Archive for the ‘healing’ Category
Due to the resourcefulness of these garbage pickers, an orchestra came together, and they play violins, cellos, and other instruments artfully put together from trash. A concert they put on for The Associated Press also featured Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” and some Paraguayan polkas. Los Reciclados de Cateura is now an independent orchestra and performed in Brazil and Colombia before planning a world tour with input from fans on a thriving Facebook page. The orchestra will play this year in Argentina, the US, Canada, Palestine, Norway and Japan. Chávez has also received an invitation to play at June’s Meltdown festival in London.
Rocio Riveros, 15, said it took her a year to learn how to play her flute, which was made from tin cans. “Now I can’t live without this orchestra,” she said.
Word is spreading about these kids from Cateura, a vast landfill outside Paraguay’s capital where some 25,000 families live alongside reeking garbage in abject poverty.
“The orchestra has given a new meaning to my life, because in Cateura, unfortunately, many young people don’t have opportunities to study, because they have to work or they’re addicted to alcohol and drugs,” she said.
Her little sister Noelia announced with the innocence of a 12-year-old that “I’m famous in my school thanks to being in the orchestra.”
Their 16-year-old aunt next door, Maria Rios, 16, also is a violinist.
“My mother signed me up in teacher Chavez’s school three years ago. I was really bothered that she hadn’t asked me first, but today I’m thankful because she put my name in as someone who wanted to learn violin,” Maria said.
Her mother, Miriam Rios, who has 14 children in all, said Maria was born when she was 45.
As you can imagine, hope for the future is hard to find when you’re growing up in a place where children have to work combing through mountains of trash each day. The young people of the community often become addicted to drugs and alcohol due to the insane conditions around them.
The project was born in 2006 when Favio Chávez, 37, began work at the landfill as a technician, helping recyclers to classify refuse. Over time he started to get to know many of the people that lived there. He looked around and saw the struggles that the people there were having to face day after day, especially the children. But his passion for music took him home each weekend to the small town of Carapeguá, 50 miles from Asunción, to conduct a youth orchestra.
After he brought the group to Cateura to perform, the gancheros asked Chávez if he could teach music to their children, many of whom would spend afternoons playing in the rubbish as they waited for their parents to finish work.
But as the months passed, Chávez – a longtime fan of Les Luthiers, an Argentinian band that uses homemade instruments – realised the ever-growing number of children under his tutelage needed to practise at home if they were to progress.
“A violin is worth more than a recycler’s house,” says Chávez. “We couldn’t give a child a formal instrument as it would have put him in a difficult position. The family may have looked to sell or trade it.
Enter Cola. That’s Nicolas Gomez, nicknamed Cola, and he has worked at the Cateura landfill for a long time. He picks through the trash items that have a bit of hope of becoming useful again and then gathers them up to take back to his workshop.
He had to drop out of school when he was younger to go to work breaking rocks at a quarry but over the years he developed a great skill on his own using the workshop at his home to make discarded items useful again.
Cola had never even heard of Mozart but when Favio brought him a normal wooden violin and asked him to make one out of trash that worked the same, he was up to the task.
He took measurements from the regular violin and studied it closely. He did his best crafting the landfill violin out of the most promising materials. Then he gave the violin to Favio to be played and… it sounded good! And through trial and error he made more adjustments and the sound got even better.
Cola hadn’t simply made something in the same shape of a violin, he had made a beautiful sounding instrument. Now any child in Cateura that wanted to play music could have their own instrument.
Favio’s music program grew from there, and it’s changed many of the kids’ lives. The music program gives them something positive in their lives and a way to work through the extreme issues they face living in such a place without needing to turn to drugs and alcohol.
Now with the aid of colleagues, Chávez – who has been teaching music since he was 13 – uses the instruments to give classes to around 70 children and also directs weekly orchestra practice.
But he has a goal that goes beyond music. Chávez believes the mentality required to learn an instrument can be applied more widely to lift his pupils out of poverty.
- Landfill Harmonic: Making Beautiful Music From Trash (makezine.com)
- The world sends us garbage. We send back music | Sheridan Voysey (whatyoumeantosay.wordpress.com)
Uncover what’s standing in the way of your emotional health and happiness
By Camille Noe
Your mind and spirit may be the most overlooked—and under appreciated—components of your well-being. But research has shown that nourishing them not only lowers stress, lifts mood and improves relationships but can also protect your health. “Mind, body and spirit are interdependent, so if you take care of your spirit, your body and mind will reap the rewards,” says Linda Sapadin, Ph.D., a psychologist and author of It’s About Time! The Six Styles of Procrastination (Penguin, 1997).
1. You don’t breathe deeply.
It sounds simple, but studies show that taking deep breaths keeps you alert and relaxed. Make an effort to inhale and exhale for two to three counts each throughout the day.
