|I doubt I need to tell you about the damage humanity is doing to the planet. |
I bet you have heard about the giant garbage patches in the oceans, the ever-increasing extinction of species due to habitat loss, the lifeless soil that requires tons (literally tons) of chemical fertilizers to grow commercial crops, and potentially you have even experienced the shift in weather events or seen in the media the damage to communities from these extreme events.
Today’s blog isn’t going to educate you with data and case studies about the planetary destruction humanity is perpetuating… because I believe our readers are fully aware.
You know what’s going on and don’t need to read another heart crushing story or prediction of doom and gloom. In today’s blog I want to create space for YOU, to build a space for both awareness & acceptance of what you feel in reaction to the state of the planet.
Feelings that may arise: Anger, Guilt, Sadness, Grief, Hopelessness, Overwhelm, Anxiety, Broken-Heartedness?
In order for us as a human community to address the world’s challenges, we need to be in touch with our hearts, to feel our feelings. Unfortunately, our western culture has a tendency to suppress feelings that we believe others will judge us for expressing, perhaps calling us “a baby” “too emotional” “over reactive” “illogical” “crazy” “messed up” or “a tree hugger”.
I am offering you permission, or rather an invitation, to pause and feel whatever you feel. When feelings aren’t given a chance to be felt, to be witnessed fully without judgment, we can experience not only physical illness and behavioral or relationship struggles, but also an even greater disconnection from Mother Earth that facilitates this continued decline in Her health as well as our own.
We are connected. Whether we choose to notice and feel it or not, we are ALL connected. I see proof of the interconnection mirrored between the planet and humanity’s current ailing health.
I am often brought to tears when discovering the destruction done to fellow humans, animals, and entire ecosystems. It is painful to face these realities and might feel initially easier to just ignore them, but that is not what my heart is telling me to do. When I bring awareness to these issues I am fueled to serve Mother Earth, to protect her and inspire others to live in harmony with Her.
Getting overwhelmed and caught up in the emotion can be equally damaging and lead to feelings of hopelessness. Hence why I find mindfulness to be the most useful tool to use when approaching the present day reality of our environment.
Mindfulness allows me to feel the difficult and challenging emotions and balance those by also recognizing and feeling the joy, the happiness, and awe I feel looking out my car window at Oahu’s green mountains, walking in my neighborhood and stopping to observe the intricate details of a flower, or enjoying a beautiful and nutritious plant-based meal.
I call on you to practice mindfulness off the cushion this week by opening up and accepting your feelings in reaction to something in the present moment. The two opportunities I invite you to tune into are:
1) watching or reading the news (Article, Article)
2) sitting or walking in nature.
. Turn on the News, click one of the headline articles, or sit outside, bringing mindful awareness to your reactions to what you see and hear.
. Pause when you notice a feeling /reaction. You may be able to identify the feeling or maybe not. . . . What matters is that you can sense it and tune into it even for a brief moment of awareness. “AH this is a feeling I don’t know what, but Lizzie invited me to check it out. Hmm let me pause.”
. Close your eyes or focus on a single point and take a few breaths allowing this feeling to be present, allowing it to sit with you, acknowledge it.
. Thank yourself for taking time to pause and then continue with your day.
By engaging our awareness of depressing environmental issues we can continue to remind ourselves of the importance and purpose of why connecting and caring for the planet is so critical for Nature’s health and our own. If we push these realities away we ultimately are neglecting an aspect of ourselves.
This month is all about connecting and cultivating a relationship with Mother Earth, this relationship can be taken to a whole new level when you open your heart. Next week I’m interviewing Michaela Kascak, an herbalist and holistic health coach, to learn what plants can help us open our hearts and what lifestyle practices we can do to connect more with Nature.
I would love to hear about your experience through this activity and what you discover. Please feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org or share online and tag us @Sacred Treehouse @lizzie_shuttWith Love and gratitude,
Lizzie and the Sacred Treehouse Faculty
Lizzie is a heart-centered entrepreneur who has a vision of helping people all around the world shine their light and live their most aligned life. She recently received her B.S in Horticulture at the University of Florida and Holistic Health Coach certification from IIN. She has combined her two passions, environmental stewardship and helping others, by creating an online coaching program that connects clients to their body, mind, soul, and nature. Taking inspiration from nature’s interconnected designs, Lizzie works with clients to create a balanced life ecosystem that supports them in living an aligned life. Connect with her on Instagram @lizzie_shutt or www.lizzieshutt.com