Posts filed under ‘Conscious Products’

I love me some tea-time widsom!!

I love me some tea-time wisdom!!!

The universe is a stage.  Your mind dances with your body, guided by your heart.

Mmmm, mmm, mmmm.  That’s some yummy tea with a side of happy thoughts.  This is why I love Yogi Teas!  If you haven’t tried them yet, they are the fortune cookie of teas!  Most of their ingredients are organic and they are herbal remedies in nature.  I love how good I feel when i nurture whatever need is alive in me at the moment by selecting one of these yummy helpful teas to drink instead of eating a cookie! 😉  They’ve got one for everything!  Kava for relaxation, Ginger for digestion, Peach for Detox, Echinacea for Immune Support, and the list goes on.  Yea! for little bits of self-care!

February 21, 2011 at 9:25 pm Leave a comment

BLISSfix – Click your heels together three times!

These shoes make me want to say “Oh, Mummy, please!” in the begging, pleading voice of a middle schooler who hasn’t earned the ability to buy her own clothes, yet. 🙂  I am not a middle schooler, however I have given myself a rather strict budget and these shoes would have to dip into other excess categories such as dining out or my endless list of books that I want from Amazon.  And when I’m honest with myself, food without labor and knowledge come before fashion for me.  I console myself temporarily noting that all my favorite colors are sold out in my size, so even if I felt ready to purchase them, I could not. 🙂

But I did want to post them here, because the company making them definitely qualifies as a Conscious Company.  I heard about TOMS from my friend Callie, who bought her first pair last week.  I say “first pair” as if there will be more, as all the reviews on the TOMS website express ferver for the comfort they provide and the need for multiple colors in multiple styles.  Apparently for some styles its important to buy a size or two too small, and with others, they run true to size.  Callie said they were a bit tight on day one, but by day two they felt like a cocoon on her feet.

Are TOMS the new CROCS, I wonder?  Something people will begin buying and wearing by the hords only to realize they look silly a year later and leave them in the closet, lest they be criticized as if they were wearing a “snuggie” in public?

But being addictive or a possible fad is not what makes them conscious.  What I appreciate most about them is that they promise to give away a pair of shoes for every pair they sell.  What a thought!?  Building donations into the business plan!  It made me wonder how to do that with my business.

Yesterday I gave my first coaching session in over a year.  It felt soooooooo good and made me reconsider my thoughts about closing the business.  I’ve been attempting to answer the age old question, is this a business or a hobby?  I prefer to easy with it, allowing it to unfold naturally on its own, rather than hard-nosed, profit driven… does that make it a hobby though?  Not necessarily perhaps.  And I find myself wondering how a business model of “every coaching session purchased, offers a free coaching session to someone else.”   hmmmmm…. i wonder. 😉

Either way, check out the TOMS story and the shoes… if you’re like my friend or the people on the site, you’ll be more than pleased!

with pondersome love… heather

July 8, 2010 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

BLISSfix loves Papaya Art!

Spanish girlLotus Notepad I discovered Papaya Art in the Gastown District of Vancouver, BC and oh, how I wish I had discovered them sooner.  They are based out of Ashland, Or and we had just driven through there days ago.  I could have paid them a visit.

The design to the left was the first one to draw me in.  Something about her simplicity and complexity drew me in… and to my delight, each of these beautiful designs were accompanied by a meaningful message.  This designer is after my heart! 🙂  I went inside the art store to discover the wonderful menagerie of products Papaya Art creates.  Journals, magnets, wall decor, notebooks, and more… all posessing beauty and meaning.

One strong recommendation as a purchase is the yellow lotus legal pad to the left.  It was suggested to me at a workshop with Jeannette Wolfe of www.PlanetApothecary.com that it is a good idea to write your intentions in red ink (for action) on yellow paper (for clarity).  Since then I’ve been scouting for yellow paper for these intentions.  This is the most beautiful yellow paper I’ve found!  And such a great price.  $4 per pad.  I had spent $5.50 on 10 sheets from http://www.paper-source.com.

I also love their journals, not only for their inspirational beauty, but because they have lines on the left side of the page for writing and blank pages on the right side for drawing… how clever! 🙂

I raise my glass and tip my hat at Papaya Art and celebrate more creative, inspiring products out there for us to take home.  Here here to conscious creators !  Let us support them so they thrive and more conscious creators will follow in their footsteps.