2. You don’t get enough sleep.
Sleep deprivation can leave you feeling jumpy, disoriented and unable to cope, says Rosalind Cartwright, Ph.D., director of the Sleep Disorder Center at Chicago’s Rush Presbyterian Medical Center. She recommends that you lighten your mood before bed—by reading a humorous book, for example—since being cranky can lead to less- rejuvenating sleep.
3. You’ve banned chocolate.
“Chocolate stimulates mood-enhancing brain chemicals like serotonin,” says Debra Waterhouse, author of Why Women Need Chocolate (Hyperion, 1995). The amount in just two Hershey’s kisses will do the trick, she adds.
4. You neglect to exercise
Working out can significantly ease depression, according to a recent study from Duke University. To get the feel-good chemicals flowing, aim for 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week.
5. You stay indoors all day
Lack of sunlight, even during summer, can leave you lethargic and depressed. Just 20 minutes is enough to brighten your outlook, so if you work inside, take a brisk walk outside at lunch.
6. You eat only fat-free food
“Bad” fats, like saturated fat, can lead to high cholesterol and heart damage. But “good fats,” such as omega 3′s, keep your memory sharp and your mood steady. Good sources include tuna, salmon, flaxseed oil, walnuts and beans.
7. You skimp on calories
Eating too little-less than 1,200 calories a day-can make you tired and irritable, says Kelley Brownell, Ph.D., director of the Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders. Eat a healthy, balanced diet of at least 1,500 calories to maintain energy.
8. You skip breakfast
A recent Canadian study found that having a morning meal of carbohydrates, protein and fat (such as bran cereal with one percent milk) enhances memory. If you’re on the run, at least grab a meal-replacement bar.
9. You’re still smoking
If the threat of lung damage hasn’t convinced you to quit, a new study from the Kentucky Center for Reproductive Medicine discovered that chemicals in cigarettes may lower your libido-and less sex makes for an unhappy relationship. For help kicking the habit, go to quitnet.org.
10. You don’t make time for sex
“It’s believed that having sex stimulates the release of feel-good chemicals called endorphins,” says Constance Ahrons, Ph.D., director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at the University of Southern California in TK. Plus, the intimacy it fosters is the glue that binds couples together. Make time by scheduling a “date” with your partner at least twice a week.
11. You have more than two alcoholic drinks a day
A new study found that women who drink excessively may suffer permanent memory damage. Alcohol also acts as a depressant, ultimately lowering your mood. Stick to one glass of wine at dinner.
As you look back on your life, you will often realize that many of the times you thought you were being rejected from something good, you were in fact being redirected to something better. You can’t control everything. Sometimes you just need to relax and have faith that things will work out. Let go a little and just let life happen. Because sometimes the truths you can’t change, end up changing you and helping you grow.
Here are twelve such truths…
- Everything is as it should be. It’s crazy how you always end up where you’re meant to be – how even the most tragic and stressful situations eventually teach you important lessons that you never dreamed you were going to learn. Remember, oftentimes when things are falling apart, they are actually falling into place.
- Not until you are lost in this world can you begin to find your true self. Realizing you are lost is the first step to living the life you want. The second step is leaving the life you don’t want. Making a big life change is pretty scary. But you know what’s even scarier? Regret. Vision without action is a daydream, and action without vision is a nightmare. Your heart is free, have the courage to follow it. Read Awaken the Giant Within.
- It’s usually the deepest pain which empowers you to grow to your full potential. It’s the scary, stressful choices that end up beingthe most worthwhile. Without pain, there would be no change. But remember, pain, just like everything in life, is meant to be learned from and then released.
- One of the hardest decisions you will ever face in life is choosing whether to walk away or take another step forward. If you catch yourself in a cycle of trying to change someone, or defending yourself again someone who is trying to change you, walk away. But if you are pursuing a dream, take another step. And don’t forget that sometimes this step will involve modifying your dream, or planning a new one – it’s OK to change your mind or have more than one dream.
- You have to take care of yourself first. Before befriending others, you have to be your own friend. Before correcting others, you have to correct yourself. Before making others happy, you have to make yourself happy. It’s not called selfishness, it’s called personal development. Once you balance yourself, only then can you balance the world around you. Read Psycho-Cybernetics.
- One of the greatest freedoms is truly not caring what everyone else thinks of you. As long as you are worried about what others think of you, you are owned by them. Only when you require no approval from outside yourself, can you own yourself.
- You may need to be single for awhile before you realize that, although the co-owned belongings from your failed relationships might not have been divided equally, the issues that destroyed the relationships likely were. For how can you stand confidently alone, or see the same issues arising in your newest relationship, and not realize which broken pieces belong to you? Owning your issues, and dealing with them, will make you far happier in the long run, than owning anything else in this world.
- The only thing you can absolutely control is how you react to things out of your control. The more you can adapt to the situations in life, the more powerful your highs will be, and the more quickly you’ll be able to bounce back from the lows in your life. Put most simply: being at peace means being in a state of complete acceptance of all that is, right here, right now.
