Living snowflake: You are powerfully unique, connected

Science shows how each of us are both unique and connected in similarity to other individuals and the universe. This awareness can have profound implications for how you choose to live your life.

“You are the snowflake in human form,” says Deepak Chopra in day six of a guided meditation program now in progress. His introduction draws the comparison between people and snowflakes, both of which are made up of the same basic materials but both of which are unique.

"You are the snowflake in human form." -Deepak Chopra

“You are the snowflake in human form.” -Deepak Chopra

Snowflakes, despite their abundance, are believed to be unique once the crystals they’re made up of reach the complexity that we commonly call “snowflake.” See the California Institute of Technologies explanation of why this is, and follow links on the site for some beautiful pictures of snowflakes and ideas for how you can have educational fun with snow and ice.

Compare the few elements that make up a snowflake to the breakdown of the 60 “ingredients” in the human body, described by their estimated value on the commercial market. The potential for variation in how these elements combine, from a scientific standpoint, mean that no two people are exactly alike on a physical level. The breakdown also shows we’re also all alike and connected to each other and the universe. The same carbon that’s in you is in your best friend and your worst enemy. The water that is part of your body is the water that freezes into snowflakes.

Feeling isolated? You are made up of the same basic ingredients as every human who has ever lived. You are connected on an elemental level to the snow and the sun, the food you eat and the pencil you write with. Feelings of isolation come from the perception of solitude, from forgetting similarities and connections.

Wondering if you have anything to contribute? Remember that your specific combination of “ingredients,” from electrons to experiences, has never existed prior to you and will never again repeat. Your brain is in charge of this collection of matter and energy. What will you do with it?

Singularly, snowflakes shine with beauty. Brought together, unique snowflakes can become an igloo or an avalanche. What choices will you, the living snowflake, make for your existence?

Raise your hand if your armpit is hairy

Today starts a month dedicated to women growing underarm hair as a way to promote awareness of a condition that can cause atypical hair growth and as a way to promote acceptance of letting people decide for themselves how they will wear or remove hair.

Armpits4August is based in London and promotes donating to or seeking sponsor donors to a charity for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, a hormone-related condition that affects millions of women whose symptoms can include excessive body hair growth and hair loss on the head. It can also cause irregular periods, fertility issues, weight problems, and a number of related health concerns. Learn more about it from the Mayo Clinic.

Medical conditions aside, the movement serves as an opportunity to question your own beliefs about your body and the bodies of others and why you have certain grooming practices or expectations. Does the idea of women with underarm hair bother or intrigue you? Why? What about men with underarm hair? If you see someone with grooming practices that are different from the ones you follow, how do you respond? Do you feel the desire to control someone else’s body? Are you holding onto beliefs that don’t help you treat yourself and others with respect and understanding?