published in Evolving Magazine, April 2015
by Sami Aaron
“… we are nature, literally, in every molecule and neuron. We contain clay, minerals, and water; are powered by sunshine through plant life; and are intricately bound to all other species, from fungi to marsupials to bacteria. In our lungs are oxygen molecules breathed by every type of creature ever to have lived on earth…” Paul Hawken, Blessed Unrest
For this Earth Day issue of Evolving Magazine, you might be expecting me to tell you how and why to recycle or maybe how to “green up” your business. Maybe you’re looking for ideas on how you can get started on an organic vegetable garden or a pollinator-friendly native wildflower bed. But since there are thousands of resources that can help you do all those eco projects, this article will take a different approach from an understanding of “Nature Consciousness – a new paradigm in Environmental Activism”.
Much of the advice and Earth Day “How To” lists come from an intellectual or scientific premise for cleaning up, restoring or preserving the earth’s natural resources to assure that we have healthy food, clean air and water. We learn how and what to do because we understand it intellectually or perhaps because we are required to do so by law or statute. We may change our actions because of an “eco” trend or how we want others to perceive us. For example, many people have lots of reusable shopping bags and water bottles and to-go coffee mugs but often don’t have them in hand when they are at the store or coffee shop. Because there is no deep commitment to the meaning behind these acts, they are easily forgotten – even if there was originally the best of intentions to use them!
As a certified facilitator for The Nature Process®, I’ve found that when people approach environmental activism from their hearts rather than from their minds that they develop a more profound understanding that wells up from the aspect of our innate Nature Consciousness.
As Tabitha Jayne, author of The Nature Process explains, “Nature Consciousness is an awakened way of being that reveals the truth of our existence by allowing us to … discover what it means to be a natural earth human being, rather than just a human being.” True “environmentalism” comes from living within the feeling and natural sense of your human connection to all the natural world; not just from your own human learned or lived perspective.
The Nature Process invites you go out into nature to experience:
- Natural Presence – open all your senses to embrace the natural world, to draw it into your breath, vision, hearing and sense of touch. In every moment, in every place, you’ll find sky, weather, air, sunlight, trees and plants. Set an intention to be aware of them all day, every day.
- Natural Body – consciously relax tense muscles and then ask yourself how your physical body feels when you breathe in the woods or sit in silence by a meandering creek.
- Natural Attraction – be aware of the metaphors of the natural world that can help point you to an understanding of your own journey and mindsets; an understanding of interconnectedness and relationship and inevitable changes – throughout each day and each season.
- Natural Communication – open up to the energetic and resonant connection to the healing and welcoming sense that comes as we engage directly with the earth, plants, trees, wildlife.
- Natural Release – give into the opportunity to take your limiting beliefs, grief and regrets and leave them in the natural world; experience the nurturing, cleansing and release that many of us feel only in our favorite places in nature.
Once you start to feel that connection from the inside – from your breath and body and tactile sensations – you’ll naturally be drawn to living your life in such a way that honors this deeper knowing. You’ll choose to eat foods that are fresh and chemical-free because you are attuned to how it feels to your body. You’ll buy plants that are not treated with pesticides because you grasp your deep connection to insects and soil. You’ll rethink everything you purchase and consume and will automatically ask yourself the questions: Do I need this? If so, was it grown in a sustainable manner? Was it manufactured in a humanitarian facility? Is it recyclable or reusable? Does it come from a renewable resource? And especially, how does it feel?
In addition, you will begin to embody this awareness of your natural presence in every moment of your life; your actions and words and beliefs will come from a deeper place of knowing than your intellect ever could. And as you begin to live your life this way, people around you will notice. You will naturally draw questions from others about how and why this is of such importance, and so you will spread the consciousness by simply living it.
So what might you do differently this Earth Day and every day? Learn to recognize your human-centric eyes and soften them to see through the eyes of the soil and water and air and plants and animals and insects. Ask yourself, over and over, am I doing this (or do I believe such and such) because I was taught that humans and their needs have more value than all other beings? Is that true? Can I make different choices in the food I eat, the work I do, the items I buy (or that I decide NOT to buy) so that I am living from a place of deeper compassion and awareness of the interconnectedness of all things?
This Earth Day, take time to draw your attention away from your head and into the natural world and ask yourself “How does it feel?” in every situation and circumstance of your life.
And in the end, you might just start to remember to take your reusable bags and water bottles!