The Earth, Consciousness, & Kickboxing

My mind always seems to be running and exploring - a motion of constant curiosity. Instead of simply letting that curiosity simmer in the gray matter between my ears, I want to be more intentional about getting these thoughts down on digital paper. I hope some of the topics I cover make you think or say "hmm". Go deeper into a topic that you're not familiar with. It's also a helpful exercise to document the paths of my curiosity. I hope you enjoy this week's topics!

- We Need the Earth and the Earth Needs Us
I'll admit, I haven't always been a person that's been big on recycling or knew much about environmental policy. Yet my gateway for the love of the planet has always been via animals. Humans, in many ways, have been a destructive force in planet Earth. We've also made strides to rein in our own recklessness. This article from the Associated Press, Trump Aims to End Automatic Protections for Some Species, is a reminder that Earth-caring individuals have to continue to speak up for species who can't speak up for themselves. One of my favorite odes to the environment is a book called Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer (a member of the Citizen Potawatomi tribe -- as am I). Kimmerer says, "For all of us, becoming indigenous to place means living as if your children's future mattered, to take care of the land as if our lives, both material and spiritual depended on it." Because the truth is, it does.

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- Consciousness and Evolution
A brand new book on my shelf! It's called Other Minds: The Octopus, The Sea, and The Deep Origins of Consciousness by Peter Godfrey-Smith. I've been eyeing this book for quite sometime, so I finally popped over to the Amazon book store on my lunch break to pick it up. It's a bit more dense than I expected, but I'm loving the weaving together of science and philosophy. The author touches on the Cambrian Explosion, which is thought to be a 20-25 million year-long period where the variety of species on Earth grew at a rapid pace. It's really mind-boggling to try and wrap your mind around this sort of event. If you're interested in learning more about it, check out this article from the scientific journal, Nature: What sparked the Cambrian explosion? 

- Kickboxing: Movement as Growth
Last Saturday, I signed up for a new gym/kickboxing membership. It's called 9 Round and is right around the corner from my apartment. I've never thought of myself as a "kickboxing" sort of person, but their 30 minute workouts are intense, convenient, and it's taking me into a physical territory I haven't really been before. For the most part, I spend a lot of time developing my mind, but my body has always taken a bit of a back seat. Sure, I go to the gym on a pretty consistent basis. However, I am really looking forward to seeing what this physical growth might look like. Oh, and I get my own pair of boxing gloves, which is pretty cool. Stay tuned for how it turns out!

- Helping The People In Front of You vs. Donating
I'm really conflicted and often feel guilty when I'm asked for money while walking the streets of New York. Last week, as I was rushing to the train to get to work, a man asked if I would go with him to the grocery store to buy formula for his child. Instead of going into the store with him, which was pretty close to the train, I said I had to get to work (which was true). Honestly, though, I probably could have gone in and bought the formula and made it to work on time, even if it had been close. I recently started giving to the ASPCA because of my love for animals. Even though there are so many challenges in the world, I do believe it's important to do something, even if it's about one issue or cause. At the same time, should I be more generous with the people who I come into contact everyday? I'm toying with the idea of taking out four $5 bills each month then giving one to each person who asks for help.

- Pulling the Plug on Facebook
On Monday, after 14 years on Facebook, I finally decided to shut down my Facebook account. I'd been using it sporadically over the last few years, but honestly felt like it was another platform that I needed to monitor. In the interest of paring down where I have accounts and being more intentional with my digital habits, I'm looking forward to putting my time toward writing here on my blog. Less scrolling, more creating. If you're interested in combing through the different types of accounts you've created over the years with your email address, there are some helpful tips in this Quora post.