“Today’s environmental crisis is ultimately rooted in our dysfunctional relationships with the other living and non-living things on earth… we must delve deeper into nature and our interconnectedness.”- John Ikerd
The way we are currently existing in our world needs to change for the sake of humanities continued existence on this planet. Our short sightedness and abuse of resources will be our end. To turn things around will require us to look at things differently than we have been. We are being called now to step back into our natural world and witness what is happening so we can see our impact and interconnectedness to every living and non-living thing existing on this planet in the here and now.
It may come as no shock that we currently find ourselves experiencing record numbers of people complaining of burnout, depression, sadness and disconnect. The advent of technology has fueled this disconnection. While there are advantages to what technology has to offer, fulfilling our spiritual selves and saving humanity is not one of those things. The key is within our spirit bodies- outside of our physical and mental selves. We can not think and muscle our way out of the climate criss, but we can feel our way through it by developing on intuitive knowing and acting upon that.
For centuries we have lost our way but we can turn this around by deepening our spiritual lives with love and respect of the natural world and then translating that love into personal action. It will require rethinking our everyday habits and the way we currently interact with our environment. The rewards for this will only enrich our lives in the long run, though short term the growth may feel painful. Saying no to mindless consumption, giving more than we take, behaving as if all life mattered. These are all easier said than done when we have been living in the story that the more we take from the world and others, the higher our social standing. By turning inward we will confront these long held beliefs about what our meaning on this earth is all about. It is through this inner work we can birth something new for ourselves, something that doesn't leave us feeling empty and alone but instead deeply connected and held.
Everyone on this planet today can trace their ancestry back to a group of people who had a deep spiritual connection to the natural world. It is within all of us. From Celts to Pagans, Indigenous Americans and tribes across Africa and Asia, our past has been deeply rooted in our relationship to our natural world through ritual, ceremony, blessings and action. This long held relationship with the natural world for as far back as we can trace has slowly been diminished overtime by the colonization of major religions. The pendulum is now swinging back as we find ourselves in need again to rebuild that connection to the natural world.
We are moving back to a time where we focus on our interconnectedness and away from our individual selves and personal salvation. This is happening because our individualistic mentality has only led to an abuse of the world around us for personal and professional gains that has left major inequalities and short sighted abuse of resources. The cost of doing this is finally at its tipping point, the scales too unbalanced. Time to stop basing our self worth on how much we can take from the world but instead focus on what we give back and living as if our children’s futures mattered. Treating our earth as if it’s a commodity and a store built just for us to buy and sell instead of as a gift which sustains our life and the lives of other creatures.
The stories we have been telling ourselves about who we are needs to change in order to proceed. At our core, we are spiritual beings living a human experience on this planet. We as humans are new to this world and are still learning our place of how to coexist with our surroundings. We would be wise to look around at the ancient trees, mycelium and creatures who have been here much longer than us and heed their lessons. They all hold a wisdom that we have just barely begun to discover. How amazing is it that plants can harness the powers of sunlight and water and transmute that into food and medicine and continue to thrive? Perhaps what we need to be doing now is not only trying to think and build our way out of our environmental issues but instead watch, listen and feel into what our eco systems are sharing with us before action. We must not forget, nature is intelligent and it’s balance, delicate. We have once been able to hear and honor and respect this planet and we can get back to that place.
What is being called forward to do this across the world is a new age of consciousness of the spirit. A time where we work with the natural elements to improve not only our wellbeing but also our environments though deepening our personal connection to it. To do this we need to reconnect our bodies and sprits again to the natural world, not disconnect through virtual realities. The key is not within our thinking mind but within our spirit, our feeling selves. Rebuilding our connections to nature, listening to our intuitive knowing and working together in harmony to make the changes needed to course correct. In doing so we can live more meaningful lives, rooted in a greater good and look to the earth to rediscover our purpose and meaning. Our life here on this planet is a gift, one that we can steward for future generations. When our planet thrives, we thrive.
There is a pull on the other side of this I would like to discuss, one which tries to lure us deeper into technology and augmented reality. A place which offers quick transactions, but void of spiritual nourishment and only disconnects us more from our true selves and the earth which holds and sustains us. Precious metals unearthed for technological devices, burning of fossil fuels to store information in the cloud and supporting a new virtual currency. Where will this lead us? Jumping in to virtual reality may allow us to temporarily escape the degradation of our natural world but it is short sighted and keeps us temporarily blinded to the traumas our world is suffering. This is not the time to bury our heads in the sand, it is a the time to dive into ourselves and rise up for our future.
Just how do we do this all? It starts with putting our devices down, even the one you are reading this article on and stepping outside. Go outside, with no agenda other than to just be there. Sit in this space and find something in nature to gaze upon. If you are in a very urban environment, you can look up to the sky, find a tree, or look for life creeping its way through the cracks in the concrete. You may feel uncomfortable or silly at first. That's okay. Lean into it, ask yourself why you may be feeling that way. Or maybe instead you feel some of your stress start to melt away. Feel into that too.
All of life around us is equal to our own in the eyes of the earth. All of us being a creation and manifestation of itself. As you spend more time in nature, I promise you will see the similarities between yourself and a tree, see yourself in the wind, in the fire, in the seasons. This world was not born for us, we were born with it, amongst the oceans and the plants, the birds and the bugs.
The activities which I will help guide you on to further deepen your call back to the wild will be through deep spiritual work of connecting to yourself first. When you can tap into your own knowing you can then utilize that to connect to others and the natural elements. From here you can further deepen this relationship through ceremony, ritual, prayer and activities. These activities help remind us of our connection throughout the year in meaningful ways that also can be used to build community and environmental action. You will not be alone on this journey. I am with you and others are rising along side you. We can do this.
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”- Einstein