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Back to basics

  • by 100 Good Things
  • August 18th, 2015
  • 2015, August

Anahata Yoga

I found myself in a basic yoga class one morning and really embracing the poses and sequence my French teacher had put together. His instructions were clear, concise and laced with a wry humor only the French knew how.

Returning to the basics reminds me yoga is neither about showing off your arm-balancing prowess nor about Instagrammable moments.

Being completely present as you mindfully straighten your alignment elicits a sense of grounding and stillness. Slowing down lets in a spaciousness that can be cathartic. Change can only happen when you make space.

For most of us, we need to consciously and conscientiously remind ourselves to bring that awareness to daily living so the calm we find on that mat won’t be as fleeting as sensual pleasures. On days when I am too caught up in nailing that peacock pose, I miss the bigger message, what yoga calls vidya, or clear seeing. It is a good day when your limbs can fly and the stars above are in perfect alignment. It is a good day when customers are lining up to buy your goods and a s**** day when nothing moves.

How can our state of being be so dependent on external stimuli, on what goes on outside? Returning to the fundamentals allow you to cultivate an inner steadiness. There is tremendous power in knowing you can lean onto your own strength in moments of vulnerability.

The ethically and sustainably produced merchandise at 100 Good Things are sourced with care, consciousness and understanding. To purchase them, visit 100 Good Things store.

Birthday reflections

  • by 100 Good Things
  • August 5th, 2015
  • August

The story
of life is quicker
than the wink of an eye
The story of love
is hello and goodbye

So sang Jimi Hendrix. Whether as a Buddhist, yoga practitioner or social entrepreneur, the fragility and impermanent nature of life is not lost on me as I chat with producers I work with. They share with me their founding principles and tell me why they choose this challenge-fraught path, and I, having spent two decades in a publishing career wielding a pen, still relish a good tale or two. Their lives are interwoven with mine though we live thousands of miles apart.

How can it not be? We consume rice from Thailand, vegetables from Malaysia, spices from Indonesia, fruits from Vietnam. Every seed planted, every ounce of pesticide administered, every intention and action impacts a chain of life. Leaving the planet a livable place for our children should not be a lofty idea left to the territory of the wealthy and idealistic.

As Singapore celebrates 50 years of independence on August 9th, I am blessed to be able to reflect on the progress we have made and the road ahead. I am able to tell my children “You are lucky you never went through water rationing like your mother did!” as I struggle to teach them the value of water conservation.

Just a few hours of plane ride away, millions still do not have access to clean water, let alone one that comes straight out of a tap. Through no fault of his own, the guileless First World child deems it fun to line up with a bucket to collect water for the day’s needs.

The First World community, while caught up in the whirlwind known as Life, has the capacity to dig deeper and make a difference. Impermanence is a fact of life, as Hendrix so poignantly sang, but conscious commerce is one powerful tool that can leave a more enduring presence. Simply because our purchase decision impacts so many lives, many of whom reside at our backyard.

This National Day, we want to thump our hearts and tell the world we are privileged to be born in Singapore. We also want a more conscious and compassionate society because we the citizens of Singapore – as the Singapore Pledge goes – can build a society based on justice and equality.

Happy Golden Jubilee Singapore!

The ethically and sustainably produced merchandise at 100 Good Things are sourced with care and understanding. To purchase them, visit 100 Good Things store.

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