Friday, March 29, 2013

Guest post from Wallace J. Nichols!

Happy Friday guys! Today I'm very excited to share with you my first official guest post from Wallace J. Nichols, a.k.a. my inspiration for thinking about the ocean in an innovative way! In this post, he discusses his passion for sea turtles, and it really reminds me that it's important to keep this mind-body-environment connection strong. So, without further ado...

If you’ve watched Animal Planet you know that odds are generally working against sea turtles.
From the moment an egg is deposited in a sandy nest on a tropical beach, to the first time a baby turtle touches the sea, to decades later when she returns as an adult to lay her own eggs on very same beach, life is an endless series of life-and-death challenges for a sea turtle.
Nature is stacked against survival, which is why a mother turtle lays thousands of eggs during her lifetime in order to simply replace herself. Predators include dozens of species of crabs, beetles, ants, birds, fish, and sharks. Jaguars, pigs, wild dogs, and raccoons are even on the list of turtle eaters.
For millions of years, sea turtles handled it all just fine.

Yet, when you add modern humans to the mix, the balance suddenly tipped towards oblivion. Over the past century all seven species of sea turtle and their eggs have been hunted, carved, and eaten to the point that many populations are considered vulnerable to extinction. Getting caught accidentally in fishing nets and on hooks just adds to their woes. Throw in plastic pollution, boat collisions, and runaway coastal development on their nesting beaches and you’ve got a situation requiring intervention on a global scale.
But this isn’t a bad news story. That’s because over the past several decades a massive global network of sea turtle scientists, advocates, conservationists, and even lawyers has evolved to work day and night to bring them back. These heroes have been literally working around the clock, saving one egg-—one baby turtle-—at a time. At other times they’ll invest months to rehabilitate a single adult animal before returning it to the ocean. Every turtle released into the ocean is a moment of joy for everyone involved. It never gets old.

Think about it—while you sleep tonight, thousands of scientists, technicians and volunteers are saving sea turtles on the beaches of the world.

These projects are run on “Turtle Time.” Slow, steady, and tenacious wins the race. It takes as long as twenty-five years for a turtle to reach maturity, and return on that turtle-y kind of investment can come slowly.

Turtle people are above all patient and hard working. Many projects have been steadily protecting turtles for more than thirty years. Their work is paying off. Some turtle populations are now on the rise after nose-diving to near extinction before that.

The Black Sea Turtle Project in Michoacan, Mexico celebrated its thirtieth anniversary this year and is experiencing its best season since its inception after watching the numbers of nesting female turtles bounce along the bottom of the graph for a decade.

Its sister project, Grupo Tortuguero, working to safeguard black turtles in feeding grounds a thousand miles away in Baja, is turned fifteen in January.

Turtle hunters and poachers in Mexico have had a change of heart and are now turtle protectors and guides. Everyone reports seeing more sea turtles in the ocean and on the beaches.
Now is not the time to let up, though. To get sea turtles back to their former abundance and to restore their ecological role in the ocean this is just half time.
We know exactly what to do. We just need to continue to execute the game plan.
Along with my friends Brad Nahill at SEE the WILD and Fabien Cousteau at Plant a Fish, we came up with the idea of the Billion Baby Turtles Project to help support groups working on the sea turtle front lines. To make a million more adult turtles we need a billion more baby turtles. It's a one in a thousand situation out there, roughly speaking.

By creatively connecting individuals and small businesses with grassroots projects working to increase sea turtle production, we are helping overcome donor fatigue, burn out, and other second half challenges.
In the coming years we will collaborate widely to further expand the global sea turtle tribe, widen the base of donors through micro-philanthropy, and throw our support behind the men and women working for turtles on the front lines in their coastal communities around the world.

Forty years ago sea turtle pioneer, Dr. Archie Carr, described what it would take to save sea turtles.

“In the long run, marine turtles, like the seas themselves, will be saved only by wholehearted international cooperation at the government level. While waiting for it to materialize, the critical tactical needs seem to me to be three in number: more sanctuaries, more research, and a concerted effort by all impractical, visionary, starry-eyed, and anti-progressive organizations, all little old ladies in tennis shoes, and all persons able to see beyond the ends of their noses…”

That is almost legendary substance.
While high-level official negotiations continue, and the large agencies and organizations fight for pro-ocean and pro-turtle policies, why don't we all do our small part for sea turtles?

A billion baby sea turtles?


Why don’t YOU lead one to the water?

Join Us on Facebook to Help Spread the Word About Billion Baby Turtles & Win Great Prizes (link to promotion)

Bio: Dr. Wallace "J." Nichols is a scientist, activist, community organizer, author and dad. He works to inspire a deeper connection with nature, sometimes simply by walking and talking, other times through writing or images. He is co-founder of SEE Turtles,SEEtheWILD, & LiVBLUE.
Photo: Abigail Alling, Biosphere Foundation

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Midweek Melody???

