En Route

SPRING/SUMMER

Dear Readers,

Looking forward to the summer months, we are excited about Camp Greenheart, which gives youth the opportunity to explore nature, develop friendships, and learn new skills. While 2014 brought out 27 youth for the camp’s inauguration, this year, there will be 40 campers. All campers will receive scholarships due to the generosity of our donors. TESTING TESTING.

Spring has sprung and summer is around the corner. With every new season comes a sense of renewal and growth. We kicked off spring with our annual gala that brought out more attendees than prior fundraisers, exposing more people to Greenheart International and our mission than ever before. Thanks to this larger turnout we have reached over half of our fundraising campaign goal for the year.

Even with all that is happening, we are taking time to reflect and renew. From personal development to community initiatives, our premiere issue is sure to spark a mental and physical renewal.

IT ALL GOES HAND IN HAND

Founded in 2011 by husband and wife team, Bill and Courtney, Hand in Hand started with one bar of soap and a simple mission: to stop the spread of water related illnesses in children across the world. Today, the line has expanded to include bath salts, candles, pump soap, lotion, sugar scrub and lip balm, including the bar soaps, which come in six signature scents. For every product purchased, Hand in Hand donates a bar of soap and a month of clean water to a child in Haiti.

For Bill and Courtney, it wasn’t only important to create a business that gave back, but also one that was environmentally and ethically responsible with products made from sustainable resources. All Hand in Hand soaps are 100% vegetable based, vegan, made with organic ingredients, gluten-free, biodegradable, palm-free, cruelty-free, paraben-free and petrochemical-free. All products are hand crafted in small batches in the USA.

Greenheart Shop, which carries only fair trade products, celebrates Hand in Hand as the artisan of the month for June. Visit Greenheart Shop online or in Old Town at 1714 N. Wells St., Chicago.

Bill, working on production

DONOR SPOTLIGHT: MB Financial Bank

Greenheart International began banking with MB Financial in 2014 and they immediately wanted to support one of our local causes, Camp Greenheart. MB Financial is a generous sponsor of scholarships for youth to attend Camp Greenheart free of charge.

RECIPE: PEPPERMINT FOOT RUB

Warmer weather and longer days are powerful motivators for adding a bit more exercise in our daily routines. Whether you find yourself walking a few extra blocks to work, or embarking on a hiking adventure, it’s important to show your feet a bit of love. (Not to mention your fellow CTA riders will thank you when you start sporting those new sandals.)

A foot soak/rub are an easy way to pamper yourself. By using just a few simple ingredients you can have an in-home spa experience without breaking the bank.

What You’ll Need:

• Epsom Salt, ½ cup dissolved in a large bowl of warm water
• Olive Oil
• Peppermint Essential Oil, 1–2 drops
• Sea salt (optional)

Just a half a cup of Epsom salt dissolved in warm water will relax your muscles and relieve stress. This naturally occurring mineral is effective because the magnesium ions promote the production of serotonin, among other vitalizing benefits.

The peppermint oil is stimulating and anti-fungal, which supports nail care, and its cooling properties can also relieve aches and pains while increasing circulation.

It’s ideal if you are able to give your feet an Epsom salt soak before beginning the peppermint foot oil rub, but if that isn’t an option, you can just jump right in to the foot rub. If you want to multitask, you can add sea salt to your olive oil mix, and add in your peppermint oil for an exfoliating foot scrub/rub as well. There’s really no wrong way except careful with the essential oils, just a few drops goes a LONG way.

Let’s Get Started:

1. Give your feet a quick cleaning. In a separate tub or bowl, add warm water, dissolve the Epsom salts and take 20 minutes to soak your feet.

2. After your soak, dry your feet and get comfortable.

3. Pour a bit of olive oil in your hand, and add a drop of peppermint oil

4. Rub your palms together to mix your tingling massage oil.

5. Focusing on massaging one foot at a time, giving them each the love they deserve for all that trekking. (Extra bonus points if you can find someone to give you a foot massage for the ultimate spa night!)

NETI, NETI  NOT THIS, NOR THAT

“What is the nature of the universe? What is it made of? What is the biological basis of consciousness?” These are the questions Deepak Chopra posed at the opening of the The Sutras of Science: Science and Nonduality Retreat at Esalen Institute SAND brings distinguished thinkers from various scientific fields into dialogue with spiritual teachers, practitioners, and members of the public to bridge the gap between cutting-edge science and ancient spirituality [1].

This particular conference was held at the legendary Esalen Institute. Founded in 1962, Esalen boasts 120 acres of land, a freshwater creek, hot spring baths, and an organic garden where the mountain meets the sea in Big Sur, California. The founders, Michael Murphy and Dick Price, coined the term human potential movement. Thus, attendees attempt to realize human potential through the exploration of individual capabilities, and in turn push society’s limits through education, research, and experience [2].

