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Heaven is where You Be
by William Polowniak, Ph.D.

Paradise is where you make it happen. Most of us have heard the saying “God helps those who help themselves.” I am often criticized by friends who complain that I am an incurable optimist. I see how easy things are when others see how difficult it is to do. Difficult things are only easy things which take a little longer to do. If we all simplify the large tasks into smaller easy to do bite sized pieces of mundane effort and baby steps toward our goals it will become apparent that it is always easy.
 So you don’t have room for a garden because you live in a concrete and asphalt jungle. So buy redwood 1 by 12 boards and make boxes for your garden. You don’t have the money for making boxes— the use cardboard boxes. Yes they will deteriorate, but that makes it easier to rework the soil for your next planting. There is always a way. Just keep it simple. If you cultivate the habit of meditating and gardening all the solutions you need will come to you effortlessly. Your biggest problem will be enthusiasm. (By the way the root words of “enthusiasm” translate to mean “God within you.”)
 A few lettuce plants here and there which you harvest by taking one or two leaves off at a time will last almost forever it seems. A celery plant, a cabbage or collard greens for juicing, beets, or a French sorrel plant which is an evergreen will provide organic produce for juicing or salads.
 So you think making boxes is a big job? Then just pound in one nail each day. By the end of a week you will have one box made. Buy your soil. Compost your kitchen waste in a bucket. Personally I think garbage disposals are an abomination which encourages waste and slothfulness. It is so much easier to throw it away than keeping up with the chores of composting. The trouble with composting is that it requires a minimum of exercise, some manual dexterity, bending, lifting and some natural movement. So much easier to throw away that valuable garbage then go the the fitness club for $200 or $300 a year to lift, bend, some movement and a little manual dexterity. You also get to  pollute the environment with your car on the way to the club instead of hang out in the fresh air with your compost system and box garden.
 Then there is the sensible choice of gathering together with others and renting or buying a home with land for a garden. Then you don’t have to mess with boxes for your garden.  The problem with community living is that it requires communication and confronting your addictions and sedentary habits.
 Sometimes the most difficult thing to do is to end a relationship, to divorce, cut off a high maintenance friend or evict a housemate. Healthy people will not tolerate being around others who take away energy to support their slothful ways. I live in community with 15 others. About a year ago we had to evict an alcoholic. He was a Ph.D. from Harvard and a licensed clinical psychologist who was in total denial of his behavior so much so that eventually we could not tolerate his passing out and his other disgusting behaviors like the cleaning up we would have to do because of his “accidents.” We also had to evict another woman who smoked marijuana at 8 AM after she assured us she did not do drugs. The rest of us have chosen health and improvement.

Yes I have no  bananas

I read with interest two articles about citizens of heaven  and Kendall Black’s rebuttal defending living in the city. My family and I live in the suburbs of San Diego. Beautiful San Diego is the 6th largest city in America. Our seaside town Cardiff-by-the-Sea has 7500 residents and is surrounded by about 50,000 other homes in our mother city Encinitas. So we have the best of both worlds. The fact is anyone can go where paradise is or create it where you are. For me paradise begins with one’s own personal diet and lifestyle, AND the community of friends we cultivate. The late T.C. Fry (A natural Hygiene advocate) once said “What you yearn work and hope for, you must carefully  cultivate and explore.” YOU must do it where ever you are. And if you want to do it better YOU must start walking. Go there and do it better.
 Easier said than done. But if one begins with personal health and personal habits that lead to better health, everything else will follow. I have found the best resource is MEDITATION. Swami Sri Yuteswar, one of the gurus of Parmahansa Yogananda said “Everything in the future will improve if you make a spiritual effort now.” But like I said, easier said than done. I have found that the closer to one self the improvement begins the more direct the results. The closest thing to the self is your diet. We are indeed what we eat. When I have counseled a depressed person my advice is to begin with a bath, in fact 3 baths a day, then do laundry, then housecleaning, then yard work, then take a walk around the neighborhood, etc.. It always works— if you can remember to do it. The trouble with depression is you forget to remember.
 So what about bananas. The biggest problem is fruit flies, especially if you allow them to ripen on the hand without first breaking them apart while they are green. Bananas are very easy to separate when they are green. Have you ever torn one ripe banana from a bunch of ripe bananas instead of cutting it away with a sharp knife and accidentally breaking the banana next to it? Fruit flies always find that break into the broken stem. Did you now that fruit flies multiply in less than 48 hours. I always break bananas apart and arrange them in a basket or bowl waiting for them, to ripen. Sure you can speed it up in a paper bag with an apple in it, but HEY, mother nature works great too. Just buy more bananas and cultivate patience. My favorite are the red bananas. If you ever try a red banana you will never go back to yellow one’s again. Red bananas are sweeter and juicier. When yellow bananas are ripe they develop spots. Red bananas turn to gold on the tips and ends. They should never be eaten if there is any green on the skin at all. Stack them in a bowl or basket stem up. The stem ripens last. It also gives the stem torn away from the hand time to cure so that fruit flies will not want to feed there.
 I know that my notes are full of advice and I can’t help but hear my late mother’s words she often spoke to me. “Advice stinks” she often said. But so does compost. I hope you get some value from my contributions.

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