What do you guys think? Does "Midweek Melody" have a ring to it? Shortly after starting the Music Monday series, I discovered that my new favorite company Holstee's blog also features a Music Monday. So, in an effort to be different, I've been pondering a few other alliterations (since we all know how much I love alliteration...), and I'm trying out Midweek Melody:

This midweek's melody features a band that just keeps coming up on my 'Laid Back Beach Music Radio' and 'Tennis (Pop) Radio' shuffle Pandora station - Alabama Shakes. They're cool, y'all! Their sound reminds me of old-school southern rock. Now, that's probably because of the "Alabama" in their name. And, also probably because they're from Alabama, now that I think about it. Hmm. Anyway, I find the lead singer's voice so intriguing, and I love their lyrics, especially for this song. It reminds me of being young and driven and trying to find the strength within yourself to keep trudgin' forward. So, without further ado, I introduce to you, "Hold On" by Alabama Shakes.

Favorite Line: "I got so much to do, I ain't got much time"

PS - I'm not saying that Music Monday is completely going away. There just may have to be two days dedicated to musical selections...We shall see!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Music Monday #9

I know that I said on the Facebook page that Thursday's post would serve as a precursor for a sunny song for today, but as fate would have it, Old Man Winter has decided to make one final appearance before Spring really starts. Thus, I have bundled up those sunny vibes in scarves and boots. Nevertheless, I'm still in a rather warm mood, and hopefully today's choice for Music Monday will evoke a similar sentiment.

A brief background first. I've mentioned before that I often come across wonderful bits of wisdom at the place where I work. The other day I had another such experience. One guy hadn't seen the other in a while, and they joked about getting older and forgetting each other's names, but never forgetting the stories they've shared over the years. One guy joked, "Hey man, did you forget your wife's name when you first met her, too?" The other laughed, and replied, "Of course not!" Then, the conversation took a reflective turn, and the guy went on to share with us (admittedly after my gentle encouragement...) the story of how he met his wife. He commented on how long they had been married and what he felt was the secret to their strong marriage: good communication and respect. The other guy agreed, and summed up that basically all of that - the respect, the value, the adoration - it all creates a lifelong love. I was so overjoyed that they decided to have that entire conversation in front of me! It was just so inspiring!

So, reflecting upon that a few days later and recalling my love for a lot of Kate Nash songs, I present to you this Monday's music selection: "Birds" by Kate Nash. It's so pleasant and playful and descriptive and just plain adorable when you listen to the back-and-forth between the young lovebirds. And, I'm also making up for not really doing Valentine's Day justice with a post; sorry, I was still in Galentine's Day mode, probably. Nonetheless, here it is!

Favorite Line (because it's so simple after all the lengthy explanation):
"She said 'thanks, I like you, too'. He said, 'cool'."

Friday, March 22, 2013

Introducing...Friday Froyo with Friends!

Hi guys! Happy Friday! So maybe about two months ago, I presented the idea of a Finding a Better Way web-series, in which I briefly chat with people who I feel have found a better way of pursuing their passions. After various technical difficulties (which, admittedly continue even in this final product lol), I give you the first video in what is sure to be an inspiring and fun series to come! (And a note about technical difficulties in filming: you meet the nicest people willing to be your temporary camera person!)

For this first video, I chatted with my friend Michelle who is a Registered Health Information Administrator and Personal Health Records Coordinator. In this chat, she tells us about something innovative she's starting at work. 

For now, I've decided to call it "Friday Froyo with Friends"! (to be modified as "Friday with Friends!" if for some odd reason we can't get our froyo on). Okay, so 'nuff written - enjoy!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Meet the people who "deliver sunshine daily"...again

I've mentioned the blog The Bright Side Project once before, but let me reiterate: this blog is a wonderful. It's therapeutic, in a way, because their posts remind you to think about the sunny side of life. Not only do they share beautiful art, jewelry, and much more in their giveaways, but the questions that they pose on their posts really make you think. I feel it's really important to fill your life with little reminders of things like passions, dreams, hopes, aspirations. I'm aware that these are all basically synonyms, but doesn't it just feel so pleasant to even just read and reflect upon these words?? I think it does. So, in my opinion, it would do you some good to visit their site often. Enjoy!
One of my favorite pictures of all time, which reminds me of sunny days -- mostly because of the sunset, I think. (Taken during a conference in 2009, at Laguna Beach, after a chaotic day at Knott's Berry Farm)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

SO Inspired! Beach, Ocean and related topics

Alright you guys - I'm really excited to share this. I've discovered so much in the past week and a half, but I'll try to keep it concise and coherent.

About two weeks ago, I read this amazing article about how the beach affects us emotionally, and I was instantly inspired by the research being done in this area. Being the avid internet surfer that I am, I quickly uncovered some more pretty cool (to say the least) initiatives in this arena of exploring how the ocean affects us and what we can do to save it to keep it that way:
--- imagine marine biologists, psychologists, neuroscientists coming together to discuss this idea of the ocean-mind-body connection, and conservation research, and other diverse topics - does this not sound wonderful?! Wallace J. Nichols started these BLUEMIND Summits a few years ago. I just thought this was so amazing. We all know how much I love being inspired by talks!
I dug up this favorite ocean moment:
 Summer 2010 on the Atlantic!
This was a time when interacting with the ocean
definitely sucked away the stress of taking Physics! 
* Healing Seas Foundation
--- having been a Psychology major, I love learning about the innovative therapy practices, and healing with surfing is one of the most intriguing initiatives I've seen!
* The Fear Project
--- again, that whole Psychology and ocean connection is so incredibly interesting to me!

These experts know exactly what they're talking about. There is something so amazing about the ocean from every point of view: marine biology, neuroscience, psychology, surfing - you name it!

Wanna know the coolest part? I actually got the opportunity to chat with Wallace J. Nichols! I don't think I need to explain to you how incredibly exciting it is to be able to connect with great thinkers, but I will - IT IS AWESOME. In my opinion, he has totally sparked a whole new wave of research and activism related to connecting to the ocean, and I'm just excited to be in the midst of it all. Moreover, I'm looking forward to continually sharing this innovative information with you guys and keeping you posted on updates!

I am just so abundantly grateful for these signs from the universe directing me to this research. I really love all this talk about the mind-body-ENVIRONMENT connection because honestly it is all inextricably connected. The air we breath, the sunshine we feel, the fruits and vegetables from the earth that gives our bodies fuel -- all of these aspects of the environment make us feel good. And those feelings inevitably promote well-being.

Recently, I met up with a friend, and she was explaining to me her reasons for deciding to become a vegan. She said that for her, it's her way of decreasing suffering in the world by decreasing the suffering of the animals. And, she wasn't trying to convince me that I should take on her decision or anything like that, she was just sharing a way in which she has found to better connect with our planet. That really resonated with me because it confirms the fluidity and omnipresence of this mind-body-environment concept.

So, that was a lot, I know, but I hope reading this post gives you the same rush of inspiration that it gave me to write!

And, but of course, no beach-related post is complete without sharing just a few good "beach music" songs that I've been chilling out to for the past couple of days:

"Cape Dory" - Tennis (recall from that other post)

"Take Care" - Beach House; first heard on one of my all-time favorite episodes of New Girl, "Injured"...'nuff said =) 

"Edge of the Ocean" - Ivy; first heard in 9th grade on Grey's Anatomy and have always loved the lyrics!

"West Coast" - Coconut Records; a mellow tune that makes me wanna go to San Francisco

"Ocean Avenue" - Yellowcard; an old favorite that is excellent for a running playlist

Monday, March 18, 2013

Music Monday #8

I have a lot of goals. Personal goals, professional goals, you name it. I think we all do. In my opinion, our generation is one full of very motivated, goal-oriented people. This post isn't about whether or not it's good or bad to be obsessed with improvement; y'all already know that balance is key. I just wanted to remind y'all (and, mostly remind myself) that it takes time to achieve these goals. Sometimes it's a quick turnover; sometimes it may take years to achieve. This mellow and reflective tune from Billy Joel assures me of this truth.

Favorite line: "Slow down, you're doing fine - you can't be everything you want to be before your time."

Monday, March 11, 2013

Music Monday #7

These exams have truly wrecked my brain! Monday almost slipped by without Music! But, alas, priorities were checked, and  Music Monday #7 is here!

Okay, so, did anybody ever play Playstation's Tony Hawk Pro Skater growing up?! THIS girl did! (What can I say? I have brothers and boy-cousins -- video games are a way of life in the summer.) Anyhow, Tony Hawk Pro Skater was my favorite - not only because I was also a huge fan of the Summer X Games and knew who people like Bob Burnquist and Bucky Lasek actually were - but also because of this one song featured in the game: "Superman" by Goldfinger.

Its upbeat, summer skate-park sound just makes me feel better. Also, I feel that 20-somethings trying to figure things out can greatly identify with the lyrics. So, for all these reasons, this old favorite serves as this Monday's music selection.

Favorite line: "life's too short to watch it fly"

Monday, March 4, 2013

Prepare yourselves: this blog's about to get REAL (aka Music Monday #6)

I had a very important epiphany this past weekend which led me to affirm that these are a few things I know to be true:

1. Stressing out over every little detail create a self-inflicted state of emotional imprisonment
2. You have to forgive in order to forget the pain, but not the lesson gained
3. Until you release certain inhibitions, you'll never fully feel the beautiful rush of life

So, take this for what you will! Just like there's no specific event that sparked these thoughts, there's no specific situation that they apply to - I just really felt the need to share right now! Likewise, I want to share this live version of Alanis Morissette's "Hand in my Pocket". I absolutely love this song, but I especially love how she explains the rationale behind it. Enjoy, dudes!

Favorite Line: "What it all comes down to: is that I haven't got it all figured out just yet. 'Cuz I've got one hand in my pocket, and the other one is giving the peace sign"