In 2011 I was made aware of Deena Metzger through a workshop by a Shaman Jeanie Griffin at West Coast Symposium on Addictive Disorders (WCSAD) – a very welcome change from all the sessions on the BDMA – Brain Disease Model of Addiction I had sat through at other recovery conferences. (The BDMA has its useful role and place but also its critics who claim that viewing addiction this way minimizes its important social and environmental causes, as though saying addiction is a disorder of brain circuits means that social stresses like loneliness, poverty, violence, and other psychological and environmental factors do not play an important role.
There’s quite a tale behind all that I’ve mentioned above, but that’s one of the stories I sometimes tell when we’re together in a YoR retreat …
As a result of Jeanie’s session, I read “Entering the Ghost River” , prompted by this one quote – which I’ve had on the bio page of my website for years:
“What carries a healer forward when she has no license because there is no license to be had for what she does, when the training for the license that theoretically covers her work undermines the basic principles she is pledged to uphold? When the other available licenses do not cover the work that she is called to do? And when one cannot and must not license the sacred work of the most ancient human traditions? What carries her is something in her heart tuned to the invisible voices who guide her and speak of goodness and a desire to comfort those who are completely bereft. What carries her is a song that comes at the edge of the wood or just where the stream cannot be distinguished from the bank and it hums the connection between one world and another. Then when someone dies or cannot breathe for the pain of living, she sings it under her breath and the prayer enters the room, a small light in the absolute darkness of grief.”
I resonated so deeply with this, especially around my own Dharma which is currently the offering of Yoga of Recovery.
Today I share Deena’s essay “Extinction Illness: Grave Affliction and Possibility” which appeared in the January issue of Tikkun.. Its premise is that, as the reality of human-caused mass extinction sinks in, we are all succumbing to what she calls “extinction illness.”:
“Contemplating the extent and pervasiveness of despair and violence across the globe, the increasing aberrance of human and non-human behavior, I see that all humans and non-humans know this, all human people and all beings, animals, trees, birds, insects, fish, know this. And all of us are being driven to some form of madness, pain, or dysfunction.”
Lise Weil and Kristin Flyntz then put out a call for responses, and so many arrived – enough for a full issue of Dark Matter – Women Witnessing, #9: “Grave Affliction and Possibility.” that highlights 12 of these responses: passionate, visionary, and wildly divergent but also, you’ll feel the authors are very much in conversation with each other.
I’ve described a web of connections in this post – such is life : )
Many of these resources are available whenever you need them. (No need to schedule an appointment between the hours of 9 and 5.) Support groups, hotlines and call centers, websites and online forums, and even apps can be put into action when you have a crisis or just need extra support.
Thanks for Greatest for the list
Studies show that loneliness is as bad for your health as smoking or obesity. People who are lonely are at higher risk of diabetes, heart disease and dementia. What if the entire community was treated as part of the health care system, and if social connection and health were treated as though they went hand in hand?
In 2013 general practitioner Dr. Helen Kingston started a project called Compassionate Frome when she noticed that many of her patients were coming into her clinic complaining of loneliness. Compassionate Frome began training “health connectors”—volunteers in the community who understand the range of health and wellness services available to patients. When someone was struggling with their health and complaining of loneliness, a health connector would be assigned to meet with that person and talk with them, providing a social connection while also helping them find the resources to address their health concerns.
These health connectors could connect the patients to traditional medical services, but also to social services: discussion groups, a “shed” where men could come together to work on projects, group exercise classes, help with shopping, help joining a community choir, even a befriending service.
Read more here on David Byrne’s (Formerly of the Talking Heads band), Reasons to be Cheerful website
Health Advisory urges everyone to refrain from vaping
The Governor’s executive order directed CDPH to launch a $20 million statewide digital and social media public awareness campaign to educate youth, young adults and parents about the health risks associated with vaping nicotine and cannabis products. CDPH is also tasked with developing recommendations to reduce smoking among young adults and teens by establishing warning signs with health risks where vaping products are sold and on product advertisements. For more information on the risks of vaping and today’s health advisory, read “Vaping Related Lung Illness: A Summary of the Public Health Risks and Recommendations for the Public.”
I got this in a newsletter and thought it was useful to share:
Tradition Eleven: Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, films, television, and other public media of communication.
