For Kapuluan Coconut in Tulum. Shot by Lisa Jackson.
I have a very special relationship with the COCO. Coming from a Polynesian-Islander-South Asian background, coconut-anything (oil specifically) is an essential component of my lifestyle. You may think it’s merely this health trend but it has actually benefited people around the world for thousands of years. Coconut and its products are no strangers to people in the tropics and its culture, who have been using them for a very long time. Even when the ‘anti-saturated fat war’ waged in America, it never stopped Islanders from benefiting from the multi-faceted healing powers of this super fruit. Islanders have been using the purest forms of coconut (oil) to nourish, heal and enrich their bodies for ages. Consumed in moderation, coconuts can benefit your health by helping fight and prevent infection with its powerful natural anti fungal and anti septic properties. They’re highly nutritious, being rich in vitamins and minerals including iron, vitamin B, C, calcium, magnesium and selenium. In cooking and baking, they work as perfect alternatives to dairy products as it’s lactose free and vegan. Coconuts can be a staple fat source for any diet since it’s high in saturated fatty acids, lauric acid and medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) which are easily burned as fuel by the body and helps boost metabolism. The best part is that it tastes and smells yummy on everything! When choosing a coconut brand, always opt for: organic, fair trade and cold-pressed. You deserve only the best. And the planet will thank you.
Most useful way to consume coconut? Coconut oil to moisturize skin. No parabens, no fragrances, no weird additives – just pure natural goodness and joy on the skin.
Other ways to use coconut oil? Make up remover, pre and post sun lathers, oil pulling, hair conditioning.
Best thing about coconut oil? How truly versatile it is. Mother nature’s finest.
Do not underestimate the thunderous words a woman isn’t afraid to speak.
Do not underestimate the powerful gentleness of a woman.
Do not underestimate the vulnerability of a woman’s cry.
Do not underestimate the strength of a woman when she is in pain.
Do not underestimate the smile of a woman.
Do not underestimate the confidence of a woman in a bikini, in a burqa, in a pantsuit, in ripped jeans, in second-hand clothes, in a saree.
Do not underestimate the woman who puts up with a lot of shit.
(Who takes none of it.)
Do not underestimate the love a woman gives, as grand as the ocean, beyond all faults.
Do not underestimate her steadfast intuition.
Do not underestimate the duality of fire and stillness that lives within her.
Do not underestimate the woman who can deal with change and uncertainty,
because she isn’t dependent on what she does or has
— but who she is.
Tara Noelle for Fortnight Lingerie
I am gratified to share with everyone our latest 920 Films x Good To Be Good project for our friends at Women’s Habitat. Directed by James O’Donnell, “Choices”, highlights the special bond between a mother and her child as they seek safety and assistance from Women’s Habitat. We are honoured to have created a vital piece to augment the awareness for women’s abuse and violence through the power of story telling.
Hunger, violence and homelessness never take breaks! Community shelters are in need of your support, especially this holiday season when it is cold and lonely for some, to ensure that these families and kids’ fundamental necessities are taken care of. We hope you contribute to this imperative cause and support WH whether it’s with the smallest or biggest of deeds. It’s always a good time to give abundantly. So please give generously to this vital cause. Greater than that, share love, warmth and time wherever you go.
Full press and video link from Inside Toronto News here:
With everything that is going on, we recognize that a radical change is fundamental in today’s society, in ourselves, in the dynamic of our relationships (work/family/friends/peers/others) and the individual relationship.
How do we take the next steps? Are we doing all that we can to bring this all about? What shall we do? What for? And why?
We live in a world where there are constant problems, there is mistrust, there is suffering, and there is heartache. Life is experience and our relationship with these experiences. We have formed relationships with these problems. And they feel so difficult to solve, especially if we allow them to take root in our minds.
Naturally, our minds create the problems, and then it develops as the ground in which they take root. And once it’s been planted in the mind, it becomes very challenging to pull up from it. What is essential is for us to have our minds itself realize the problem and not provide it the power to grow. When our mind craves to understand a problem, it must not only understand the problem entirely, but must be able to follow it speedily and thoroughly, because the actual problem is never steadfast. We should pursue them with a clear, ever-changing, swift mind. Cause what the world is, we are. So your problem is the world’s problem and vice versa. So we ought to begin near.