July 20, 2009 at 10:10 pm Leave a comment

Concsious Shopping – Holiday Gift Giving

A friend of mine wrote me requesting that if I buy gifts this year, consider buying from a small business who is struggling to stay afloat in the current economy.  She suggested a friend of her’s who sales specialty teas, www.felicitea.com.

I was so inspired by her letter and my own attempts to attract holiday shoppers to my greeting cards or to my “Holiday Gift Packages of Coaching Experiences for the Spirit-Minded, Professional in Your Life,” that I wrote nearly every publication in town encouraging them to run a story on small businesses.  All of them had either gone to press or were too busy covering “olds” (stuff that’s happened and you can’t do anything about, as oposed to actual ‘news’ you can use!).

So I was delighted when my friend Amy L. Burns sent out a small business gift giving guide through email.  I suppose the internet, grass roots effort will be more effective after all.  Below is her email and tips for how to be Conscious while you shopw this Holiday Season.

TIPS

Buy something that will change their life for the better… a self-help book, a self-development experience, a gym membership (make sure they want it!), etc.

Donate to a worthy cause in their honor… (best if agreed upon in advance).

Buy something that supports your (or their) local small businesses, like a gift certificate to a local coffee shop or massage therapist.

Buy an experience, verses an object… experiences like gift certificates for golf or a manicure, or tickets to a concert are more likely to be used and bring joy.  They are also less likely to be ignored, dust collectors donated after enough time has passed to not feel guilty, or tossed in the trash to overflow the landfill down the street.  This is even better when you agree to enjoy the experience with them!

Buy creative arts and crafts, supporting those who bring color and creativity to our lives.

BE TRUE TO YOU! These are my suggestions of how “I” stay in alignment with my beliefs… you’re ideals might be different, especially if you or your family works for a national chain… shopping there might be in your best interest…  all I’m really suggesting is whatever you do, Think Consciously before your shop! )


GREETING CARDS & BOOKS

http://LaurenAlexander.etsy.com
Overland Park, KS
Adorable art and packs of greeting cards

http://moderncard.etsy.com
Martha’s Vineyard, MA
Blank, birthday and holiday cards – beautifully done.

http://KupoKiley.etsy.com
Eugene, OR
Handmade books for the serious writer.

http://malien00.etsy.com
Portland, OR  (?)
Colorful greeting cards, notecards and pins.

http://EmilyBalivet.etsy.com
Vermont
Gorgeous mythological Goddesses, art nouveau divas, Celtic witches, psychedelic sorceresses, and medieval damsels.

http://takeiteasy.etsy.com
Los Angeles, CA
Handmade books, cards and whimsical whatnots.

CLOTHING

http://kimmchi.etsy.com
Brooklyn NY
Silkscreen on American Apparel shirts – including men’s!

http://ellembee.etsy.com
White Lake, MI
Hand printed shirts for women, messenger bags and jackets.

http://Ahpeele.etsy.com
Raleigh, NC
Men’s and women’s clothing.

http://MariaElena.etsy.com
Duluth, MN
Fairy wings for grown ups!

http://nodemo.etsy.com
Toronto, Ontario
For the teen (or geeky-cool grown up) in your life.

http://shellmitchell.etsy.com
San Francisco, CA
Because fingerless gloves are way too cool.

http://kittyempire3.etsy.com
Nelson, BC Canada
Wallets, bags and accessories.

CHILDREN

http://threeredtrees.etsy.com
Kansas City
Adorable sock dogs and cats.

http://cherry6goddess1.etsy.com
La Mesa, CA
Cute little plushies – including penguins, pigs and hippos!

http://PerfectChildren.etsy.com
Portland, OR
Impossible plushy animals for your wee one’s imagination.


FOR YOUR KITTY

http://FluffyFlowers.etsy.com
Macon, GA
Catnip anyone?

FINE ART

http://natashawescoat.etsy.com
Bay City
Beautiful fine art prints and posters

http://karenfaulknerart.etsy.com
Pennsylvania
Gorgeous original watercolors at very affordable prices.

JEWELRY

http://WhimsiGals.etsy.com
Newcastle (?)
Goddess brooches and dolls

http://JulieSuzanne.etsy.com
Toronto, Ontario
Fun art pendants

http://woundaroundjewelry.etsy.com
Clinton, TN
I love the beautiful wrapped copper bracelets!

http://allthosethrees.etsy.com
London, England
Handcrafted ecological jewelry.

http://blockpartypress.etsy.com
Baltimore, MD
Unique and colorful cuff links, tie-tacks, pendants, and earrings.

http://waterfall.etsy.com
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Glass rings and beads

http://silentgoddess.etsy.com
Port Orchard, WA
Rings, pendants, bracelets and earrings for the goddess.

