Be Light and Healthy

Happy Earth Day!

Posted on: April 17, 2011

“Treat the earth well.  It was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children.  We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.”  Ancient Indian Proverb

This year Earth Day is officially commemorated on Friday, April 22, 2011.  Earth Day has been in existence for over 40 years and is marked by worldwide celebrations.  It is an opportunity to join together with others, raise our consciousness, and appreciate the amazing planet we live on.  The earth has been humbly providing to all creatures for longer than most of us can begin to comprehend.  Like a nurturing mother, she generously supplies us with nourishment that sustains life on this planet.    

The earth has been gracefully evolving for billions of years.  She is the manifestation of patience and beauty.  The duality of her gentility and power gracefully co-exist.  In an instant a raging storm can interrupt a peaceful, calm day.  Though humans keep trying to control many aspects of nature, they predictably fail.  No matter how many levees or sea walls are built, Mother Nature eventually wins.  Humans cannot resist the temptation to “improve” upon nature for their own convenience or profit.  Her lesson is one of adaptation and acceptance.  By resisting the natural process of erosion, we make life more difficult by expending time, energy, and money prolonging a situation that we are ultimately destined to lose.  Accepting the inevitable outcome of nature’s progression teaches us to be flexible as we journey through life.       

With the advent of modern industrialized society, the consumption of the earth’s resources was amplified.  Augmented by modern conveniences, people in developed nations thrived and came to expect an increased standard of living.  Like spoiled children, we failed to appreciate our good fortunes and treated the earth disdainfully.  Our lack of respect was evident in our disregard of the negative impact and long-term costs to the environment.  In our quest for modern conveniences, mankind callously robbed her of her natural resources as if it were their birthright without any forethought for future generations.  An attitude of greed and arrogance prevailed.  Though this situation still exists today, progress has been made towards healing our indiscretions.  Fortunately, the paradigm began slowly shifting and moving in a positive direction some years ago.  On an episode of Mad Men, which is set in the 1960’s, there is a scene where the family ignorantly leaves their trash behind after a picnic.  I was taken aback by this scene and found it offensive; however, it made me pause and reflect upon the progress that society has made.  I vividly recollect a TV public service announcement from my childhood in the 1970’s with a tearful Indian.  He was clearly filled with sadness as he rows his canoe down a trash-laden river against the backdrop of smokestacks spewing pollution into the air.  He makes his way onto a littered riverbank, and the announcer urges the audience to stop polluting.  It is, however, the elegant simplicity of the deep sadness reflected in the Indian’s eyes and the tear that slowly trickles down his cheek that made the most memorable impression on me.  Even as a child, I recognized the silent pleading in his eyes that tugged at my heart.  I don’t even consider littering; it’s just not in the realm of possibility for me and most others these days.  Being cognizant of the progress that has been made fills me with hope and appreciation.  Awareness is the first step in creating lasting change.  Small groups of like-minded people joining together to promote a cause creates and fuels the energy necessary for transformation.  An awakening has occurred and large segments of the world’s population have been roused from their apathetic state to take action and help ensure that this planet is left intact for our children.  

In modern society it’s easy to lose track of the fact that we are natural beings and an inherent part of nature.  The earth is a macrocosm of the human body.  Like the earth a multitude of processes are occurring in our bodies without any intervention from us.  We don’t have to think about breathing or tell our hearts to beat.  Our bodies are constantly trying to keep us in balance.  When we introduce chemical-laden, highly processed food to our bodies, it contributes to the interruption of this process.  Our bodies’ objections are communicated to us via signals, such as aches, pains, constipation, low energy, and diseases.  This concept is so simple.  It’s no coincidence that I lacked a connection with the earth when I was 100 pounds overweight and my diet primarily consisted of junk food.  Quite honestly, I feared nature and felt most comfortable on black-topped surfaces if I had to be outdoors.  I spent as much time indoors as humanly possible and never gave the planet a second thought.   I was living unconsciously in a superficial world almost completely disconnected from my innate nature.  Ironically, when I began eating natural, unprocessed foods, it coincided with the ignition of an internal spark to reconnect with nature.  I started to spend more time outdoors and was initially surprised at how good and energized it made me feel.  I began considering where the food I bought came from and opted to buy locally grown food when it was available.  By honoring my body, I was honoring Mother Earth.  The stirrings of a connection with the earth had been re-awakened.  I started making other small changes, such as recycling and walking on nature paths.  Through the years my desire to commune with the earth gradually grew.  My husband and I now keep bees, compost, and plant a summer vegetable garden.  Years ago I never imagined myself doing any of these things.  By slowly incorporating small changes into my life, I was able to transform this aspect of myself.  Communing with the earth helped strengthen the integration of my body, mind, and spirit and connect to my natural essence.  When you reinforce your bond to your intrinsic nature, you are able to transcend the self-imposed limitations in your life.       

We are merely visitors on this magnificent planet, a fleeting blink in the scope of her existence.  By becoming aware of our inherent nature, we can cultivate our connection to all living things and the planet that is our home.  Babies enter this world with an intuitive connection to the energy of the planet, and young children are receptive to maintaining it.  Foster your children’s bond with nature by spending time outside with them and teaching them to honor the earth.  Solidifying the connection children have with nature will help to ground them and shield them from the unavoidable superficiality of life in modern society.   

I invite you to take a moment to appreciate the earth and also consider that the food you choose to eat could facilitate or hinder your connection with nature.  Recycling, picking up trash, planting a tree, utilizing re-usable water bottles, purchasing and eating locally grown food are some ideas to get you started.  Small changes have a lasting impact and create momentum.  By treating the earth kindly, we are leaving a living legacy for our children.  In addition, I invite you to forward this blog to your friends and sign up for weekly e-mail updates at www.belightandhealthy.com to get informed and inspired to Be Light and Healthy.  When you sign up, you will receive an e-mail requesting you confirm your subscription.  After you confirm, you will begin receiving weekly updates.

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