The Art of Waking Up

I hope you’ve had a good week. I can’t believe it’s the end of October already. Only 60 sleeps til Christmas. We’ve been busy choosing some gorgeous products for the shop to stock up for Christmas. Have you seen our range of classic and really creative toys and craft kits for kids?

One of my favourites is the Ancient Treasure Archaeology Kit. This kit contains a piece of pumice stone with a treasure buried inside. Your child needs to carefully chip away at the stone to reveal the hidden treasure. One mum came back to the shop a while ago and said that her 4 year old absolutely loved it. He spent many hours chipping away uncovering the hidden treasure.

The suppliers of this range say there’s nothing more inspiring than watching children unleash their creativity. Every kit or toy they produce is designed to help kids explore, discover and play in their own unique way. CLICK HERE to explore and order online.

It reminds me of what I used to teach parents years ago when I worked selling educational toys. I explained to them about the “Play Value” of a particular toy. To calculate Play Value you divide the cost of the toy by the number of hours your child plays with it. If a child plays with a $10 toy for ten minutes that costs $1 an hour. If they play with another $10 toy for 50 hours that’s a cost of 20 cents an hour which is much better value. I always found that the toys with best Play Value were the toys that stimulated a child’s creativity and imagination. Often it’s the simple, classic toys and activities that engage a child the most not necessarily the toys that are the current fad.

Christmas also makes me think of all the “stuff” we buy, consume or discard. If you have never watched “The Story of Stuff” I highly recommend you take a look HERE Its a 2o minute video on the impact of the way manufacture and consume stuff.

This week I watched a new documentary called Future Dreaming. It’s an interview with a remarkably enlightened man named Dr David Martin. I wanted to talk about this documentary today because it’s being screened at the Nova Cinema on Friday night (Buy Tickets HERE) and David will be there in person. I’m planning to be there as I would love to meet David. Just as “The Story of Stuff” depicts, in this documentary David talks about the fact that we’re caught up in a culture of exploiting natural resources and exploiting humanity as the labour force to create wealth.

Our belief that we have dominion over nature has meant we exploit her resources rather than live in harmony with her. We disrespect nature and try to control her energy rather than be in the flow of the ecosystem that supports us. David even goes so far as to say that over thousands of years humanity has evolved to be less and less enlightened and less conscious. Most revolutions and wars have involved rounding up and imprisoning or killing the spiritual, the intellectuals, the artists, the philosophers and those on the vanguard of human potential.

He sees that most of us now are asleep to this potential and we have forgotten that we are all connected and part of the entire ecosystem that sustains us. With utmost humility and authenticity he says that he is the alarm clock to wake up humanity. To help us be conscious of everything including the origins and the consequences of everything we use or create. Our beautiful Tibetan Buddhist Meditation teacher, Kesang Wangmo, often talks about being mindful of everything and everyone that has contributed to any object you use.

She once reminded me to expand my awareness when holding a glass of water to think about the origins of the glass…. the sand that went into making it, the workers in the factory that manufactured it, the truck driver that delivered it to the shop, the mechanic who serviced the truck, the cashier who took my money and the rubbish collector who took the box to be recycled. When you start to think like that it’s quite mind boggling to contemplate the virtually infinite chain of events and people that contributed to me holding that glass, not to mention the water in it!

When we “wake up” and become conscious we then become aware of this web of cause and effect and the true cost of our stuff. Not just the monetary cost but the cost to people and the planet. When we are all fully awake then we will want to know how our food is produced, how the people that make our products are treated, how the land that provides our food, our timber, our power and our minerals is cared for and what happens to our products when we dispose of them. Like the American Indians, what if we aimed to ensure that the planet can sustain the next 7 generations? We would probably make very different choices about many things.

It’s heartening to see that many businesses are now becoming more conscious and many activist groups like (which I love) are holding companies accountable. I know we have a bit of a way to go but at Simply Natural we do our best to support Fair Trade and sustainability. We actually pay extra to have 100% green energy and we ask our product suppliers the tough questions. Interestingly enough, we asked one supplier about whether child labour was used in the Asian factories they got their products from. We weren’t happy with the answer and so we didn’t reorder. A few months later they contacted us and said they’d visited their factories and made sure that no child labour was allowed. Their website now states it quite clearly. Yey! It shows how powerful it can be just to ask a question rather than turning a blind eye.

So with only 60 sleeps to go remember to come and visit us for your Christmas Shopping. We have a commitment to invest a percentage of our takings in The Hunger Project so you can know that your purchases are part of the solution not part of the problem.

That’s all for now. Have a great week,

Warm Regards,
Alison Burton
Health and Happiness Guru

Simply Natural Therapies
41 Tunstall Square
East Doncaster
VIC 3109
03 9842 7033