Archive for July, 2014

June/July Reflections

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014
At the June Solstice (the 21st this year) Spring blossoms into Summer, bringing the year's longest daylight hours to the northern hemisphere. The "lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer" call you to picnic, play ball, garden, hit the beach, or dive into a nearby lake. Even if vacation is not in the cards for you right now, every summer evening and each weekend offer a perfect mini-holiday. What's the inner wisdom of this delightful phase of the annual cycle? In Summer, the flower symbolically opens and blooms and we begin to grow conscious of the year's true purpose, a spiritual journey that often continues into autumn. Like a flower that must be pollinated to bear fruit, we need to open to the energetic pollination of positive, new people, places, and ideas. Where do you long to visit? What sort of people would you like to meet? Are you willing to entertain exciting new possibilities? Most important, are you willing to allow these new influences to take you in new directions to enrich your purpose in 2014? You needn't do anything about this openness right now. Just celebrate it and Summer Solstice throughout July, experiencing the year in full bloom and inviting yourself to blossom. Your only "homework" is to get outdoors, enjoy friends and family, and have fun. It doesn't get much better than that, does it? Happy Summer! Apple: A Conscious Capitalist Conundrum Like most Apple investors, I liked watching my shares multiply after Apple's seven-to-one stock split this June. I love Apple products. But I am unwilling to call the company a Conscious Capitalist, which is a curious statement since I know of no other firm that has so expertly mined the depths of conscious creativity or invented better products to enhance customer creativity. The problem, of course, is that Apple has historically deemed creating great technology its sole mission. Meanwhile, critics charge Apple products are manufactured (in China) under dreadful conditions and that local workers have fallen ill, and even died as a result. Under Tim Cook, Apple seems more serious about social, environmental-and moral-responsibility. That's encouraging. But the question remains: How do conscious investors deal with the issue of owning stocks that are conscious in some areas but not others? One answer is shareholder activism. Put simply, shareholder activists continue to hold stock in imperfect companies and proceed to pester the heck out of them to transform their terrible policies. Not an investor? Then there's pure activism. Anyone, customer, critic, or employee, who wants Apple to boost its social and environmental performance, can check out Green America's "Take Action Against Smart Phone Sweatshops" initiative. Green America, in conjunction with 80 allied NGOs, has collected twenty thousand signatures to deliver to Apple's Lisa Jackson, V.P. for Environmental Affairs from individuals seeking to protect Apple workers by removing dangerous chemicals from factories. For more info, go to Green America's Smart Phone Sweat Shop page. This Summer Solstice, I again shared my passion for journaling with the new participants of Crimson Circle's in-depth Keahak program. Later in the day, Alain and I explored our new Massachusetts home base in the fabled sea town of Gloucester, where we plan to en-Joy a marvelous summer. Love, Patricia