How Cupcakes Changed My Life

“How you climb a mountain is more important than reaching the top.”
― Yvon Chouinard

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OK, I lied.

Cupcakes didn’t really change my life, yet…

 Cupcakes have helped me see that it isn’t so much about the end product, but how I choose to get there.  

Slowing down and recognizing the possibilities and impact of each moment both nourishes our souls and the world around us. This process can feel both like an inconvenience and a pull on our limited reserves of time, energy, creativity, thoughtfulness, talent, inspiration or money… yet as we give what we think we do not have enough of, our life transforms; we find ourselves asking how we can feel so content and full of a happiness that persists even among the pains of life.

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To build new habits, we need to strengthen our mental muscles. We need to begin by creating a mantra that asks something of ourselves. It isn’t about bettering ourselves or the moment. It is exactly the opposite. It is about learning how to step back into our magnificent selves and live the moment as “we” instead of me.

Here are 16 statements and questions to help get us started on creating a nourishing and slowing mantra:

1) I don’t think I need that.

2) What would the courageous thing to do here?

3) I think I will let that thought go.

4) Could I make a new and inspired choice that leaves the world a better place, or at least no worse?

5) Do I believe in this and how does this impact the world?

6) I am so happy that this action aligns with my values.

7) Who could I teach this to?

8) I choose this instead of that because it gives comfort.

9) Could that be re-used?

10) Is this action just, compassionate and loving?

11)  I am enjoying this moment.

12) Just listen.

13) Deep breath and stand up for what is right.

14) This action promotes well-being for everyone and I am grateful.

15) My actions matter and make a difference.

16) Can I spend a little extra on that which promotes justice?

 As we contemplate the power of the moment and invest in something greater than ourselves, there will be a sense of loss and confusion as the world whizzes by. We question what we are missing… but I have to hurry up. I don’t have time. I need more. I want more. It has to be better. I need more happiness. Grab. Don’t care. Don’t have time. Don’t have time. Too busy. Don’t even remember that I care. Need more. Better. Meeeeeeeee!

Whatever we are doing, including eating, buying, giving, or baking cupcakes, we have limitless possibilities to incite our slowness mantra and ask something of ourselves. What moments of justice, equality and love created that bike, that house, that car, that skirt, that makeup, that phone, that conversation, that text, that email, that bacon, that water, that blanket, that hamburger, that restaurant, that job, and that life-changing cupcake? 

Don’t have time? Make time. Start with one act of slowness, and build from there. These are the moments that begin to build deep and lasting happiness. These moments fill us up with gratitude and abundance because we are being of service in each and every moment. We are shifting our focus from the quick feel-good ending to the long, beautiful and enduring now.

Peace to you and may all your cupcakes be as beautiful inside as out.

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Take Time TODAY to Support Our Health and Environment with the Food and Farm Act

First, what is the Food and Farm Act?

The Food and Farm Act, otherwise known as H. R. 4425, is a bill that was introduced by Representative  Earl Blumenauer, on November 16, 2017. This bill plans to:

 “reform the safety net for farmers and ranchers, enhance soil, water, and habitat conservation, encourage beginning farmers and ranchers, strengthen nutrition for Americans, support agriculture research and innovation, reduce food waste, improve animal welfare, and invest in regional food systems, and for other purposes.”

To support this critically important bill, please dial 202-224-3121, and press 2, then enter your zip code to connect with your state representative. Here is a sample script you can use:

I am a constituent, and am calling to ask you to sponsor the Food and Farm Act, H.R. 4425, to create a fairer and more sustainable food system. 

Thank you for you your much needed support! Every call makes a difference!

Did you make the call? I’d like to hear from you!

-Friends of the Earth:

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Friends of the Earth today supported Representative Earl Blumenauer’s (D-OR) Food and Farm Act, a progressive alternative to farm policy dominated by industrial agriculture. Current federal agricultural policy directs significant tax-payer subsidies towards large, pesticide-intensive industrial farms at the expense of family farmers, rural communities, public health, animal welfare, and the environment. As Congress begins to deliberate the 2018 Farm Bill, Friends of the Earth applauds the Food and Farm Act’s alternative vision for an agricultural system that will help family farmers and ranchers thrive, while improving access to healthy food and protecting our planet.

“Instead of handing out endless taxpayer dollars to agribusiness polluters, the Food and Farm Act will provide farmers the support they need to produce abundant, healthy food while protecting our soil, water, climate and pollinators,” said Kari Hamerschlag, deputy director of the food and agriculture program at Friends of the Earth. “For the benefit of family farmers, consumers, animals and the environment, we urge Congress to reject the status quo and support Rep. Blumenauer’s alternative farm bill”

“I applaud Rep. Blumenauer for drafting a farm bill that will help farmers like me expand production of organic, grass-fed, humane, and locally processed meat and dairy products for the growing market of consumers who want healthier food for their families,” said Will Harris, a fourth generation farmer and owner of White Oaks Pasture, a diversified and certified organic, grass-fed and humane operation that raises and processes beef, lamb, poultry, rabbits, eggs, and vegetables in Georgia. “It would be a great leap forward to have a farm bill that supports regenerative and humane agricultural practices that serve to strengthen our local rural economies.”

Among other provisions, the Food and Farm Act includes measures to:

  • Level the playing field for family farmers by limiting subsidies in the commodity, conservation, and crop insurance programs;
  • Protect soil and water quality by requiring that crop insurance subsidy recipients implement good stewardship practices on their land;
  • Support regenerative, organic, pasture-based and humane farming practices that will protect pollinators, build healthy soil and reduce the use of antibiotics and pesticides;
  • Eliminate conservation subsidies for large factory farm waste facilities;
  • Increase access to healthy food in underserved communities and schools, and support infrastructure investments that will allow greater access to better quality, regionally produced meat, dairy and poultry products;
  • Protect farmers from anti-competitive, deceptive and abusive business practices by multinational meat processing companies;
  • Increase research for sustainable agriculture, climate resiliency, plant breeding and animal welfare; and
  • Require reporting of greenhouse gas emissions from factory farms and commodity crop production.

Expert contact: Kari Hamerschlag, (510), 207-7257, khamerschlag@foe.org
Communications Contact: Erin Jensen, (202) 222-0722, ejensen@foe.org