- Some people will lie to you. Remember, an honest enemy is better than a friend who lies. Pay less attention to what people say, and more attention to what they do. Their actions will show you the truth, which will help you measure the true quality of your relationship in the long-term.
- If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never have enough. If you are thankful for what you do have, you will end up having even more. Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold; happiness dwells in the soul. Abundance is not about how much you have, it’s how you feel about what you have. When you take things for granted, your happiness gets taken away. Read The Happiness Project.
- Yes, you have failed in the past. But don’t judge yourself by your past, you don’t live there anymore. Just because you’re not where you want to be today doesn’t mean you won’t be there someday. You can turn it all around in the blink of an eye by making a simple choice to stand back up – to try again, to love again, to live again, and to dream again.
- Everything is going to be alright; maybe not today, but eventually. There will be times when it seems like everything that could possibly go wrong is going wrong. And you might feel like you will be stuck in this rut forever, but you won’t. Sure the sun stops shining sometimes, and you may get a huge thunderstorm or two, but eventually the sun will come out to shine. Sometimes it’s just a matter of us staying as positive as possible in order to make it to see the sunshine break through the clouds again.
As an archer aims his arrow, the wise aim their restless thoughts, hard to aim, hard to restrain.
As a fish hooked and left on the sand thrashes about in agony, the mind being trained in meditation trembles all over, desperate to escape the hand of Mara.
Hard it is to train the mind, which goes where it likes and does what it wants.
But a trained mind brings health and happiness.
The wise can direct their thoughts, subtle and elusive, wherever they choose: a trained mind brings health and happiness. Those who can direct thoughts, which are unsubstantial and wander so aimlessly, are freed from the bonds of Mara.
They are not wise whose thoughts are not steady and minds not serene, who do not know dharma, the law of life. They are wise whose thoughts are steady and minds serene, unaffected by good and bad. They are awake and free from fear.
Remember, this body is like a fragile clay pot. Make your mind a fortress and conquer Mara with the weapon of wisdom. Guard your conquest always.
Remember that this body will soon lie in the earth without life, without value, useless as a burned log.
More than those who hate you, more than all your enemies, an undisciplined mind does greater harm.
More than your mother , more than your father, more than all your family, a well-disciplined mind does greater good.
Buddha – Dhammapada 3 : 33-43
- Zen and The Bamboo Rod (bamboobillrods.wordpress.com)
- From the Buddha’s Dhammapada (ByronKatie.com) (theinvisibledragon.com)
- Your Children Are Not Your Children and A Lesson From A Westerner (dreamsandgreens.wordpress.com)
World Wide Window
One day I discovered I could see Iran through my window
An awesome sight, throngs of people
old and determined, young and defiant
So many, they dwarfed the capital’s grand monuments
Filling the streets, the squares, the parks
Jewel bright flashes of green everywhere
I had never really looked at Iran before
Now I found it mesmerising: I couldn’t look away
The scenes changed, peaceful green scorched by fiery orange,
stained with bloody red. Surrounded by dark shadows
Strong, noble green prevailed
Day by day it became the colour of Iran
Around the world, people were drawn to the window
Day after day we watched
We wrote tiny messages of support
Maybe they would realise they were not alone
We bore witness. We watched and waited
Life away from the window began to lose its colour
I sat in my grey world and stared at Iran,
hungry for any glimpse of green
Time goes by, still we watch and wait
Infinite confetti of hope and friendship, sympathy and love
rains onto Iran from a million windows
Some time in everyone’s life there’s pain or injury. It’s just part of the deal, right? And most times it’s nothing too serious and just sort of ‘heals itself’. A familiar story so far.
How this is supposed to work is there’s some kind of limitation on healing; if a hurt is outside of the normal range it can’t heal. But this is no ordinary range. When healing occurs that is beyond ‘expected’ limits, it’s suddenly mysterious or miraculous.
How about we raise our expectations, then what could we experience? Surely, that’s what modern medicine has been doing, raising the limit through the ‘miracle of science’. OK, what about raising the limit on ‘normal’, what happens if we try it for ourselves? Let me tell you, however weird it sounds, it is working for me every day.
About 18 months ago, I had something wrong that just wouldn’t heal. The diagnosis was pretty dire, and the future suddenly looked bleak: long-term or even life-long medication and all sorts of tests and therapies. This was not part of my plan at all, and I wanted out. I just couldn’t accept what was being told to me; that I would be disabled for the rest of my days. Worse, they couldn’t tell me why I got sick or how to cure it. All I had was the name of a disease and a load of pills.
At this time, a very dear friend gave me a book called Anything Can Be Healed by Martin Brofman. It took a little effort to read all the way through – many of the ideas were pretty far-fetched even for me, but I persevered. I figured: what’s the worst that can happen? So I tried it. It’s basically a healing meditation. And it worked. I’m off the painkillers, back at work and busier and more positive than I was before I got sick. That is mainly due to the fabulous way it feels to wake up each morning and realise you are free of pain.
If you or someone close to you is in pain right now, I wish you well and hope that you can find a way to heal.