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The Buy Nothing Project: Cut Consumption, Keep Your Cash!

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Buy Nothing Year – How To Save Money As A Consumer 

Do you ever find yourself questioning your need for the things you own that drain your bank account? Sometimes, it’s easy to get carried away with consumerism and when you stop and think about all the “non-essential” items you’re purchasing, it can be scary; clothing, home furnishings, hair cuts, cabs, gas, dining out, transit passes and alcohol – to name just a few! And as most of us know too well, that adds up to a lot of money!

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Geoffrey and Julie are a pair of Calgary-based roommates who – between 2013 and 2014 – embarked on a one-year “buy nothing” adventure. Their experiment was to live an entire year without purchasing anything besides their defined necessities; to live in alignment with their values of community and sustainability and to re-think their definition of “necessity.”

The friends saved $55,000 in one year. Think you’re up for the challenge, too? Want to take planning, purpose and progress seriously? Itching to start saving for something – or just to not squander money on things you don’t need? Well, with these money-saving tips for the ethical new consumer, you can!

Know Where Your Money Goes

The most important (and surprisingly, one of the hardest) step in this saving equation is to know your money. Find out exactly where your money goes and then you can work out how you want to shift your spending. If you spend most of your disposable income on clothes every month, then cut it in half to save for your plane ticket, instead!

Fix Instead Of Replacing

Because we’re so used to the availability of household and day-to-day items out there on the market, it’s hardly surprising that we’ve gotten used to just tossing old things out and buying brand new ones in their place! But next time something breaks, how about trying to fix it, first? Save yourself money by doing a little scouting around for spare parts and doing some DIY!

Hold Off On Major Purchases

The next time you’re thinking of replacing your bed, kitchen table, or TV – just because you want a new one – wait a while! A lot of the time, we’re tempted by just wanting to buy something. But if you take some time before splashing your cash, the chances are that you’ll forget about the new item and realize that you never needed it, anyway!

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Cook At Home

Ever find yourself not planning home meals properly and ordering takeout, or meeting friends at a restaurant because you don’t want to cook? Make your own food more frequently and dine on special occasions. Just think – the money you save will taste a lot better spent on dinner in a fabulous new country, than on takeout pizza you only half wanted anyway!

Focus On What You Have, Not What You Need 

Buying nothing means that advertising just doesn’t work on you in the same way. So, instead of spending time and energy on wanting things, you can focus on what’s really important to you now: travel plans, for example. Being able to appreciate what you’ve got can add a spiritual component to your life and make you appreciate how lucky you really are.

Bike & Walk

Sounds pretty obvious, but this one is all too easily overlooked. Instead of driving, save the money you’d usually spend on fuel and try cycling or walking to the places you drive to daily. Not only are biking and walking fantastic types of exercise, they may also make you feel more involved in your surroundings and help you feel ready to face the day!

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It’s true – if you want money, you have to learn how to manage it, like Geoffrey and Julie did. Nobody said that was going to be easy. But, if that means buying nothing for a year, being a more ethical consumer, and being able to do something awesome at the end of it with the money you’ve managed to save – then why not?

Your lifestyle will change – and with it, your sanity may waver. But your willpower is a rock and challenges can only strengthen us… You have no idea how awesome your life is going to be!

Lessons Learned:

  • It’s easy to get swept up in consumerism, but it’s not that hard to break free.
  • Knowing where your money goes is essential for knowing how to save it.
  • Your lifestyle will change, but not necessarily for the worse – just focus on what you have!

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Consciousness

Summer Solstice 2018: The Spiritual Significance & How You Can Reflect In Your Life

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Today, June 21st 2018 is the summer solstice. It is a time where we welcome the season of Summer and can begin reflecting on various things.

  • Reflect On:

    This is the ideal time to consider ways we can balance the masculine and feminine forces in our lives. Where could you use a little more gentle, receptive yin? Where could you yang it up and put in more action-oriented, decisive energy?

The summer solstice is here! This is certainly a day worth celebrating and not just because it represents the longest day of the year for everyone living North of the equator, hello sun — but also because of the symbolic meaning behind it. The summer solstice has been an important day throughout history and for good reason.

The summer solstice marks a time for the celebration of Mother Nature, fun and of course the sun. The sun brings us warmth and light and I’m sure that is something that we can all appreciate.

Solstice At Stonehenge

Stonehenge has been a popular spot throughout recorded time to celebrate this day because it was built to directly align with the solstices, but only during the summer solstice specifically does the rising sun reach the middle of the stones and shine on the central altar. Clearly, whoever or whatever built Stonehenge had this in mind, and it must have been of great significance in order to take on the process of constructing one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world.

