Updated: Sep 28
An Introduction to The ME Program, and It’s Role with Fulfill of Monmouth and Ocean
There’s the old saying, Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for life. While this certainly may apply to obtaining food and more, many are unaware of their innate power to “fish” for personal power, relaxation, emotional regulation, and answers!
Whether we’re talking about fishing for food or fishing for personal empowerment (unless one has fallen into a vat of superhero goo), we all need a starting point that builds us up and gives us the strength for the task.
Because learning personal empowerment (particularly meditation techniques) requires nourishment, I write to you about tackling personal empowerment together with hunger relief. Together, we can multiply some fishies in a neat way.
ME stands for meditation and empowerment, and when one subscribes to Earth Intern’s The ME Program, Earth Intern will then donate 10% of their monthly subscriber fee to Fulfill of Monmouth and Ocean. (More about Fulfill below.)
What You Will Learn from This Article
In this article, you will learn
● a brief explanation of what meditation is, and what empowerment is, and how it is your right and your natural ability to empower yourself into being your best self through meditation,
● why it makes profound sense to point a meditation program to a hunger relief effort,
● about monthly subscription to The ME Program,
● about Fulfill of Monmouth and Ocean, and how it is way more than a food pantry!
About Meditation & Empowerment
The mechanics of meditation are natural, they involve slight changes in consciousness, and we all engage in changes in consciousness. A runner, a musician, an artist, a gardener, a student, somebody who sleeps and wakes up… What I mean is that meditation is not strange, and it certainly shouldn’t be feared.
But to practice meditation is to intentionally follow steps toward a specific and desired outcome. This is done by first understanding a strong foundation through the use of breath to control the body's stress response, by letting go of self-judgment, by using imagery, and by understanding the three phases of meditation. These things and more lead to successful meditation, and even to the development of one's own!
The purpose of The ME Program’s Meditation 101 Prerequisite Course is for you to realize your innate ability to heal yourself and find answers for yourself, and to then make self-empowerment a part of your self-care routine. While several types of meditation are taught in The ME Program, each type is for the purpose of empowering oneself to relax and reduce anxiety, to find answers and true goals, and to transform disempowering mindset to empowering mindset.
The program begins with breath and body awareness, so that you may quickly understand, through experience, that you have much power over how you respond to stress. But you may also learn to love and accept yourself (and all the things you do) a whole lot more. When you accept yourself, you can become more productive and less fearful about outcomes.
About Meditation and Empowerment
The Part with The Friend, Who Might Be You
Have you ever tried to make a friend see how great their artwork is, but they just keep saying that it's no good and that they feel stupid for making it? You might clearly see the genius of your friend, but they are stuck in a disempowering mindset.
Maybe, at some point in life, they began believing negative things about their work and their own value. You can try really hard to get that friend to see the value of their work. Ultimately though, seeing their own work as good and deciding it is gallery-worthy depends on an inner change that only they can make. If they work at making that change, they work toward self-empowerment.
Now, please think of what it might mean if said friend was able to accept compliments on their gallery-worthy art. If this imaginary friend could also see the beauty of their art, and could receive a compliment, might they be able to hang some and sell some? Might they be able to promote their work with their chin up, and network, and sell, sell, sell?
Might they become a fisher, fishing with sustainable confidence?
Giving and receiving is part of the beautiful dance of life that teaches us how we're whole -together! It teaches interconnectedness. Interconnectedness causes us to feel belonging. Belonging helps us realize our value. Belonging and value
And, once you have gotten into a rhythm in meditation, the need to seek others for answers about certain things may simply lessen a bit - because you have become familiar with your well-self.
