Have you ever felt the relief of discovering how big areas of your life that felt separate are actually interwoven in beautiful ways? In the late winter of 2013, I took my dog for a walk on a cold Sunday afternoon. I was feeling physically unwell and wondering why, after so many efforts to heal, I still was plagued by pervasive stiffness and muscle fatigue. Feeling desperate, I asked how I could possibly fulfill my mission of contributing to healing the Earth when I wasn’t well myself. I didn’t expect an answer at that moment. To my surprise, what instantly came into my mind (accompanied by a feeling that I had been tapped very firmly on the top of my head) was the realization that our individual health/sickness and the Earth’s health/sickness are one and the same. They are not two complex, different projects: they are deeply interwoven, integrated, and united.
I felt such relief. Suddenly these two seemingly separate areas in my life came together, and I saw that a big part of my offering to the world is to help others see how personal wellness and planetary wellness are related. You may have listened to last fall’s Healing Earth, Healing Self Telesummit (recordings of the beautiful interviews are still available elsewhere on this website, if you weren’t with me then), where 22 speakers and I discussed the many angles of how your well-being connects to Earth’s well-being. This fall I’m bringing you the Healing Earth, Healing Self Forum, a series of articles by friends and colleagues who share their perspectives on the possibilities of the our healing connections to nature.
Over the next 10 weeks you’ll receive a weekly article that explores some aspect of healing between you and the Earth. (If you know people who would like to receive access to the Forum, please direct them here to sign up: http://mutualflourishing.org/healing-earth-healing-self-forum/) The Forum will remind us why it’s beneficial to interweave our self care with our care for the Earth. When we link our human wellness to ecological healing, Mutual Flourishing for all life forms can result.
There is room for you to participate in Healing Earth, Healing Self because so many pathways lead in that direction. Some involve action, while others involve listening to the natural world and your own body. Some of these pathways include:
Healing via natural approaches: energy work modalities; homeopathy and flower essences; herbal medicine; addressing nature deficit disorder through mindful time in nature/eco-psychology.
Reconnection to nature: mindful listening to nature; Earthing; plant and animal communication; flower essences; shamanism; teaching our youth to honor the natural world.
Cooperation with Earth’s living communities: gardening; permaculture; biodynamic and organic agriculture; mindful environmental activism that is focused on love, hope, and cooperation rather than anger or despair; heeding the mentoring of the Earth Charter.
Why does it help to talk and write about healing for self and planet? Because we need to keep remembering what we can create if we learn to more and more deeply harmonize our ways of living with nature’s requirements. We need to share inspired ideas and practices to support one another in living in a harmonious relationship with the natural world and our own bodies.
As the world’s religious and spiritual traditions emphasize, wherever we put our focus is what comes into being. Everything we create begins from imagination, vision, and focus, and our culture will go in whichever direction we are imagining. Please nurture yourself and the whole life system by deliberately choosing hope and courageously visioning and participating in a healed, flourishing life on planet Earth. The Healing Earth, Healing Self Forum will support you this fall in doing so.
While you wait for the next article in the Forum, consider listening in on a sweet conversation I had recently with herbalist Chonteau Mcelvin. We talked about nature connection, wellness, and some of the ways you can enjoy both. Listen here: http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=EC50D78884493E
To healing and flourishing for all life on planet Earth,