Let’s transition away from economic growth

Here’s an impactful short film that explains how we have arrived at our current crisis in the areas of money, society and environment, and how we need to shift the focus away from economic growth and towards community. The current economic system clearly isn’t working for us.

In it, Charles Eisenstein explains sacred economics and how money systems need to change in order to benefit humanity and bring us together, instead of separating us and creating a barrier to what makes us happy. He also talks about healing, and about a new kind of economy, such as negative-interest currencies, resource-based economics and gift economies. This video offers a taste of the concepts he shares his book, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by life, and/or wondering how you can make a difference, watch this! It is refreshing and uplifting!

Reimagining investment for the whole human

This video by Sustainable Man features a snippet of Tim Jackson’s TED talk on how we need an economic reality check. What I found impactful about his talk is when he  says we need to invest in a more meaningful idea of prosperity, where people are given the means to do well physically, emotionally and psychologically.

He also says:

What we’ve done is we’ve created economies. We’ve created systems, which systematically privilege, encourage, one narrow quadrant of the human soul and left the others unregarded. And in the same token, the solution becomes clear, because this isn’t, therefore, about changing human nature. It isn’t, in fact, about curtailing possibilities. It is about opening up. It is about allowing ourselves the freedom to become fully human, recognizing the depth and the breadth of the human psyche and building institutions to protect Rembrandt’s fragile altruist within.

Do take time out to watch this 7:18 min video, it really is worth the time. Do also check out their other videos when you have time!

Gaiam TV is transformational

If you love exploring the meaning of life and learning about the world, value enlightening perspectives, and long for a life beyond consumer culture, Gaiam TV is a wonderful website featuring interesting interviews, documentaries and informative resources on healthy lifestyles, nature, sustainable economy, culture, spirituality, metaphysics and topics related to the seeking of higher truths.

Here is one of their featured Mind Shift interviews done with Russell Brand, who has been doing an amazing job raising awareness of how the current system must change, and he is calling for a revolution. This is an excellent interview conducted by Daniel Pinchbeck (who’s work I love), and it also features Eve Ensler of The Vagina Monologues.

One quote that I love of Russell’s in this interview,

We need to look at maximum positive impact to 100% of humanity without any ecological damage as soon as possible… Certain cultural narratives are promoted that are beneficial only to elites, these cultural narratives are not true. We need to realign the cultural narratives that we promote. The only reality that is relevant is we have one planet, we have this many people on the planet, we have this number of resources. Any system in conflict with the even distribution of the resources to the people is a disingenuous and illusionary system. All these things are just an idea… America, England, Karate, Wednesday.

It’s so well put. Watch the video and pass it around!

StoryMaker is a pretty awesome app

Today I was overseeing a photo shoot for the SaferSkin campaign, and I recorded some behind the scenes action with my BlackBerry. Within 5 minutes of using the StoryMaker app, I put together this video and it was uploaded to YouTube within minutes.

It sure beats fussing over Final Cut Pro or iMovie Maker on my laptop. And I can upload videos on the go. Really cool.

This micro campaign will be launched soon, look out for it!

Don’t let life pass you by

I recently came across this short video about losing out on life when chasing society’s definition of success. Narrated by philosopher Alan Watts, this clip is a good reminder to live in the present and remember to live one’s life, not surprisingly, this was animated by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

This documentary breaks down how strange society has become

Everyone needs to watch this documentary – Propaganda, which is available in full here. It was said to be a leaked North Korean documentary on the west, but then I read elsewhere that it was really an experiment by an New Zealand director.

Regardless of the back story, this documentary shows how warped society has become, where we have become a product of propaganda, and buy into lies and what other (big) egos want us to think. We think it is the norm to listen and trust role models, rather than listening and trusting in ourselves.

The part about distraction is very true, and even if you don’t have time to watch the whole documentary at once, watch it in parts. It also talks about religion, and even if you don’t relate to that section, don’t disregard the rest of the documentary, because it helps explain how we can be more aware of what we are buying into from politicians, corporations, the media, and celebrity.

Watch it in full with an open mind. It is pretty mindblowing.

Zen temple cuisine in Singapore

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Spiritual people usually make really good food. It must be the way they cook from the heart, and the blessings they infuse into the food.