Why Meditation, Together with Hunger Relief
So, Why fight hunger along with teaching meditation? We've got to eat a proverbial fish to have the proverbial strength to fish. One whose belly is already full can practice self-empowerment techniques with relative ease and without a sense of urgency. So, feeding another empowers them to have a stronger chance at sustainably empowering themselves. I have unfortunately, though rarely, heard people say that feeding people doesn't help them. They say that to help someone, you must teach them to fish - as in Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day; Teach a man to fish, and he eats for life. But what we empower when we band together to feed those in need is their chance either to "learn to fish" or "return to fishing" in a world that has made it really difficult to fish sometimes!
Earth Intern believes that every person has extraordinary talents and gifts that are meant to naturally be shared with their world whether they realize it yet or not. But our world does contain illness, natural disasters, violence, rules and regulations, discrimination and misconceptions, bias, and lots of red tape. All fishers must, at times, jump through hoops! Though some of those hoops may be intended for the benefit of a majority, most of us need the support of family, friends, and community to jump through them successfully - and sustainably.
We've got to hydrate and eat nutritious food to regulate emotions and to make our own best choices. Gut health and brain health are related. (Gut-brain connection can be explored via search engine.) Nutrition is important for our bodies and for our thought process and choice-making.
Why Meditation Together with Hunger Relief
(The Personal Part 2 - with The Turnips)
I’ve taken my thoughts back in time quite a ways in order to write this article. And in our earlier years, my large family had its turns (plural) with food insecurity. As a parent, it was impossible for me to regulate my emotions at times because I needed to save the healthiest picks from the food pantry for my kids.
Pantries have greatly changed. But back then, there were times when the pantries didn't have much to offer us due to the risk of anaphylaxis or due to the risk of intestinal issues if we ate the available foods (which may have been perfectly suitable for someone else).
Cravings are normal. And those cravings are often for foods that the body knows it needs. I recall a time, when hoping for any type of fresh fruit or vegetable, we were given three turnips - the size of bowling balls. I am not exaggerating; they could have been prize-winning size. But, I could not encourage my kids to eat plain turnips. I had no seasonings with which to cook them, and turnips just don't like my guts. I find it hard to resist a yummy root bake of various root vegetables together with bread crumbs and seasonings, but I suffer when I make the choice to eat such a meal. Anyway, I could not give the turnips away, and I admit that I still feel uncomfortable about that.
Besides food, we need water. Because we are a large family, we were often thirsty and rationing our water. Have you ever had a headache with confusion because you were thirsty for a while? In addition to food, we all need drinkable water so that our bodies can metabolize the food. All our organs (including the brain) depend on water to function at their best. But not everyone has running water, and if they do, it may not be drinkable without significant risks. Water, and water filtration, needs to be and to remain accessible for the health of a person and of community.
"According to Mitchell and others (1945), the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%." - usgs.gov (Unaffiliated Link)
Together, Maintaining Our “Habitat”
When we think about food pantries and programs, we must remember that they are really about more than food. Whether it's water filtration or food storage containers, more than the food itself must be considered. These days, pantries and the communities that contribute to them are more savvy to diverse and real-life needs. Food donations are often very different and perhaps more thoughtful than years ago too. But access to suitable and satisfying nutrition and more needs to be maintained for the health of community.
Local environment and local community make up our habitat, and they contribute to our most immediate perspective and experience of our world. We each have lots of power in creating a good experience - together.
Wouldn't it be nice if every community was hydrated and functioning daily on nutritious food for gut and brain health? How different might our daily interactions be? Perhaps take a moment to really wonder.
Food pantries (and other programs and resource hubs) are really about the whole person, and the whole community. They are about active engagement in giving and in receiving.
The above images and following statement are provided by Fulfill of Monmouth and Ocean:
“Fulfill’s fight against hunger goes beyond food distribution and includes a full suite of service programs designed to get our neighbors in need back on their feet for good. Fulfill fights hunger many different ways: Kid’s Feeding Programs, Mobile Pantries, Culinary Training, SNAP Enrollment Assistance, Affordable Healthcare, and much more.” - Fulfill 2023
New Skills and Preparation
Learning any new skill requires preparation. Nutrition and hydration are my #1 preparations for meditation. (I'd include sleep and the will to exercise, but meditation often helps with those!)
