Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Part we Played: La Marée Noire and our Yoga Path

I just read a tweet (on twitter hehe!) from Connie over at Dirty Footprints: "Everytime I read about the oil spill I feel like I'm going to throw up. My heart is shattered". Yep, I can pretty much agree 100%. Dear BP: You suck.

My first reaction for the past 36 days has been to put my fingers in my ears and sing "lalalalala" as loud as possible. Andrew didn't really appreciate this happening in the middle of his sentence.

It feels pretty darn hopeless, what can we really do while millions of gallons of oil are polluting and devastating our ocean? We spend our time blaming BP, blaming the American President's supposed "laissé faire" attitude and lack of leadership. Pointing fingers can be lots of fun... but perhaps similar to my 'finger-in-ear-lalalala' strategy; avoiding the fundamental message.

Oil containers and refinery in St John NB- thought they contained ice cream as a child... what? I was a gullible kid.
If we take a moment, breathe deeply and remove ourselves from the emotional reaction of fellow Fern Gully fan peeps, we can see the *Hope* in this catastrophe.

Why were BP drilling oil? Cuz it was fun and they really love doing oil-runs on crazy carpets? We, 'affluent' (comparatively) global community are each responsible. Perhaps we're dedicating our yoga practice to the healing of the ocean, while we use electricity to light our homes and studios, cook our food and oil in the form of the plastics we surround ourselves, the plastic of our mats, clothing and props, our cars we drive and our heat.

A fraction of what is locally called 'Gotham City' in the fog and smog... 
It's not like BP (and other oil companies) are simply going to stop drilling for the good of our planet- as long as we continue to buy oil (in one form or another) we're supporting practices like drilling for oil that have led to this disaster.

Of course, we all know that simply purging our lives of everything oil-petroleum is unrealistic at this time. At the same time, if we truly value the planet we live on, which supports us and gives us Life, recognizing this catastrophe as an opportunity to make significant changes will bring us closer to living in Harmony with Earth.

Take a breath, mindfully step back and accept a small token of responsibility for the oil that is destroying thousands of beings habitats and lives. Make that first step to change;
  • Buy a bicycle and bike or walk as often as possible.
  • Avoid plastic. Recycling isn't enough, we know that now.
  • turn off the lights, tv, computer, air conditioner.
  • turn down the heat by 5 degrees.
  • Need a new mat-clothing? Buy local and sustainable (ie not made in China).
  • Choice of two food options? Choose the locally(est) sustainably harvested.
  • Buy used or second hand. It's called previously loved.
  • Vote! Voting is so essential and the majority of voters are over 40 and male. The government's interests reflect theirs, not yours.
  • Each person can make a difference- don't believe how our 'tiny' choices make a difference? Read on... how 30 million people each day doubt... and the consequence.
 Just a few ideas, there are so many more! We can all begin (or allow to grow) our path of connection to our community and the life force we call Home. If we allow a small acceptance of responsibility.

Blessings and Happy Flower Moon!

article and photograph copyright of EcoYogini at


  1. "Perhaps we're dedicating our yoga practice to the healing of the ocean, while we use electricity to light our homes and studios, cook our food and oil in the form of the plastics we surround ourselves, the plastic of our mats, clothing and props, our cars we drive and our heat."

    YES, yes, and yes.

  2. Great link, I'm always surprised at how many people don't recycle even when it's as simple as throwing something in the garbage. I think the article points to the reason they don't bother, they don't really think it makes a difference. I started a recycling program at work about a year and a half ago. It couldn’t be easier for them, everything can be thrown in the same recycling container; meaning they don't even have to separate plastic, aluminum, glass or paper. Yet every day I see cans and plastic soda bottles in the garbage. They are getting better, we're making steps in the right direction. I don't shame anyone for forgetting to use the recycle bins I just take their items out of the garbage, give them a quick rinse and throw them in the with the recycling, I think they get the point :)

  3. Great post! I especially like how you say we're a comparatively affluent community because class/economic issues play such a huge role here. I've been talking about this a lot with my like-minded, eco-friendly friends, and it's something that there's no easy solution to. For those of us in the middle to upper classes, our responsibility has to be greater. It's so much harder to 'choose green' when you are barely making enough money to put food on the table, or when your only choices are processed foods in too much packaging or nothing at all. There are too many people living in produce-less areas, where a drive to the only grocery store that sells fresh food (probably not local foods at that) takes over an hour.