I have not eaten at Enso Kitchen for years now, for varying reasons, including the relocation of its chef, Danny Chu, to Taiwan. He now comes to Singapore occasionally for visits, and organises lunch and dinner sessions that are open for the public.

I invited Brenda for lunch in lieu of a long overdue birthday present.

The starter was goma tofu, which is made from sesame.

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Behold, their main course for summer!

P1200428 P1200433Everything tasted good and on the whole, presented a wide spectrum of flavours and textures. My favourite was the pumpkin mash with water chestnut and raisins. Brenda’s favourite was the eggplant. That was so yummy too. I also loved the brown rice with burdock and I will need to learn to make meals like that for my beloved. While the portions look small, Brenda and I were so full by the end of it. I hope to go for every session they have from now on, such soul food it is.

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Dessert was watermelon, mango in jelly, and mochi. A nice way to cap off the meal. 

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To stay updated on their sessions, follow them on Facebook and drop them an email to sign up for updates.

Best food ever!

My new blog!

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I now have a new blog focusing on green-fingered activities, nature, and an eco lifestyle. It will feature elements of city, as well as country eco living. I hope to start an online shop eventually, and I will reveal more when things are closer to being finalised. Check it out here!

I will still be updating this blog with events and activities in the city, so it’s definitely not goodbye. Check back soon for more updates!

The best things in life are free

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The Singapore Really Really Free Market is run by my friends Jennifer and Tien, who started Post-Museum and Food#03. This temporary market has been running since 2009, where people gather to give and take free products and services.

You don’t have to give to take, and you don’t have to take when you give. This event is all about sharing what you have with others, and recirculating products that are in great condition instead of binning it. Products that are donated include DVDs, books, magazines, home ware, fresh baked goods, clothing and accessories. I even picked up a hairdryer at their recent session at The Eurasian Association! It was just what I was after, and is the exact model I bought many years ago, which has since broken down.

Services on offer have included tarot card readings, healing therapy, singing bowl therapy, and even storytelling and advice.

I don’t usually pick up anything and prefer to offload things as I am decluttering my life. I have many things that I have bought on a whim that are no longer relevant, and instead of giving them to charities which already bursting at the seams with too much to sell, this is a more straightforward option, at least it is for me.

The free market takes place whenever they can find a large enough venue willing to host them, so if you know of a place which they can use on a Sunday, get in touch with them at their Facebook fan page.

Again, I didn’t take many photos at this recent event, and only have these couple shots, which are not a good representation of the event.

P1200377Check it out sometime!

The Green Singapore Sale is now on!

Greenstore has organised the Green Singapore Sale 2013, so for those who find eco products expensive, now is the time to get a good deal. This event is not about consumerism though, as we should buy only what we need.

Products on offer include non-toxic beauty cosmetics and cleaning products, organic and fair trade clothing and accessories, organic food, energy saving devices, and more. Visit their website at http://www.greensingaporesale.com, the sale runs till 28 July.

I was at their bazaar on the weekend. Here are some photos. Admittedly I didn’t take enough, I was talking to some stall owners and forgot to take photos of their products.

Mediacorp was also having their Saving Gaia event.

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This is my friend, Eugene Tay who runs Greenstore and many eco initiatives, he runs his own sustainability consultancy, and co-runs a a co-working space called Ecosystem. Singapore is a much better place with him, and if he doesn’t win the Ecofriend award this year, there must be something wrong.

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Greenpal sells some interesting products like eco scrubs for all kinds of scouring purposes and water clocks.

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I am currently testing this product on my face, which has been alleviating any itching, due to eczema.
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This is Dragos from Etrican, they were showcasing their new eco fashion collection at the bazaar. They have yet to do a lookbook but that’s coming soon. 
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This is an all-natural enzymatic solution by Hestia Singapore, and it can be used with air conditioning units to diffuse particles and it helps to deodorise the room. It’s a pretty awesome product for cleaning the air, unlike air many fresheners out there which actually put toxins in the air which results in poor indoor air quality.

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Like I said, I should have taken more photos, you can find more at Greenstore’s Facebook page, if you’re keen.

Be sure to check it out!