ETC

http://westernartglass.etsy.com
Minneapolis, MN
Glass art – pay particular attention to recycled beer bottle art – very cool!

http://Xanadu2You.etsy.com
Tacoma, WA
Amazing copper wire creations – bowls, containers, etc.  Wow!

http://lewasdesigns.etsy.com
Gilbert, AZ
Decals galore!  Decorate your walls, your laptop, your car… What else ya got?

http://tlwoldc.etsy.com
Fair Oaks, CA
Handspun fibers and yarn, knitted wrist warmer patterns, pregnancy aromatherapy, music, and more!

http://GeekGear.etsy.com
Westfield, NJ
Desk-gear made from computer parts… for the coolest geek in your life.

http://OhWhatIf.etsy.com
Minneapolis, MN
Hand-woven rugs from recycled cotton

http://akcupcake.etsy.com
Anchorage, Alaska
Oven mitts, aprons and bicycle seat covers, oh my!

December 1, 2008 at 8:44 pm 2 comments

Holiday Gift Giving – Changing My Ways to Conscious Shopping

[This is a long, entertaining entry, but if you’re short on time, skip to the bottom for TIPS on how to be Conscious with your Holiday Shopping]

For years, my family has been playing a game called the White Elephant gift.

HOW TO PLAY:

We each go purchase an item that would be desirable by either a man or a woman around a set amount (this year, $20).  Then each person places the item in the center of the circle and we all draw numbers to determine who goes first, second, third…, last.  Each person who goes, can either pick a gift from the center, or steal a gift that has already been opened by another person.  Each gift can only be stolen twice, so the second person to steal it is the permanent owner of the gift.  Couples can team up to strategize which gifts to steal and how to ensure they keep the one they want.  Whoever goes first has a distinct advantage, because they can see all the gifts be opened and they can perform the final steal… however, they can’t take anything that’s already been stolen twice.  Tricks people play to keep their item is to tuck it out of view if they really like it and hope no one remembers it later.  If a person doesn’t like their gift, they’re likely to have it on display hoping others will take it.  This can be funny if the gift is clearly for a woman and it lands in the hands of a single guy… but it can also be sort of sad if it’s just a bad gift and the person who brought it is realizing no one appreciates what they thought would be valuable.  This can happen often when there are multiple generations playing.  For instance when my husband (then boyfriend) and I were the youngest ones playing and he brought a swirly, crystal ball thing from Sharper Image and none of the adults would touch it with a ten foot pole.  He promptly stole it from the confused, disappointed receiver and was pleased with leaving with his own gift.  Or the time my grandmother brought isotoner gloves and matching ear muffs, not realizing the fashions have changed a bit… you could see it on her face that she felt bad that everyone was making fun of the gift, not thinking about the person who had brought it.

It was stories like this that prompted me to question the purpose of the game and the purpose of holiday gift giving all together.  My family has gone through several evolutions of gift exchange over the years.

First we noticed that everyone would tear into their stack of gifts all at once and it would be over in 20 minutes without knowing if the people liked the gift or not.  So they decided to go around the circle opening each gift one at a time… asking “who’s it from, and then everyone oohing and ahhing.”

This new way spurred a couple of problems… 1) It took forever, 2) if the gift was not so good, everyone knew it, and 3) sometimes people would run out of gifts and there would be some spoiled individual who still had 5 more packages to open… the favoritism was out of the closet!  Along with these problems, people started noticing that we were spending $200 or more to buy ten $20 items, when the person would probably prefer one $200 item.

This is when we started the tradition of trading names.  Everyone’s name goes in a hat and each person chooses who they will give a gift to next year, someone keeps the list private and people submit to the group a list of items they’d enjoy for $200.  This worked ok, but eventually it evolved into the people buying their own present, wrapping it up, bringing it to the gathering, opening it and pretending to be excited and the ‘original giver’ handing over $200 by the end of the night.

Upon realizing we were all just exchanging cash for cash, the silliness of this process was clear and quickly abandoned.  That’s when, for entertainment purposes only, we moved solely to the White Elephant Gift Game mentioned above.  But now, it seems it’s time for a new evolution.

Holiday Gift giving in the Christian tradition stems from the 3 wise men bringing gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (I was actually given frankincense and myrrh one Christmas, very creative gift, but smelled like an old dusty basement!)  And then also “from the third century in the ancient town of Myra, located in what is now modern Turkey, is home to a shrine dedicated to Bishop Nicholas. Over several centuries, tales spread detailing the benevolence and generosity of Bishop Nicholas, and this is where the idea of St. Nick as gift-giver began.

