Could this be a wakeup call? What actions can I take?
“One day the earth and our bodies will remind us, she can only be pushed so far. It is inevitable.” Adapted from Tracy Broyles
Next week on April 22nd, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day! What is its significance at this time in history?
The theme this year is climate action, which is a fitting choice for many reasons. People are more aware than ever of how our actions negatively impact the environment. We know now that climate change is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, the challenge we’ll face as a species over the next century. And you think this virus is challenging? This isn’t about doom and gloom but what you can actually do!
The coronavirus pandemic is adding another interesting layer to the mix. Millions of people all over the world are currently sheltering-in-place, which means there is much less human activity across the board.
Neighbourhoods and cities are quieter than they have been in decades. Road traffic and related accidents have dropped significantly. Wildlife is roaming freely through urban streets and pollution levels are plummeting.
In a way, COVID-19 is giving us a glimpse of what our world looks like when humans are quiet. As we’ve retreated over the last month, Mother Earth has reawakened in incredible ways!
“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
Last year, I wrote about Mother Earth spirituality and what it means to see the planet as a living and breathing being worth protecting at all costs. After all, She is the one who provides us with life! Food, air, and water flow generously from her, even while we take, take, and take more for ourselves.
As a transformational life coach who blends ancient wisdom and spirituality with western science, I am deeply passionate about helping people realize how we are all connected in this life. I want people to treat Mother Earth with respect as we do with our bodies, as our actions have a profound impact on our environment and our being.
The coronavirus is giving us a glimpse of what happens when we aren’t prepared. Even with all of our science, technology, and wisdom, we are being overrun by a powerful and invisible enemy. We acted too late, and thousands of people are losing their lives as a result.
On the other hand, we can still do a lot to curb climate change.
When we get through this pandemic, (and we will!) I expect busyness will flood back into our lives overnight. Mother Earth will have but a short while to breathe clean air before we fire up the factories, jump back in our cars, and go back to life as it was before.
But, what if we take the next few weeks to really take actions about our future? Rather than yearn for a return to normalcy, what if we evaluate our relationship with Mother Earth closely? What if we actually change one small habit that could make a difference?
“In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.” Iroquois maxim
I encourage all of you to pause and devout mental energy to the following questions, then take ONE action:
- Do you have a personal or transactional relationship with Mother Earth?
None of us enjoy relationships with other people that feel transactional. We don’t want to be on the other end of a “friendship” in which the other person only engages when they need something.
The same dynamic exists between each one of us and Mother Earth, except we’re the ones doing all of the asking and the taking! We’ve forgotten that our planet is alive and, therefore, deserves to be treated with love and respect. Too many of us have transactional relationships with nature.
If you are one of those people, take the time to think about how you can approach your relationship with the environment differently. What behaviors would you change if you saw the Earth as a being that is very much alive?
Action: Spend more time outdoors getting morning light, fresh air and a little walk (keeping your physical distancing!)
2. How does the environment affect your health?
Another way to measure Earth’s influence over our lives is to think about how much our personal health is impacted by external circumstances.
Poor weather sends many of us into seasonal depressions. Pollution damages our lungs. And even our sleep-wake cycles are designed around the rise and fall of the sun.
The world around us has a powerful impact on how we feel and live. We must humble ourselves and recognize that so much of our mental, physical, and spiritual health depends on what the Earth gives.
Action: If you have a garden, get outside to plant seeds, eat fresh vegetables from your local store (again, taking precautions)
“Don’t bury your thoughts during this crisis. Wake Up, Live and Love one another and Mother Earth!” Mag
3. What can I do today to make a positive impact and inspire others?
People don’t realize that there are many ways we can make a difference in this area. We can eat less meat, spend more time outdoors, and support organic food producers. We can also walk more, carpool, and take public transportation to reduce our carbon footprint.
Many of these examples you’ve probably heard before, but they may seem more realistic at this particular moment. Many of us are already walking more and driving less through the coronavirus response. Let’s carry this momentum into our battle against climate change!
Action: Check out what’s happening on Earth Day locally and globally here! Get online and engage in a positive conversation about Earth Day plans and activities with others then take action!