Years ago, Julia Butterfly sat 180 feet up in the old growth redwood tree Luna, trying to get a commitment from the logging company to save that grove of redwood trees. She faced one of the worst winters in California and as she told her story she frequently (to my amazement) focused on how much love she felt from Mother Earth! She stayed in that tree for over 2 years, and succeeded in saving those trees and bringing much attention to the plight of the environment. She has been a hero of mine, especially because throughout her ordeal she was able to maintain her message of hope and love. She taught me to understand that when we take the time to notice our home and experience its beauty, we can’t help but know that we are loved. “Every day we, as a species, do so much to destroy Creation’s ability to give us life. But that Creation continues to do everything in its power to give us life anyway. And that’s true love.” (The Legacy of Luna by Julia Butterfly Hill.)
As we approach Earth Day, there are hundreds of suggestions every year as to how we can change our behavior to be more gentle on the earth: bring reusable shopping bags with you; use reusable water bottles instead of buying plastic bottles of water; eat less meat—everyone eating vegetarian or vegan just one day per week would have a huge impact on the earth; drive less; buy products with less packaging; recycle; use environmentally friendly lighting. The list goes on. We all do what we can and I suspect many of us feel sad that we are not able to do more.
My wish for you this year and going forward is that you add something loving and positive onto your list; something that will re-establish your relationship with Mother Earth. Take a few minutes every day to sit outside, put your feet on the earth, and breathe in deeply. Even for just 10 minutes, when we connect to the earth and appreciate her beauty and bounty we are healing ourselves and the earth. Our misguided and destructive habits didn’t get established overnight. They have come over hundreds of years and many generations of being disconnected: from our communities, from our bodies, from our history, from our ancestors and ultimately, from the earth. Bringing back a connection, even in small ways, is the path back to our true nature, which is one of relationship and love. We don’t have to know all the answers to the mess we are finding ourselves in on this planet, but as we lead with our hearts and connect with gratitude and love, our next steps will be revealed. What a shift in the planet it would be for everyone to take this time each day to express gratitude and feel what Julia calls “true love.”
Let me know what shifts take place in YOUR life as you incorporate this little action into your day.
Happy Earth Day fellow earthlings!