Tradition Eleven addresses the need for members to be anonymous outside the Fellowship at the level of public media. By following this Tradition, we guard against the assumption that any one person’s recovery represents _A as a whole. We also guard against the temptation for an individual to seek public recognition. Members who ignore our Eleventh Tradition can cause damage to OA’s spirit of fellowship, which is essential to our personal healing. Such breaks of anonymity may bring the _A name before the public, but they can also bring jealousy and competition for publicity and financial rewards. We must be willing to surrender our need for recognition to protect our recovery and OA as a whole.
Members of ________ Anonymous are anonymous. The Fellowship is not.
“we agree about who we don’t believe: big food brands. At the turn of the 20th century, pioneering companies like Heinz and Nabisco invented the idea of branding as a strategy for building trust in the safety and wholesomeness of new factory-made foods, but today most people no longer believe that food companies have their best interests at heart.
Last year, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), the non-profit nutrition and food safety advocacy group, published “Clean Labels: Public Relations or Public Health?” an analysis of clean label programs at several major food retailers and restaurant chains. Although the report praised the companies’ leadership in eliminating some worrisome additives, it also notes that they forbid additives that CSPI considers safe. More importantly, none of the programs address what CSPI considers to be the biggest threats to public health in the food supply: added sugar and high sodium levels
Next time you shop consider buying foods that are less highly refined – for your own safety!!
A 9-year-old’s illustration of what the words “xanthan gum” brought to mind. The alien creature he came back with is the stuff of nightmares
This article raises so many questions about the future of food – here are some excerpts that struck me, read the full article here
How should food be made to taste? This question has vexed manufacturers since the earliest days of factory-made foods, when industrial processing created new challenges—and new possibilities—for flavor. The unprecedented ability to manipulate raw ingredients raised two connected conundrums, both still top-of-mind for the industry today. The first has to do with consistency. No grain of wheat, no cocoa bean, is identical—yet each Oreo that tumbles off the production line must be, as far as possible, indistinguishable from the next. How can nature’s variety be commoditized and rendered uniform, with sensory experience that’s guaranteed? Second, there is the problem of deliciousness. What makes one crème-filled cookie preferable to another crème-filled cookie? How can pleasure be measured?
Sensory science – It’s what ensures the uncanny consistency of Budweiser from can to can, calculates the ideal crunch of a Pringle, and determines the optimal cheesiness for a Ritz cracker….
Gastrograph AI – Essentially, A.I. describes any system that utilizes machine learning — computational algorithms, including neural networks and natural language processing — to churn meaning from aggregations of data, finding patterns, making predictions, and, crucially, displaying the capacity for self-improvement. Whether filtering spam, identifying potential new drugs, or recommending the next show to binge-watch, AI-based systems decrease their error rate over time. They get better at giving us what we seem to want….
Ultimately, what Analytic Flavor Systems is selling is not a food or beverage: It is a descriptive picture of experience, a predictive image of desire, and a vision of a food system fragmented into niches of highly attached consumers. If the future is, as its founders say, in foods optimized to our most personal appetites, the company’s success will ultimately depend on the Gastrograph’s ability to tell food and beverage companies what you will love, the flavors that you won’t be able to live without—and to do this more accurately, efficiently, or cost-effectively than established companies….
I noticed that almost everyone who spoke to me about the virtues of personalized food made sure to also genuflect toward personalized nutrition—foods tailored to our peculiar metabolic needs or allergen sensitivities. Not only better tasting; also better for you! I also wonder about the presumption of universality implied by this promise of personalization. Who will get to enjoy the benefits of custom-tailored foods, and who will be left eating undifferentiated potato chips, non-specific TV dinners?
Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t use Facebook like you or me. The 33-year-old chief executive has a team of 12 moderators dedicated to deleting comments and spam from his page, according to Bloomberg. He has a “handful” of employees who help him write his posts and speeches and a number of professional photographers who take perfectly stage-managed pictures of him.
Silicon Valley residents have opened up about their unease with the habit-forming nature of modern technology. A growing number of coders and designers are quitting their jobs in disillusionment at what their work entails. Many of the workers at the coalface of interface design have had second thoughts.
Others have had the same realisation, but have decided to embrace the awkwardness – such as LA-based retention consultants Dopamine Labs. The company offers a plugin service that personalises “moments of joy” in apps that use it. It promises customers: “Your users will crave it. And they’ll crave you.”
If this is the case, then social media executives are simply following the rule of pushers and dealers everywhere, the fourth of the Notorious BIG’s Ten Crack Commandments: “Never get high on your own supply.”