January greetings to you.
You may have noticed that the Mutual Flourishing newsletter has been quiet lately. I didn’t want to add to the barrage of holiday offers that seem to cascade upon all of us around the holidays. Also, I’ve been in a state of reflection, processing, healing, and discernment in my personal life and tending to family members in my family life. Although I usually have a lot to say, right now that vocal part of me is more in listening mode. There’s more to come from Mutual Flourishing for Self and Earth but you may not hear from me much in the next month or so. I don’t usually take an extended reflective pause in the winter months. This year I feel called to do so and it’s putting me beautifully in step with what the natural world is doing on my part of the planet.
Some of you live in places where it’s high summer, so you may be pondering more how to be fruitful and productive than quiet and reflective. Maybe even you southern-hemisphere dwellers, however, need a brief pause in your summer activities. Wherever you are on planet Earth this month, I hope you’ll follow the lead of your local plant and animal siblings as they show you how to set the pace of the season. In the chilly, dim northern hemisphere, we’re being called to rest more, nurture our bodies with warm and protective clothes and foods, and turn inward to hear the insights we sometimes miss when action is our focus.
What I’m hearing now is that 2016 may be a time to deepen our tending to the human-Earth relationship. Public activism is ever-important, but I feel we’re now in a time when the deepest foundations of our spiritual and bodily connections to the Earth are crucial. We’re seeing global institutions shift increasingly in eco-friendly directions, from the energy and automotive industries to education. To support the growth of those shifts, those of us who are aware that this is more than a numbers game, more than a scientific or political or economic endeavor, need to hold steady with our attunement to what the Earth is asking from us, and what the Earth is offering to us.
It’s excellent to recycle, drive less, buy an electric car, or purchase items that come without plastic packaging. But we know those decisions are merely outcomes of an inner awareness that is the heart of the matter. That heart is our attunement to the Earth as our mother, our origin, our life partner, our teacher–our caregiver and the recipient of our care. Ecologically sensible actions need to evolve from this inner attunement or they’re shallow and fragile.
In this season, please pause to consider what the Earth is asking from us now. It’s not difficult to connect to nature and receive guidance, and you don’t need to feel strange or alone in doing so, for it’s been a human practice for thousands of years, modeled by wise people from the Buddha to St. Francis and Albert Einstein. When you listen quietly, what does planet Earth tell you about how you can serve Mutual Flourishing? What do you hear from the trees, birds, waters, or soil in your home environment?
Pause, also, to ask what the Earth is offering to us. I observe gentle outdoor colors that support me in being quiet. I see ‘hibernating’ plants telling me my current need to rest and renew is perfectly acceptable. I enjoy locally grown root vegetables and nourishing dried herbs that remind me that my beloved planet is a source of constant nurturing and support. What is the Earth offering to you now that calls forth your gratitude and love?
One of my ongoing passions is tracing how spirituality and science are in conversation about the human role on planet Earth. You may find me writing and sharing resources on that topic in late winter and spring. If I can serve you in any particular way through my writing, future e-courses, or flower essence consultations, please ask!
To your flourishing and the Earth’s,