One of the stories, it turns out, involves Nicholas passing by the homes of maidens too poor to afford a dowry – money that a bride gives to her groom for their wedding. The bishop would throw gold coins down the chimneys of these maidens, where they would fall into stockings, which were hung over the fire to dry.” [from http://www.christmassprite.com/]

I want to honor the reasons why we exchange gifts at the holidays.  I assume that amongst the many reasons, some are:
1) because it reminds of the joy we felt as children opening gifts from Santa and feeling excitement over the perfect surprise [joy]
2) because it’s an easy way to show others that we care about them and want them to be happy [love]
3) because it’s an entertaining way to pass an hour or two, while celebrating what excites the people we love [fun]

The White Elephant Game does serve to entertain us and still give us the exciting opening an unexpected gift feeling… but for me, it’s not meeting my needs of feeling love, fun and joy around the holidays.

The definition of a white elephant gift is “a valuable possession which its owner cannot dispose of and whose cost (particularly cost of upkeep) exceeds its usefulness.”  Wikipedia goes on to say “receiving a gift of a white elephant from a monarch was both a blessing and a curse: a blessing because the animal was sacred and a sign of the monarch’s favour, and a curse because the animal had to be kept and could not be put to practical use to offset the cost of maintaining it.”  It made me wonder, in what ways are these gifts a blessing (getting a desirable gift) or a curse (getting an undesirable gift and feeling too guilty to throw it out).

I would like to point out some of my specific concerns before acknowledging other options…
1) The Excess “STUFF” factor: We every possession we’ve kept from birth to this present moment somewhere in the confines of our 1500 sq. ft. condo… (it’s coming out our ears).  Each chance we get we take another load of excess ‘stuff’ to the goodwill drop spot.  When I give ‘stuff’ away that someone just gave me, I do experience a twinge of guilt, but for years we’ve been asking people to not give us stuff… and yet, we still on occasion receive unwanted, unsolicited stuff.  If somehow we end up with an unuseful gift, it is going to go straight to goodwill.  And instead of feeling guilt, I will choose to know that the $20 is going to make someone very happy as they find this item for only $2 on the shelf at Goodwill.  But I still would rather give $20 straight to a charity instead of contributing to the excess consumption and production of crap on this planet that ends up in landfills.

2) The Insult Factor: I tend to notice the person’s expression who brought the undesirable gift, as the person who ended up with it tries to get others to want it, and as other’s avoid it like the plague… it can make the person feel bad.  Even a “pitty” steal, where someone steals it just so the person thinks they like it, doesn’t make them feel better, because it’s obvious it was done out of pitty.  (I feel like this used to happen a lot to grandma and definitely happened to Sean once, not that he cared, but she did).

3) The “There Isn’t Enough For Everyone To Be Satisfied” Factor –  my minister in California once joked about how he didn’t like the game of Musical Chairs, because it teaches children that there aren’t enough resources for everyone and they have to fight to make it in this world.  Sure, Musical Chairs is a classic game and it seems silly to challenge something so ingrained in the fabric of our culture, but I can’t help but think, “he has a point.”  I remember what it felt like to push someone off my seat, or to have my butt hit the floor when someone else had pushed me off… it sent home the message “fight or be left out in the cold.”  It didn’t honor the fact that scarcity is an imaginary thing… the teacher could easily play the game the opposite way where a new chair is added every time and the kids run around and see who the new group of people sitting is… and repeat… until everyone is sitting.  They could talk about how each person brings different gifts to the circle and that with everyone there, they are the strongest most diverse group that they can be.  This would teach the kids that there is always enough, there is always more, and that it’s great to include people to achieve tasks together.  And it’s true, scarcity is imaginary… there is enough food on the planet to feed everyone… there is enough land to and resources to clothe and house everyone… we just all have to work together to make it possible and stop buying into the horde-mentality of “there’s not enough”, gathering and stock piling away.  Scarcity is a myth, fueled by people who ‘take away the chairs’ and then charge everyone money to have them back.  I’m not trying to say providing a useful product for a price is bad… I’m saying there has to be a better way than scooping up a natural resource and selling the exact same resource  for an obscene profit without providing any real value.  This definition allows for the fact that we need someone to manufacture the oil or make paper from trees… but it does raise the question of how do we provide for everyone and why isn’t that our first priority, as their struggle eventually becomes our struggle as we’re all connected.  [i digress]

That jovial accusation of Musical Chairs isn’t far off with this game either.  As we play the game, it’s only fun if people are “stealing” gifts from one another.  And we suspend the realization that any of us could go purchase the same $20 item if we really wanted it that badly, and there’s no need to be upset about letting someone else have it.  It’s playing into the idea that we have to take what we want from people we care about and possibly leave them with less in order to be happy… and we’ve all felt that feeling of, “gosh, i wish that person had gotten what they wanted.  i feel bad that everyone isn’t happy.”  And when I take from someone i care about (which is everyone in the room) I don’t feel happy… even if it is a game… the emotions of greed, disappointment, and guilt are real.