According to BBC’s coverage of a solstice event several years ago, the event included an interview with those who appreciate solstice the most,

“We believe it is very important for people to move with the cycles of nature, and actually feel them. If you get up early in the morning and you watch that special sunrise, you’ve been a part of it. The rest of the year is shaped by that. And we think it’s a really healthy thing to do and a very spiritual thing to do.”

 

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What Is So Significant Of The Summer Solstice?

Melanie Beckler, the author of Angel Messages, said the Summer Solstice is a time of “energetic opening” and “celestial potential” pouring out from the sun.

She explained: “Symbolically the Summer Solstice represented enlightenment, awakening and the triumph of lightness over darkness.

Aside from the celebration of the sun, it marks the first day of summer, and really, who doesn’t love summer? Many believe that the summer solstice is all about taking a chance to express gratitude for the gifts of harvest, bounty, and abundance.

Pagans hold a religious ritual on the solstice to honor and acknowledge the turning of the wheel of the year and the new season that is upon us.

While to some it may feel fairly insignificant, we are inhabitants on this earth and just as the earth does, we also go through changes. We are in tune, whether aware or not of what happens on the planet and it affects us, too.

According to the astrotwins, The season of Cancer will last 30 days and is a good time to “balance masculine and feminine energies”.

“This is the ideal time to consider ways we can balance the masculine and feminine forces in our lives.

“Where could you use a little more gentle, receptive yin? Where could you yang it up and put in more action-oriented, decisive energy?

“We all contain both energies within us, and in an age where gender is becoming more fluid and redefined than ever, the solstice is an awesome moment to widen our notions of what that means for us.”

How To Harness The Magic Of This Years Summer Solstice

There are so many ways that you can integrate the powerful energy from the solstice into your life. Most importantly, take some time for you and reflect. This could mean setting aside one hour and journaling about some of the various topics seen above in this article.

If you have some crystals, this can be a great time to put them out in the sun to charge and energize them.

Have a solstice party, in whatever capacity this looks like for you. If you aren’t very into the “spiritual” or “fluffy” stuff, simply having a gathering with friends is a great way to welcome this transition. If you are more inclined to the ritualistic types of activities, you can gather with your friends have a fire maybe, go to the beach, share your intentions for the year.

Even if your day is busy, don’t forget, this is the longest day of the year, take some time for some quiet reflection and some time in the sun. Reflect on the past season, let go of what is no longer serving you from the spring and call in whatever you’d like to manifest for the upcoming season. The sun provides powerful energy for all inhabitants of the earth and our entire solar system, might as well utilize it during its peak day.

Manifest that summer love, enjoy community, and welcome all of the new growth, evolution, and change.

Oh, happy day.

Much Love

Get Your FREE In Depth Numerology Reading

Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.

With the ancient science of Numerology you can find out accurate and revealing information just from your name and birth date.

Get your free numerology reading and learn more about how you can use numerology in your life to find out more about your path and journey. Get Your free reading.

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Consciousness

Is Facebook Just A Virtual Platform For Our Ego?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Facebook is a great platform, but are we using it, or is it using us?

  • Reflect On:

    Are we using Facebook with intention and integrity? Are we being authentic and vulnerable on the platform?

In many ways, Facebook has served us, bringing people from all over the world together. It seems everyone is on Facebook and if they’re not, we’re usually shocked — Really? Wow, how do you even communicate, bro? We all know a few of these elusive people… But, how can I creep your profile and stalk you if you’re not even on Facebook?! Perhaps these people understand some of the darker sides of Facebook.

Without Facebook, there’s a chance I never would have found Collective Evolution online and then moved to Toronto in 2010 to join the team. It has served a powerful purpose for connecting like-minded individuals across the globe and bringing a wave of knowledge and truth to those who are seeking. However, as with basically everything else, this doesn’t come without a cost — as connecting as it can be in a virtual realm, it seems, in reality, many people are feeling more disconnected than ever before. So, why is this?

To the average user, Facebook provides a platform to share our successes, our accomplishments, our fun adventures and our beautiful pictures. But, what about the other side of life; the darker times, the challenges, the real and authentic vulnerability that helps to truly connect us and help us to see that we are not alone? That is where Facebook is lacking.

When we are scrolling through our newsfeed, and we are seeing how great everyone else’s life is — who’s travelling, who’s getting married, who’s having kids, who’s beautiful, who has bought a house etc. It may cause us to feel inadequate in our own lives, why does it seem like everyone else has the perfect life except for me? These are all thoughts I’m sure we have all thought to ourselves at some point or another.