It was in this dreamlike setting that Chopra explored the potential answers to life’s big questions. Consciousness is experience, he explained, of which there are two types. One type of experience is mental, including: thoughts, feelings, insights, and intuitions. The other type includes perceptual and sensory experiences, which occur in the brain by electrical current. The mental experience, however, cannot be explained by looking at the brain. We do not know what the biological mechanism of mental experience is. After all, science itself is mental activity and sensual experience. How can it provide the source of which it is made? Science is the controlling, manipulating, categorizing, experiencing of reality. The question, ‘What is reality?’ is indeed, a scientific conundrum.

Deepak Chopra and others presenting on the seeds of science in ancient scriptures

Fortunately for us, this conference was not only about science, but also about nonduality, the idea that the universe and its many forms are just expressions of one ultimate reality. Thus, the discussion forged ahead. Chopra recalled the Sanskrit expression, neti neti.  Found in the Upanishads, the expression is interpreted as “not this, nor that”.  Consciousness is not this, it is not that. The expression continues until we exhaust all possible avenues of what consciousness is and we arrive, ultimately, at nothingness. Chopra says if we can live in that nothingness, then we are free.

When an astute member of the audience asked, “But isn’t this all just a description of what consciousness is?” Chopra agreed. Vocabulary can be linguistically expressed but it is actually only experiential language. There is existence and there is awareness of existence. You and I cannot deny this. Yet the rest, no matter how we describe it, is just a story. Reality cannot be described. It cannot be conceptualized. It can only be experienced. And so, we concluded, the best answer to the question, “What is consciousness” is silence.

1. http://scienceandnonduality.com/about/

2. http://www.esalen.org/about

Greenheart Transforms, which creates spaces to inspire action, is partnering with the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) for the IONS Conference happening in Chicago on July 21st.

NINI IS A GLOBAL LEADER

Meet Nini, a 2014 CCI Greenheart high school exchange student from Georgia. Nini was one of four exemplary High School Programs’ students that were chosen by Greenheart Club International to participate in the Greenheart Club Leader Weekend in Chicago. This 4-day trip is awarded to the top two Grants and the top two Academic Year Program students.

Nini was one of the Greenheart Club’s top volunteers, spending 550 hours volunteering in her community, participating in environmental cleanup projects, and engaging with students that have disabilities.

“Volunteerism is the way I feel good; to feel good, is for me, to make others feel good, too.”

Subsequently, she applied and was awarded a Greenheart Service Grant. Nini used this grant to establish an English summer camp in her home community in Georgia and spent the summer teaching children and adults English. Nini truly exemplifies global leadership through her passion and commitment to volunteer service and community engagement.

Throughout the course of the Leader Weekend, students have the opportunity to present and share their volunteer experiences in the U.S., directly engage in volunteer service in Chicago, and of course, meet other service-minded exchange students. This opportunity is only available to students who are Greenheart Club members and have demonstrated a commitment to volunteer service in their host communities. Greenheart receives more applications each year which is truly a testament to the exchange students’ dedication to volunteer service and engagement with their host communities. In addition, like Nini, these students have consistently gone on to inspire change in their local communities.

CHICAGO VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

1. Join Bike MS on one of their rides this summer to raise money for a cure for Multiple Sclerosis. Visit their website for more information and to register for a ride in your area. Passionate about the cause, but don’t want to cycle? You can make a donation instead!

2. The Color in Motion Chicago 5K race on Sunday, June 21 has two great ways to get involved: you can volunteer for race set-up and clean-up, or you can run in the race. A portion of your registration fee will go to benefit Special Olympics Illinois.

GREENHEART CELEBRATES 30 YEARS

The Greenheart Gala took place on April 14th at the renowned Palmer House. This evening of dancing and fun brought together Greenheart supporters from all around the U.S. to celebrate our accomplishments over the past 30 years and look forward to future achievements.

Attendees enjoyed music from DJ Taz and experienced the glamour of the Empire Room where performers such as Etta James and Frank Sinatra graced the stage. Our signature drinks, the Greenheart Gimlet and the Campfire Classic, styled by Farmhouse Chicago added another element of sophistication to the evening. Booths around the room provided attendees with the opportunity to connect to each of our branches and learn about scope of the work we do around the world.

Catie Keogh, Executive Producer and Host of NBC Chicago’s 24/7 City Secrets, was the gracious host for the evening. Our event program consisted of presentations from two previous Camp Greenheart campers and two cultural exchange participants. Each of these presentations showed Greenheart’s impact on the individual’s lives and their transformation into global leaders as the result of our programs.

Through the great generosity of the attendees, we raised over $34,000 for our 30th Anniversary Campaign! These funds will ensure that we are able to provide scholarships for Camp Greenheart, our Global Leaders Conference, and High School Abroad Programs, as well as international service grants. Thank you to all who made this event such a wonderful success. We hope to see you again next year!