Spring Equinox—Reawaken & Refresh Connection
Today is the spring Equinox, and although as I gaze outside the day does not speak of spring, there is still a strong shift, an upswelling of energy as the ground loosens it's grip of frost and the winds carry warmth and promise. For me personally, and hopefully for you as a believer in conscious environmentalism, the physical and symbolic transition into spring is a reawakening. In winter there is a retreat towards introspection, and by now I'm craving a turning outwards of that internal energy. A loosening of the spirit.
When spring finally arrives I can very clearly feel my energy unfurling and the desire to be outdoors becomes strong. With each day the ice retreats a little more and the sun feels a touch warmer, and I can't help but feel energized and hopeful.
I have also been spending quite a lot of time with our manifesto calling to action the 'Conscious Environmentalists'. What does it mean to truly live this way, and how can I put these ideas into practice? I dream of a movement, friends, and you are all part of it. I want us to rise up and accept the challenge of healing ourselves, our connections, and this Earth. I'm still thinking it through, I expect I will be for a long time, but I invite you to share any ideas or inspirations you may have. The first principle of our manifesto states the following:
"Unequivically accept that all life on this planet is connected and that we should live consciously, sustainably and with respect for ourselves, each other, and all living things. This requires us to step out of ourselves and see the greater web of connection."
This day of the Spring Equinox, the point when the Sun crosses the equator and everywhere on Earth day and night are approximately of equal length, symbolically places us on equal footing. It feels like an opportunity each year to reawaken, refresh our connection within the web of life, and reignite the respect we feel for ourselves, each other, and all living things. From here we can step into an invitation to create change, and in my view there is no better way to do this than to focus on practices to re-establish our connection to nature. Here are some simple thoughts on how you might do that.
Plant vegetable seeds and nurture them. It is seldom that we have the opportunity to so directly observe how simple acts of love can nurture a living thing, in this case a plant. The speed with which it unfurls and pushes its shoots through the soil is truly amazing. The energetic potential held within each seed is a valuable lesson when applied to ourselves. Once the seedling has grown past the initial phase of fragility, the tables then turn and the relationship becomes mutually beneficial—in return for providing such simplicities as rich earth, light and water, we are rewarded with nourishing food. Click here for a tutorial on starting seeds indoors.
Forest bathe. It's incredible that we live in a time where we rely on science to prove what we have always intuitively known. Nevertheless, studies have now proven that spending time amongst trees (in a natural forest ideally, but even meditating on a picture of trees has some positive benefit) greatly reduces how stressed and healthy we feel. Our evolutionary history with the natural world have programmed us to feel most comfortable and most healthy while in nature, even those who dislike outdoor endeavors. Studies have also shown that our immune systems are more powerful when we spend time in nature. Click to read more on the science and healing art of forest bathing.
Reawaken to the songs of nature. The more we seek out nature, the more we truly appreciate what we're working to preserve. Appreciation then turns to gratitude which in my mind is the way forward to saving this planet. Nature is a meditation if you take the time to really notice it, to be in it. It can help calm us and bring us back to ourselves—as evolutionary humans, this is our natural habititat—it is coming home. Click here for a simple nature meditation designed to tap into the Earth's life energy.
Seek out a spring and drink from it. Do this at least once per year. Mother Earth is the perfect distiller. Spring water has slowly bubbled up to the surface from an aquifer deep, deep down in the Earth. It's pristine, pure water, energetically charged with natural, neutral energy and accepting this into your body is a wonderful practice. Furthermore, in a natural, gravity fed spring, the water in the aquifer has slowly filtered up through layers of rock, gathering minerals along the way.