But what we often don’t realize is that the people who we admire are often feeling the same thing as us when they are scrolling through their own newsfeed. It is so important to know that WE ALL FACE CHALLENGES, all of us. This is a natural part of life and ultimately; it’s what is pushing us in the direction to step fully into our purpose and potential.

The Addiction Factor Is Real

In the name of absolute transparency, I am guilty of this. Because a large portion of my job involves Facebook directly I catch myself mindlessly scrolling from time to time. Looking for that next interesting post to give me that quick hit of dopamine, stealing many precious moments away from my day.

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When I post something and I hear that little “ding” a part of me is excited to see what it is, did someone “like” my post? Ooh, maybe someone even “loved” it, is there a comment? Says that little voice inside my head. Really, sometimes it leaves me questioning why I am even posting anything to begin with, is it because I authentically have something to share, or that I am bored and seeking some sort of validation or approval?

These thoughts triggered a conversation with a close friend about the idea that Facebook essentially serves as a virtual platform for our egos. In a sense our ego gets to live out this life with a little avatar and share only the most perfect moments, in some cases, the most beautiful and retouched photos, everything that we wish we were, everything that we feel that everyone else wants to see. When we do this however, we are ignoring a huge and important aspect of the shadow side and that is — ourselves.

This side of us is just as important as any other. By embracing this part of ourselves, not only are we able to step through this ‘darkness,’ but by being open and authentic with this facet of ourselves we can in turn, even if unknowingly assist others who may also be struggling.

Related CE Podcast: Ep #17: Who You Truly Are

Drama, Drama, Drama

Okay, so there’s a good chance that we all have a few of those friends who like to use Facebook as a platform to vent, about ex-partners, horrible jobs, hardships, and other drama. Maybe you see these posts and roll your eyes, maybe you can empathize with these words because you have been in a similar scenario, maybe you just love the drama. While there are no rules to this game, and we can use Facebook however you like, a good thing to ask yourself before posting is, how is this serving?

There is a difference between airing your dirty laundry on Facebook and sharing from your heart. The difference is the intention behind it. Do you wish to slander someone else, in order to make yourself feel better? Have you been going through a challenging time and have insight and awareness around the issue that you’d like to share? Are you seeking wisdom from your friends? There are really so many ways to use Facebook.

Anyone who knows me, knows that my life is essentially an open book. I am always willing to share, the good, the bad and the ugly and often I do so on Facebook as well. I do find that when my purpose is to simply share an experience, whether positive or negative, I receive a very heartfelt response. When I share about my challenges, I do so from a place of vulnerability, because I believe that there is tremendous power in being vulnerable.

Often I am overwhelmed with responses of so many people responding with deep appreciation because they too, have been experiencing a similar struggle or issue and, really, it feels damn good to know that we are all going through challenges. When we can allow ourselves to be fully vulnerable and express ourselves from the heart and to use Facebook as a platform to do so we can truly connect, from a place of compassion, empathy and understanding with one another. This takes away from the ego-fuelled attention game that so many of us are unwilling participants in and allows us to see that really, we aren’t so different after all.

Use ‘The Book’ With Intention

Yes, share your successes, and share your accomplishments but, I also challenge you to share the struggle of what brought you there, how did it happen, what roadblocks did you have to push through to get to where you are now? Speak from your heart and speak your truth. Don’t worry so much about what people might think to learn more about the real you, because chances are they will be able to relate in a way you never thought possible, and they may even be inspired, too. Before posting, anything really, ask yourself, what is your intention for posting it? This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t share pictures from your travels, or your new hairdo, but ask yourself why is this important and see what comes up.

We are craving real connection more and more these days and longing for a sense of community. Facebook can serve in this way if this is how we choose to use it. Be mindful of your activity, and most importantly, don’t forget to actually get out and live your life and take a good old break from Facebook from time to time. Go out and do something without any intention of sharing it, do it for you – not to satisfy your ego!

Much Love

Get Your FREE In Depth Numerology Reading

Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.

With the ancient science of Numerology you can find out accurate and revealing information just from your name and birth date.

Get your free numerology reading and learn more about how you can use numerology in your life to find out more about your path and journey. Get Your free reading.

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Awareness

If Your DNA Information Is Being Sold, Shouldn’t You Make The Profit?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Companies like 23andMe, Ancestry.com and others are collecting your DNA data and can sell the data to third party companies. Timicoin is a blockchain based ecosystem that allows you to monetize your health data.

  • Reflect On:

    Shouldn't you have the option to sell your own data? Is your DNA data safe with some of these companies? The blockchain is helping to create further security and consumer-based monetization of personal data.

