I recently attended an educational gathering entitled “The Regenerative Earth Summit” here in Boulder, Colorado.
It was one of the most inspiring events I have experienced, ever. Being with so many people from all over the world coming together to “be the change” inspired me deeply and profoundly—in a way that I hope I do not easily forget.
It is so easy to forget, to fall asleep, to focus on our own personal comfort while our planet is on fire—literally. Perhaps it is easier in the short term to not be awake, to not feel the sorrow and despair for the devastation that is occurring.
And yet I think it is only through being willing to be awake to the full range of our feelings that we can renew our hope and find the creative solutions that we need to restore balance, to ourselves and the planet.
We all live under the same sky and are nourished by the same earth. In fact, we are the earth as an integral part of its ecosystem. Every human on the planet suffers from this environmental crisis and will perhaps even perish like many species already have—if we stay in denial, refusing to take action to bring life back into balance.
Denial is deadening and leads us away from our passion and purpose for being. Not everyone is called, like my dear friend, Seleyn DeYarus, to host international events, but I believe we all have a calling to do our part to bring positive change, however humble this may appear. Growing a garden or simply sitting in recognition and gratitude for this planet may have more impact than we can imagine.
Although I received plenty of information that is truly cause for alarm, I came away feeling so hopeful, with a profound sense that we have within us what is needed to turn the current crisis into an opportunity for real and fundamental change if, and it is a big if, we personally and collectively make the decision to do so.
It does not have to get worse before it gets better.
Being in the presence of so many highly creative and caring people actively engaged in positive change rekindled a deep knowing I have had my entire life—that this planet could truly be heaven on earth if we humans decide to co-create, in keynote speaker Charles Eisenstein’s words, “The more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.”
The theme of regeneration resonates deeply in me, not just for the earth but for the humans. Because we are an integral part of the natural world, we too can regenerate. We can recover from our mental and physical illnesses and reclaim the power of our human spirit to be caring and intelligent stewards of this magnificent planet.
The body is a microcosm of the macrocosm, and it too breaks down when we live disconnected from the earth and each other. Learning to listen and honor the body’s and the earth’s wisdom is a radical rebellion from our cultural conditioning. The body speaks the language of emotions, showing us through the nature of our feelings when we are out of balance.
I came away from the Regenerative Earth Summit not only with a renewed commitment to take action to be the change, but to honor, appreciate, and fully feel the tears and all the powerful feelings that keep me connected to this body and to this planet.
Feeling our feelings, especially the painful ones is not easy. Young children are great teachers of how it’s best done. They do not judge what they are feeling as good or bad. They simply let their emotional energy move and express and then quickly and easily return to the joy of the present moment.
In my own experience, I have learned it is easiest to move stuck emotional energy and come back to joy when in the unconditional presence of another. It does not have to be a human, an animal or tree will often do.
The practice of living our lives more mindfully and peacefully while really considering how we are using our energy is a simple way to begin to be the change we wish to see.
Can we begin to notice when we are wasting our precious energy through addiction, distraction, or over-consuming the earth’s resources? Can we spend a few moments each day in gratitude—really noticing and appreciating how everything we use, eat, or consume comes from Mother Earth?
The collective culture is made of each one of us. As we recognize our individual capacity to make a difference, we will begin to see we are powerful beyond measure and anything and everything is possible—especially when we join together.
Whatever befalls the Earth—befalls the people of the Earth.
Man did not weave the web of life—he is merely a strand in it.
Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.
Where is the thicket? Gone. Where is the Eagle? Gone.
This is the end of living and the beginning of survival.
~ Ted Perry (often misattributed to Chief Seattle)
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