One of the biggest disturbances we face is the problem of cooperation. What does it mean to cooperate? To cooperate is to do things together, to create together, to feel together, and to form bonds with one another so that we can live and coexist freely. Yet, we find that generally people don’t feel propelled to naturally and joyfully work together; and consequently, they are inclined to work together through other incentives: fear, punishment, gain, threat, complacency. These are common exercises throughout our active systems that irrefutably cause some of the rubble that we confront today.
The idea of unity is much different for me. To collaborate, to cooperate, is the fun, joy and love of being and doing things together. Whatever that may be. We normally see this sense in kids, who cultivate the feeling of that togetherness by cooperating instinctively in almost anything. There are no emphasized thoughts of reward, gratification, punishment, disagreements, anxieties, objections, sense of self protection or comfort – they just want to help and be part of something! And as adults, we sometimes forget or corrupt the element of doing things together with spontaneity and sincerity. And when we identify what it truly means to come together, we will also know when it is equally not important to cooperate. It is vital for us to rekindle the spirit and strength of pulling together, for then it will not be only be because of a circumstance or plan that joins us, but that beautiful human feeling of fellowship, the harmony with and in one another.
By virtue of this interconnection, we can build a better world. A world that is not independent of you and me; rather one that freely blossoms from intimacy and complete communion, not fear.
A world we can continue to love.
Often, when we say, “I love you or I care for something” we center mostly on the notion of the “I” who is doing the loving and not so much on the quality of the love that’s being offered. I think this is because, with all of the social coordinates that surround us, we’re sometimes caught by the idea of self and it disrupts interlinked understanding and the flow of love. We think we have a self. And, yes, it is one of the hardest things to outgrow or manage – the hungry ego that just wants to protect us and keep us all warm and fuzzy from significant growth. But I have learned, through experiences and deep reflection, that there really is no such thing as an individual separate self.
For instance, we all comprehend that a flower or say a plant is made up of non-plant elements. Sunlight, water, soil, chlorophyll, etc. If we isolate all of those elements, there would be nothing keeping that flower alive. Just like us humans, a flower cannot be by itself alone. It is interconnected with the world it flourishes in. We can’t exist by ourselves alone as our humanity is bound to others. I mean, we can inter-be, but that would be a very lonely, destructive and unfulfilling existence. But really, who wants and benefits from that? So if we can’t exist by ourselves, that also probably means we can’t make and fortify the change that we all need just by ourselves. Ergo, with this way of seeing things, we go forth with the nature of my happiness is connected with others’ happiness and their difficulties, are mine as well. And from there, what becomes rooted is our responsibility to respond and act. When we put focus on helping others, we are also able to cope with ourselves effectively. Somehow, the move of giving and doing beyond your “self” is both a personal and universal releasing factor.
The fruits of our future values will be able to continuously grow with every small or large act of unrequited love and willingness we sow. And large scale, if they are both generously present in each genuine act – we mold and build our world and ourselves simultaneously. This is what it means to embrace all of humanity and no matter what, work hard towards radical change for its future. So it’s important that we seek the complementary forces of love and sheer will, despite the challenging circumstances, if we want to rise to the problems and injustices of the present that affect the entirety of our earth and the people that draw breath from it. These are our sources of relentless hope and the power of altruism.
The purpose of these Good To Be Good charity drive events is not only to raise donations for an important cause, but also ignite engagement in our community and its supporters with what truly matters in the core of our hearts. Equality and human rights should not be treated with one time bandaids; we must strengthen our morals, commitment and fight to change it positively. Let’s continue to build a world, in which I believe is necessary and possible, where all people can lead free and dignified lives.
We all may be one person, but together we are many. We may believe that we are not well influential as individuals, but together we are humbly powerful. There is always a time to improve and do some good. And there are so many ways to get involved!
At the end of the day, a better world begins with each and every one of us.
Special thanks to our Benefit 3 Collaborators: