Around the world, people will plant trees, clean up parks and beaches, and maybe plant a pollinator garden in celebration of Earth Day on April 22. While these and other one-day activities are a step in a more sustainable direction, what would the impact be if we collectively stepped back and committed to connecting with our natural world?
Indigenous people around the world have a profoundly different relationship with our environment. When Aleena Kaw of Red Star International, talked about how the Klamath and the Yoruk nations emerged from the river, as opposed to believing they emerged from the river, in a discussion hosted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, it resonated deeply with me.
Personifying non-humans is a huge mind-shift for many of us. Personifying our natural world invites us to establish a relationship with her and affords nature rights to personhood. Rivers, for example, are being granted legal rights to personhood around the world. The Ganges and Yamuna Rivers are now considered legal persons and now have the right to be clean and healthy, versus polluted. The Magpie River in Canada was legally granted personhood and is now empowered with nine rights including the right to sue.
Those of us who are not indigenous, have an opportunity to shift our thinking from our current way of looking at our environment as something we dominate over and use for our own good, to developing a relationship with our environment. When we connect with our natural world, we have the opportunity to develop a healthy, reverent, reciprocal way of being with our environment, much in the same way we enjoy and cherish our connections with other people and pets.
How do we begin to transform our way of thinking? Here are a few ideas:
Earth Day provides us an opportunity to set a new intention, just as many of us do for ourselves on New Year’s Day. Setting the intention to connect with our natural world will be a meaningful way to celebrate Mother Nature this Earth Day. As the legendary oceanographer once said, “We protect what we love.”
Looking to connect with Mother Nature, enhance your holistic health, meet new friends, and have some fun? Join us as we launch the Walk With Mother Nature™ program on May 9th. Learn more: LINK
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