Saturday, April 30, 2011

Orangutans, Turtles & PayPal

I watched a Nightline segment that was bitter/sweet the other night regarding a sanctuary for baby elephants. Since I seem obsessed with elephants lately, (I wonder what that is all about), I found myself churning the video of a baby elephant not wanting to leave its dying mother, who was shot and robbed of her tusks. The baby was adopted by this woman (another woman!), and her foundation that has adopted over 130 baby elephants that have been orphaned - many by poachers looking for ivory to feed Asian markets. I was awake for hours. Despite trying to avoid news segments, these stories seem to creep in, affecting me even more deeply than ever before. My way of dealing with this issue is to shine a light on this wonderful woman's work.

I have also been using my PayPal account to send funds in every which direction. I'm going to be in trouble when the bill comes, but the baby Orangutans were in dire straits, and it seemed so much easier to just have the money come out once a month for the turtles through Oceana.

I also find that anything that draws a big reaction emotionally from me seems to pop up everywhere! As with these elephant stories, they seem to find me no matter how hard I try to hide from them. There were three last week alone. I will be scrolling along, minding my own business, reading dumb stories on Huff Post and bam! A story designed to rip everyone's heart out. Naturally I have to read it - for some reason I feel compelled to read every painful story, as if I am not giving the respect due if I don't take it in and make myself feel bad.

But that is not the gist of this post. I think we are all being inundated with negative images, thoughts, and fears. I am not alone in feeling bombarded, I'm sure. So, it's time to talk about ways to feel more centered, to feel joy in the moment, and hope for the future. With that in mind, I would like to ask YOU - what do you do to stay in the moment? What brings you joy?

And by the way, is there an issue that has you obsessed? If so, why do you think that is?


d page said...

This blog post is very moving,and relevant. The questions you ask here are meditations into the inner self.

I can relate to being compelled to read these stories without turning away, to give that being respect for their experiences. I saw the elephant story as well, and my daughter called me after seeing it, because it moved her so much.

To stay in the moment:I once had a beautiful moment that was also one of the most painful moments of my life. During that moment something shifted in my mind- a revelation. I use that memory to remind me what is real.(Both pain and joy existed at the same time.)

As for obsession: I have been obsessed with paintings as I painted them, periods of history, the nature of angels, chocolate chip cookies and the meaning of life. I have never found the answers as to why for any of it.

Nancy said...

d - Thanks - it is somehow comforting to know I'm not alone, and know exactly what you mean about pain and joy existing in the same space.

Lydia said...

I, too, saw the feature on baby elephants and thank you for your post that reminds me that my tears are of no service and I must send money. As if this wasn't enough to cry over and worry about, I now find myself obsessing about what will happen when the woman grows old and frail. Her foundation absolutely must be strong and viable to survive beyond the founder's dream...

I have Polar Bear in my blood I think because thoughts of them are almost always with me and they do creep into my awareness via media/news when I am not thinking about them. And Wild Horses....they need and receive my attention and donation dollars.

I have used PayPal for cause donations more and more...Network for Good also, via PayPal.

I must say that your question "What brings you joy?" has me stumped. I do not think I have been very joyful for months. However, since January I have had weekly acupuncture treatments and they have brought me a sense of inner peace.

Bless you for doing all that you do. Baby elephants, baby orangutans and all the creatures who touch your heart and your PayPal account are connected to you in ways we probably cannot fathom.

Brian Miller said...

thank you nancy...i tend to get that obsession with homeless people honestly b/c i realise i am one decision away...i do love animals though....

Rob-bear said...

I'm touched, again, Nancy, by the generosity of your heart.

DJan said...

I love your concern for these animals, and I too feel a strong connection to these elephants. They are amazing creatures. You are a very thoughtful person who creates heartfelt posts that touch me.

My obsessions come and go, thank goodness. The last one was over losing weight and changing my diet. I find being in nature and contemplation are foolproof methods to get me back on track.

luksky said...

It's odd you should post about elephants. Lately, I have been seeing elephants everywhere...on calendars, on T.V., figurines at yard sales, etc. I told my husband it must have some spiritual meaning but I'm not quite sure what it is...

Deborah said...

Nancy, I've just started reading 'Water For Elephants', which isn't exactly just about elephants, but supports your suggestion that elephants are everywhere!

I can't pinpoint anything in particular that centers me, except sometimes a conscious decision to just stop worrying about things over which I have no control, and to remind myself of a phrase I heard not long ago: 'the way you spend your days is the way you live your life'. It helps to bring my focus back to the here and now.

I'm not consistently drawn to any one issue, although the women of Afghanistan preoccupy me of late.

A thoughtful post, Nancy - and good that you are generous with your attention to others in needs.

ellen abbott said...

re your last paragraph but one, here's an article on that very thing, negative bombardment.

Negerigeletschtempoit said...

The older I get, the more it hurts when I see or read anything related to cruelty to animals. It has become a physical pain. Total lack of control, and true, horrible pain.

The contrasts of this world are making me very tired also. And worried. Sometimes, I feel a sadness that I cannot explain.

The only way I have found to keep myself sane is actually going outside, and looking at my sorroundings (we live in the country).

Letting the energies that we have "given" to our own property, throughout years of work and caring, come back and fill me.

An exercise of give and take.

When I have it in me, I give it to it's full extent. Thinking and being positive while I work. Thanking and enjoying it. Being one with the land, the trees and air.

When I feel weak, I go there and retrieve a little, to calm me down. In fact, I actually feel that nature gives it back to me - I am not stealing it.

Sounds crazy but that is the only thing that has worked for me.

Nancy said...

Lydia - What a beautiful and thoughful comment - thank you!

Brian - The homeless are not any less deserving. I do hope you all goes well for you and your family during these difficult times.

Rob-bear - Thank you :-)

DJan - Thank you, I have been following along with your weight loss and continue to be amazed at your ability to focus and conquer anything you want to do. That is an amazing quality.

luksky - I think they are entering our collective consciouness because they are in serious trouble all over the world. They are amazing creatures - loyal, fearless, and intelligent.

Deborah - I love that you care for the women of Afghanistan. They are in my mind as well. I hate war in all regards, but I have to admit to hoping the invasion would help the women of Afghanistan.

Eleen - Great article. Thanks for the link - I've bookmarked it.

Negerigeletschtempoit - Same with me. My love of animals is taking on a whole new level of intensity in my life. As for living in nature, and especially in a place where you are invested - I think it can't get any better than that! We keep coming back up to our little home at Tahoe because sits in the mountains next to a stream. Nature renews and soothes the soul.

susan said...

I do much the same as you and get sad I can't afford to donate much to even a few of the causes that are seriously in need of funding. I will go back and donate to the baby elephant sanctuary though. It does make one wonder how these babies will get by since elephants are so very family oriented.

The issue that still has me obsessed is the continuing nuclear disaster at Fukushima. Tepco and the Japanese government are playing down the seriousness of the ongoing disaster and meanwhile, they have no clue what to do. It's a problem similar to the gulf oil explosion/leak last summer which is still well below the radar of the compliant media.

On the good side, we inhabit a beautiful planet where the far larger percentage of people are as nicely ordinary as us. In celebration of the beauty, today I planted 50 sunflowers in the big wild park at the bottom end of the city. That's where we go when we want to walk close to the sea. Hopefully, some of them will grow and make someone happy for a moment.

Marguerite said...

Great post! So kind and generous of you to donate to such worthy causes. I don't watch much t.v., so I guess I miss a lot of these opportunities.

To stay centered, I practice Yoga, every day, and go out dancing and work out, several times a week. These are a few of the many things that bring me joy and keep the cobwebs out.