So I proposed the following in an email to my family:
Couldn’t we go back to our 3 original purposes for gift giving
and use our creative minds and hearts to create a new game that ensures that:
1) every person is excited about what they are receiving
2) every person is happy that what they brought made another person feel loved, heard, valued and pleased
3) every person is entertained as we go around the circle

I mean, maybe it wasn’t so silly to buy your own gift after all… it gives each person the excuse to be able to spend money on oneself, to show people who love you what you appreciate and care about, and to be entertained seeing what the people like.  I can imagine we’re not the only household in the family tight on funds this year… perhaps this is a great year to entertain ourselves in a new way… a way that allows us to be our true selves, get to know each other on this honest and compassionate level, and feel joy of togetherness… the real meaning of Christmas.

Coming up with a new game would be my ideal… but if no one else is interested and would rather play the game as is… i have a couple of solutions that take me out of it and allow others to continue…

1) I can put a $20 prepaid credit card in a bag and plan to donate my gift to charity if i don’t like it or can’t use it
or
2) I can simply opt out and notify everyone that i’ve donated $20 to a charity in the family’s name and explain what the $20 will do for that charity, and then I’ll just watch

It is my greatest desire that everyone experience the feelings of excitement and joy in giving and receiving, knowing that there is always MORE than ENOUGH.

I then invited them to offer feedback on what their desires were for creating a happy holidays and so I exted this discussion to you… What makes you feel good and how can your holiday gift giving experience be deepened this year?

This inquiry truly stemmed from the fact that we’re on a tight budget this year and I’m wanting to make sure that where I spend my money is a useful and conscious place… as it does make a difference.  I challenge you to consider before you shop to notice if what you are buying supports your beliefs, your local community, the end receiver.  By being Concsious as you spend your money, you can feel good on multiple levels about where you are spending your well-earned cash.

SUGGESTIONS:

Buy something that will change their life for the better… a self-help book, a self-development experience, a gym membership (make sure they want it!), etc.

Donate to a worthy cause in their honor… (best if agreed upon in advance).

Buy something that supports your (or their) local small businesses, like a gift certificate to a local coffee shop or massage therapist.

Buy an experience, verses an object… experiences like gift certificates for golf or a manicure, or tickets to a concert are more likely to be used and bring joy.  They are also less likely to be ignored, dust collectors donated after enough time has passed to not feel guilty, or tossed in the trash to overflow the landfill down the street.  This is even better when you agree to enjoy the experience with them!

BE TRUE TO YOU! These are my suggestions of how “I” stay in alignment with my beliefs… you’re ideals might be different, especially if you or your family works for a national chain… shopping there might be in your best interest…  all I’m really suggesting is whatever you do, Think Consciously before your shop! 🙂

November 29, 2008 at 11:47 pm 2 comments

day 49 – Life Visioning (June 1, 2008)

day49I highly recommend the Life Visioning 6-CD set from Michael Bernard Beckwith.

ALRIGHT ALREADY!
This was the topic of today’s sermon at Agape. In keeping with the perfect synchronicity of this magnificent universe, this was the perfect topic for me this week.

DEATH TO MISS FIX-IT 😉
on top of all of this… i’m seeing that my “miss fix-it” attitude i’ve had all my life and taking pleasure from feeling helpful to people when helping with their problems, is actually feeding the awareness that there are problems… which is a choice… not a fact. It seems now that coaching in any form will only continue to seek out the problems in people’s lives instead of waking them up to their divine perfection just as they are. and that my future as a self help guru is shifting dramatically to only speak of the already alright-ness and the lack of need of any guru… including me. its a very curious shift… but i think a “living by example and responding only when asked” situation will be evolving.

*the comments above are the expressed opinion of Heather Dawn Busher and not intended to question the validity or helpfulness of coaching, therapy or healing of any form.

November 25, 2008 at 3:56 am Leave a comment


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