must live in a way that honors life, love, water, air, soil, sun, relationship – all the goodness in the world and life. When I am able to do this, I walk with inner peace and integrity. Yet, what will we do if we no longer have access to any clean water? We are so close to it! We would suffer and die, as hundreds of thousands of sea animals and birds already have. As the children in Flint now have to live the rest of their lives with the physical damages and consequences of poisoned water. As the poverty and poisoning that the First Nation people experience, after surviving genocide.

Solidarity. Solidarity beyond our individual beliefs and attachments we inherited is what we do about it. This is a solidarity that focuses on what is necessary to survive and then thrive. We must wake up (!) and walk in solidarity for the purpose of life, love, and the future. Each doing what s/he can. There is so much hope! Truly, there is.
It is absolutely necessary to keep your humor. Laugh at yourself and the general ridiculousness, as needed. Keep your laugh healthy, full, honest, and real. Remind yourself that we are a speck in the universe, in actual perspective. Remind yourself that we are pretty much skeletons walking around, wearing flesh robes for a while and then go back to being spirit and other ways and dimensions of being. Keep perspective. Don’t get lost in all those selfies.

Photo Credit: CS Sherin, WildClover.org

In the face of great darkness, the light is all the brighter! There are so many amazing hearts and minds who can and will find solutions to our challenges. Each of us is needed though. Each of us has a positive role and a priceless part to play for our survival. Everyone counts. Everyone matters.  You count. You matter. The smallest of thoughts, actions, choices you make today matter.

Photo Credit: ChandaSherin.com
Photo Credit: CS Sherin, WildClover.org

If this year of full disclosure and all being laid bare – this year of revelations, hasn’t made it clear already….this is it.
We have nowhere to hide, nowhere to run to.

What to do about it?
Face it.
It is not all on you. Yet, you are being called on.
Take on only what you can do in a healthy and good way.
Face the darkness.
Feed the positive. Feed your allies.
Starve the fear. Starve the ego reactions. Starve the game-playing.
Engage a positive Green lifestyle. Engage like-minded allies.
Act from the necessity that calls for a new lifestyle…. that comes from the pain and truth of awareness.
Stop being a consumer.
Refuse being a “consumer”. Insist on being called and being a human being.

There is a peace you find in living from a necessity and truth that comes from the heart and experience.

We are all on this stormy ride together, you know.
Overwhelmed with plastic, facing all the shit that we didn’t know we were born on, cheering for the truth tellers who are brave enough to stick their necks out and walk their talk, joining them, living in the humility of taking each ordinary, uneventful action, thought, and choice we have as a way to build a better life and future.

Like I said, no one person can clean this mess up. It is layered and deep. However, together, in solidarity, we can and will make changes for the better. That means letting each person have their voice. And you having yours. And bowing out from the reactionary ego displays that drain our energy. Your energy is precious. As is the Earth’s. Your energy needs to be used for urgent actions, states of mind, and new choices. When you do this, energy flows limitlessly – much like using solar power and other natural sources that don’t pollute. You may get adrenaline from ego battles, but the pollution of emotions and thoughts from it will poison the energy you gain.

We are facing the dire need for major systemic change across the board. We are facing immense loss, grief, trauma, challenges, and ingrained habits for convenience rather than health and true fulfillment. Yet, being bold enough to make the changes give some grace and inspiration for the journey. Changing ingrained habits out of love and necessity can lead to invention!

What to do?

Remember that painful or joyful revelations can lead to positive and constructive revolution!
Remember that each of us is needed for this to work.
Live from your heart and being.
Make changes that affirm life and honor the love and life you do have. Walk away from wasting your energy on any level. Allow yourself to rest when you need to. Nourish yourself in positive ways that help you to make every day changes that, over time, make all the difference in the world.
Do read my new book, and share it with friends and family. I share a technique I discovered, in the book, on how to change ingrained “auto-pilot” habits. Start a reading circle with this book, where you can create community around the philosophy of a Green Lifestyle. Imagine what could grow and be born from it! In the book, I talk about the dangers and snares of dogma in any lifestyle, no matter how positive, as well as common challenges, positive approaches and techniques. This is a way I am able to extend the experience, inspiration and recipes I have with others. It is also a way I am able to act to honor this life and love.

We are all in this together.


CS Sherin | Wild Clover.org | 2016©

Art Image Source: Pinterest, Flickr

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