Amidst the rise in popularity of companies who take samples of our DNA in order to provide us with information about our ancestry and health risks, there are growing concerns that are not immediately apparent to the average consumer. While most are just happy to be getting exotic information about where they came from and what they should be watching out for health-wise, all for little more than a few hundred dollars, not many consumers are seeing this as a threat to their privacy, and more specifically, as a threat to their control over the most essential information about their unique personal identity–their DNA sequences.

“The key thing about your genetic data … it is uniquely yours. It identifies you, so if you are going to entrust it to a company, you should try to understand what the consequences are,” said Jennifer King, director of consumer privacy at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society, whose research on the issue and interviews with individuals shows a lack of consumer knowledge.

Company Disclaimers

Of course, companies who deal in such services will do all they can to convince consumers that their data is safe and secure. But as this CNBC article notes,

Companies in this space, including 23andMeVeritas Genetics and Ancestry, have a good reason to protect your DNA — their business future depends on maintaining the trust of consumers. But there are thorny issues related to genetic privacy that still today don’t have easy answers or iron-clad legislative protections. And regulators aren’t convinced they are doing right by consumers. A recent Fast Company report indicates that 23andMe and Ancestry are being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission over their policies for handling personal info and genetic data and how they share that info with third parties.

All of these companies say they have clear policies that they will not share your DNA with any third-party unless you explicitly consent to it:

23andMe provides consumers the choice of opting into research conducted on behalf of academic, nonprofit and industry organizations. They also offer an option to consent separately to specific disease studies in which their DNA is used in conjunction with for-profit drug companies, such as the Parkinson’s disease research conducted with Genentech and the lupus and IBD research conducted with Pfizer.

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Abuse Of Private Data

Hearing about research conducted on behalf of ‘academic, nonprofit and industry organizations’ reminds me of the article I wrote on Cambridge Analytica’s fraudulent effort to characterize themselves as an academic organization while mining people’s private Facebook information to target them with ads for the 2016 U. S. Presidential Election. Facebook knowingly sold the information to Cambridge Analytica demonstrating that, when it comes to big companies and corporations, the only thing we know for sure is that money and profit will eventually trump respect for the privacy of people’s information.

If there is money to be made by selling our personal information, corporations will do whatever they can to skirt around privacy agreements. They may even flat-out change their policy and inform us in a pages-long letter that they know no one reads and will simply click the ‘accept’ button. In the current environment, it is wise to be extremely cautious when deciding to consent to having one company share our information, especially our genetic information, with third parties.

Think about it. As technology evolves, surely there will be ways our DNA codes could be used in the future that we would not agree with. But once we have given our consent to the use of this most private information, we can no longer guarantee what happens with it. Wouldn’t it be great if WE had control over our genetic information, encrypted and only accessible by us, to use and share in a manner of OUR choosing?

If we so choose, we may even be able to profit from it. Did you know that health information is a commodity that is already collected and sold via third-party companies? Selling health data around the world is already a multi-billion dollar industry, much like how your data collected from Facebook is. But how do we get back control of our DNA information, which could be our most valuable resource about who we are?

Think outside the box. Think blockchain. Think Timicoin.

Timicoin

Timicoin is a platform bringing together a crypto token and the blockchain and is pioneering the tokenization of health information, including your DNA sequencing and other genetic information, through a decentralized blockchain ecosystem. They promise to allow users to monetize their own data, have access to their health information whenever they need it and verify that it is accurate.

The Timicoin platform is built on their own custom blockchain and it’s already fully functioning. This means that in a short time, you will be able to begin using Timicoin’s blockchain to monetize your health data. For more information, please refer to this earlier CE article. You can also read Timicoin’s White Paper here.

Shift In Business Paradigm

Analysts believe that Healthcare information on the blockchain will grow aggressively in the coming years given the global need for ease of sharing healthcare information. Secure storage of our DNA information is only one part of Timicoin’s larger endeavor to make your healthcare information available globally and instantaneously as needed, but only with your personal consent.

It represents a new business paradigm, whereby information is centralized in terms of permitted access but decentralized in terms of who has the power over the information. No longer will masses of valuable personal information be owned and controlled by large corporations, but rather will be owned and controlled by each individual, not only giving the individual the ability to monetize their personal information themselves, but also securing the validity of that information through personal verification and safeguarding against fraud. Supporting blockchain technologies is supporting individual empowerment in our society, a move that undoubtedly scares the power structure at top levels of our current corporatocracy.

Get Your FREE In Depth Numerology Reading

Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.

With the ancient science of Numerology you can find out accurate and revealing information just from your name and birth date.

Get your free numerology reading and learn more about how you can use numerology in your life to find out more about your path and journey. Get Your free reading.

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