I teach meditation so that others may learn their natural ability to regulate their mood and to change their thought process from a disempowering mindset of I can't to a purposeful and empowering mindset of I can, and I know how! In this way, a person may learn to reduce their anxiety, reduce stress, sleep better, have more energy, think clearly, look forward to the next day, and become more functional overall. And, that overall sense of wellbeing in one person can overflow into community. In fact, Earth Intern’s motto is The Well-being of One is the Well-being of Community. Sometimes I add on, I think most of us want both!
Earth Intern’s Home County, and Making Sense
Knowing what my family experienced and knowing that approximately *52,300 people in my own county (Ocean County, NJ) experience food insecurity, I cannot teach meditation here in good mind without acknowledging the elephants in the room. Those are hunger and fear.
Hunger can make it difficult for a person to practice the skills needed to perfect one of their greatest birthright abilities (meditation) for empowerment, self-approval, happiness, and overall success. One uses meditation to change their life and how they see the world. To promote it in my community without tackling hunger would lead to a let down for myself as well as for some who take interest in learning while hungry and thirsty. So I'm tackling it - together with my spirit helpers and you, and with Fulfill which is in their words, "A well oiled machine".
*52,300 people, per Fulfill, 2023
Supporting Local Small Business, and Empowering Community
Subscribers of The ME Program support a very small business. Earth Intern is a tiny start-up, founded by a Toms River mom of four who is also a special-needs and caretaking mom!
By subscribing monthly to The ME Program, students may not only learn to use empowerment abilities with which they were born and meant to be using, but they will help to empower community because 10% of all monthly subscriber fees will go to Fulfill of Monmouth and Ocean. (Earth Intern donates this money and has chosen to “start-up” with community wellness over profit.)
The ME Program is available to anyone online. (It’s not just for Ocean and Monmouth residents!) Students may continue their subscription to Earth Intern’s The ME Program for as long as they need or want to access the material, and they may cancel or re-subscribe at any time.
Don’t Forget That It’s About Dance
If you have not experienced food insecurity, imagine saying to yourself, If I could just get a few meals in me, I could get my strength back up to do what I need to do.
Food is one of the basic necessities that we all need in order to make those bigger and sometimes scarier choices with clarity and calm. And, helping those who are facing food insecurity is one of the most basic community things to do - when and if we’re able.
Some really good news is that Fulfill makes it easier to do more - with less! Fulfill uses *95¢ of every dollar donation for their hunger relief programs! And, just $1 provides 3 meals!
(*Percentage may change according to year. In 2023, Fulfill reports using 95 cents of every dollar.)
Food empowers the body as well as the mind. It prepares the body and mind for other jobs - like emotional regulation and finding answers from within oneself. Remember, no one is going fishing unless they have the strength to fish!
If you are ready to subscribe, thank you!
If you’re not ready to subscribe, or if you’d like to donate to Fulfill, or if you’d like to know how Fulfill may assist you, please visit https://fulfillnj.org/
In the same way that no-one should feel weird about giving, no-one should feel weird about receiving (and asking for help.) That's the dance part!
“Giving… and receiving help is part of the beautiful dance of life that teaches us how we're whole -together! “
“The well-being of One is the well-being of community. I think most of us want both.”
MORE DETAILS / SUBSCRIBE
Earth Intern is a registered, for profit, small business in Toms River, NJ. Your monthly subscription to The ME Program is not tax deductible. Earth Intern will quarterly donate 10% of subscriber fees to Fulfill of Monmouth and Ocean, which is unaffiliated with Earth Intern. This ongoing and percentage-based fundraiser is approved by Fulfill of Monmouth and Ocean.
Learn more about Earth Intern at www.earth-intern.com
Or, go right to The Me Program Page
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