    I have noticed that many of the very vocal proponents of this vitally important green movement are affluent, or at least privileged, and it has disturbed me to see a growing trend in the claims that if we hit EVERYONE'S pocket books, we'll see a huge change. For some, this could literally make them homeless, or cause a loss of livelihood. Why is it, I wonder, that we always pass the buck?

    I'm rambling but what I'm getting at here is that for those of us with the means to do so, we should assume more responsibility. If we have the means to make more changes (to avoid plastic, pay a little more for eco-friendly products or local food, buy a bicycle, even trade our fuel-guzzler for a hybrid) we should. WE have so much impact on the companies that won't listen because we, with our wealth, are the biggest consumers.

    Personally, it's something I struggle with. My husband and I are privileged but live on a small income. We make the changes we can and that's all I can ask of others. BUT some of us can make a lot more changes and choose not to, for convenience or lack of awareness. I often wonder how we can get through to them?

  4. Perfection. And it even made me feel a little bit better.

  5. I totally agree with you. It's so easy to blame others for things we don't like, but the problem is never with other people and getting them to change - it's about changing ourselves. Great post.

  6. Nice post. We added the link to our Facebook page

  7. @Emma: thank you!! :)

    @DownDoggin': I guess I was more concerned with people thinking recycling is enough... i used to think it was. until I read that link on the 'myths of recycling'...

    but you're right- it is always amazing how easy it is to recycle now, and how so many don't even do that much.

    @teacupdiaries: I agree 100%, the environmental movement definitely has class and racial implications (ie, I just read a pretty interesting bit on Jenn's 'It's not easy being green's blog about that).
    Which was why I put comparatively, as the consumer culture (ahem, those who can afford to be) are the ones with much power (voting and money) to make a difference.... Andrew and I barely fit in there.

    @A Green Spell: SO glad you feel a bit better!

    @Melanie- Hi! I don't think I've seen you comment before- welcome!! (if you have, i'm sorry!! I try to remember commenters... but it's a bit late at night for me lol). I'm glad you liked the post- I was pretty nervous about people's reactions!

    @prAna: wow- thanks for visiting! I'm so glad you liked the post and so exciting that it's linked- much thanks!

  8. great post... moving past the pointing-fingers-blame game/guilt/helplessness track and on to the taking-positive-action/shouldering-our-own is a crucial step for all of us to take but ultimately, when I make that leap, I feel better... much strength and love to all of us as we affirm positive choices for our planet.

  9. Thank YOU, this is exactly what everyone needs to read, but they are too busy pointing fingers (as you said), to really do anything constructive.

  10. I am so late to this discussion, but YES! And thanks for writing.

    We are ALL part of the problem here in that we all consume petroleum-based products.

    And therefore "blaming and shaming" BP, while it may make us feel better, is not truthful. We are all to blame. Every day we hurt our planet, and every day thousands if not millions of creature die because of humanity.

    It's partly the cycle of life, of course.

    But over-consumption is so rampant in our societies that, as you say, we dont' even question that we are "tsk tsk" ing at BP yet all the lights in our house are on and we are running like 20 appliances.

    Thanks for being a voice of reason. Yes, we are privileged enough to have choice. So let's recognize that privilege and make the best choices!!

  11. Wow, really awesome post and so true.
    Just saw this video:

    ""Everything that I know and love is at risk."

    The whole thing makes me feel sad, angry, and hopeless. I am worried that the gulf will soon be dead and it will only live on in my memory as some nostalgic past story i will tell my kids.."yep, i remember when the gulf of mexico was still alive."
    Fucking devastating.

  12. An incredibly well written post on the current event and our own part in it. Something that is a good reminder to have in these times....

  13. I meant to write you earlier when you first mentioned the idea of our complicity. I realized that this was the first time I had heard someone not caught up in blaming BP but instead recognizing that all of us citizens of over-developed North America are part of the cause. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  14. Such a great way to look at it - by accepting and finding some way to take action, we can get past the finger pointing and the feelings of hopelessness. Thanks for putting a good spin on this - great words!

  15. Refusing, reducing, reusing and recycling etc. are all great starting points but they are only a drop in the bucket. We need to focus on alternate technologies - geo-thermal heating and cooling, windpower, solar power, hydrogen power and so on. There are a lot of ways to get away from oil but we do not seem to have the will to do it. We old hippies were trying to get this message out back in the '70's but, clearly, it did not "take" - although Europe is ahead of us in this regard. Trouble is, too many people take the NIMBY approach to alternate technology - witness the hue and cry against windmills, even though they have been used for centuries and today, in Europe, are widely used without the supposed consequences that the critics put forth. I guess if you don't fancy a simple clothesline in your yard, you aren't going to want a windmill **sigh**


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