I was recently in an upscale supermarket known for its fresh, organic produce.
As I entered the store, I was immediately struck by the vibrant rows of fruits and vegetables arranged with considerable and nuanced care. Beholding such an elegant display of food, it became clear why there isn’t a more insistent call for us to modify our lifestyle in order to mitigate the effects of climate change.
From the carrots to the mushrooms to the fresh bunches of cilantro, all of it was a glorious testament to our earth’s generosity and abundant perfection.
I also noticed that the seafood and meat sections were overflowing with fresh choices as well, prettily packaged and sanitized without a sign of the incredible and devastating environmental impact and tremendous suffering involved in their production.
So, I get it. I understand why there is still a debate about the potential threat of climate change and if we should do things differently. It’s hard to understand that there is an immediate ecological crisis afoot in the face of such a bountiful presentation at our local grocer.
But when considering societal priorities, I find it a good practice to listen to the people who are smarter than I am, like scientists with a track record of dependability. And make no mistake, the best minds among us are all in agreement: if the earth is to continue sustaining us mammals, then a major retooling of our lifestyle needs to occur. Climate change is a reality, despite the lavishness of our First World privilege, hanging fat from our grocery store shelves.
We seem to be racing toward something that we don’t understand. Even the best minds among us can’t comprehend the devastating effects our egocentric lifestyle choices have on the web of life that sustains our planetary home.
Unfortunately, most of us will probably not wake up to the need to do anything differently until the store shelves are empty. This used to cause me some despair. But I recently read an article from Science Daily that gave me some hope. It describes the results of research done at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
The article featured one line in particular that should have been accompanied by celebrating trumpets and tambourines. Scientists have found that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society.
Can we celebrate the fact that if just 10 percent of us choose to harmonize our lifestyle choices with the rhythms of Mother Earth, then we could herald in a grand healing and redefining of life’s meaning? We can choose to become a part of the critical mass that will give birth to a new planet Earth.
This is an awesome intention by any measure.
I understand that there are never guarantees, but I am hoping this idea of an awakening critical mass of people is true, because most folks do not seem aware of the ecological precipice we are currently balanced on. Most people have no desire to change anything. So despite the lack of a guarantee, I am choosing to believe in the possibility of change, for the sake of our babies living today and their future children. It just feels like the right thing to do.
I am consciously harmonizing my actions today with our earth’s natural rhythms as best I can. I am endeavoring to become the change to the best of my ability. I have done this by modifying my diet to be completely plant-based, which is much less destructive to the environment than our current practices of the animal factory farms. And I have made other choices that minimize my carbon footprint as well, such as driving less, taking the bus more, and generally living in a more minimalist way.
Perhaps most importantly, I have deepened my own spiritual practices (specifically meditation and yoga) in order to become more aware of the subtle, energetic rhythms of our living earth and how to better harmonize myself with those rhythms. We are naturally built to do this. It’s what lies beneath the ego-personality—what is revealed through a dedicated spiritual discipline.
I invite you to become a part of the critical mass as well, to become an agent of change in a world that so desperately needs it. Research those areas of your life that have the greatest ecological impact and begin to modify them. Support businesses that bring the needs of future generations and the earth into their business planning.
For me, holding the intention of becoming the change and making these relatively minor modifications to my lifestyle has been the most empowering path that I have taken in my entire life. It’s a path that feels like it reflects the powerful being I truly am underneath my ego-lifestyle desires.
Try it for yourself, and see if I’m right!
Author: Tod Evans
Image: Elephant Journal/Instagram
Editor: Danielle Beutell
Copy editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Social editor: Waylon Lewis