The earth cries. The earth rages. She's both weeping and on fire. Pay attention; why won't you pay attention?
Everything is connected. And I mean everything. 3 years ago transitional times had me bursting with so much emotion. Today I am in a similar place. The same but different. Invisible threads weave then and now together. Then I had aspired to help make the planet a better place. I'd intended to. Some things are better, some are worse. What I can't ignore any longer is the way we live without consideration for our planet. I've been waiting to gather more experience, more wisdom, more knowledge, and an elevated age to use my voice and to speak more loudly about what matters to me. Waiting for this moment to arrive is no longer an option for me. This is what is true for me: Everything we do has impact. I am not attached to you agreeing with me. If you don't, I hope you will ponder this: doing for the benefit of all creates coherence. Harmony. Connection. Care.
Formerly a pure optimist, maturity and expansion have taught me how to blend optimism with realism. Everything isn't alright but it's possible for a positive outcome to unfold. This has my attention and this the future reality I aim to exist within is more compassionate. I truly believe we are wired to love and born to explore. In the words of the loving and wise Bob Marley, "every little thing is going to be alright." Providing we choose this reality.
Whether we choose to explore our big wide planet or the depths of inner essence, or choose options from both, what is the impact of the cessation of learning and growth? Is this what causes us to forget that the earth too is a living entity? It holds us, gives us our homes, feeds and clothes us. And we take. And take. And take...Is it possible that some truly don't care?
At least once a day, personally and professionally, I hear myself saying, "awareness is the key that unlocks growth." I take responsibility for my consumption and I acknowledge that it is very difficult to move away from our known comforts to something different that may not seem as lovely, delicious, luxurious. Every something makes a difference. Learning about coffee's water footprint at a TedX event earlier this year made me more aware. I massively cut down my consumption of my favourite bean. More recently, I kicked my coffee consumption back up a notch. Time for me to pay closer attention and scale back. I can still support my local coffee shops by purchasing hand-made snacks and eco-friendly birthday gifts made by Vancouver artists. We will always consume and every dollar we spend is a vote that shifts what is available to buy. Mindfulness and shopping can co-exist. Choice exists.
I know so many are making changes and giving back. My intention isn't to disrespect anyone who marches, advocates, protests, raises awareness. Change is inevitable. It's through change that we grow. We need to work together. I've always been so confused by the anger, segregation, and prejudice that exists between people. The question, "can't they see that we are all people, from the same human family?" constantly arises.
Can we please finally move past the hatred? "When you heal something in yourself, you heal it for your entire bloodline." I think Marianne Williamson said this. Isn't it worth seeing if it's true? Fear and pain cannot be overcome by spreading more fear and pain. Healing and love; those are the answers.
Kindness matters. When we are kinder, our hearts more easily open to compassion. We are less likely to litter, to over-consume, to act mindlessly, while practicing compassion. My yoga and meditation practice spans 2 decades and over the years I've been magnetically drawn to those teachers who stand for social justice and who are not afraid to speak of our privilege here in North America. These are leaders I respect and emulate.
The closer I get to experiencing freedom, the more my understanding of freedom changes. Though the painful experiences of the past get further away in time, the visceral lingering that tugs on my heart continues to open my eyes and teach me what matters most to me. I care so deeply about all of life. People tell me what a good person I am for sharing my abundance, for being kind, for listening. If it were up to me, we would all be this way. I am aware that I am only responsible for myself and with no children it's easier for me to change my actions.
My heart is partially broken at the moment. I know it's lovelier and oh so much comfier to disengage, to disconnect. I know under the surface people who appear apathetic truly care and I know many feel unclear on what to do. There's so many little things we can each do to make little ripples. And we all know what a ripple looks like and how it spreads. Setting an intention does not cost a thing and every intention makes a difference. This is understood in both the practical application of spirituality and theoretical science.
Here's something small you can do that does not cost you more than a small pocket of time:
Start with an intention. Make it something you care about deeply.
Take a moment to close your eyes and breathe in this intention.
Keep breathing it in until it fills your entire body.
After you are filled with this intention, breathe it out, sending it where it needs to go.
This place could be the Amazon, the ocean, the Arctic, the entire planet.
It could also be the refugees in Bangladesh or other people.
Picture your sweet, loving intention wrapping itself around the earth, the people, the hearts.
Choose to believe that healing is possible.
After sitting with this intention for as long as feels right to you, imagine it rising out of you, through the top of your head. Release it and imagine it rippling outwards.
I am sending powerful intentions of love to the Amazon as it burns. The cleverness of SEO astounds me: it puts consumption before what actually affects us all. When I type Amazon into Google, I'm encouraged to shop instead of learning about what's happening on the planet in Brazil in real time. I have lots of questions about this and I envision another way.
Giving and receiving is an interconnected cycle, one cannot exist without the other. We can't keep taking without giving something back.
The Earth cries, asking us to pay attention...what will you choose?