I understand the existential ache that you feel. It seems daunting. And yet we can start addressing your pain and the problem today.
First, to most effectively address any big problem, we start at the root. We cannot weed this garden in one day, but we can begin.
To address the decline of the environment, we start with the root that I don’t hear enough people talking about: having a relationship with nature.
I think many people overlook this step, because they feel a vague sense that they care about nature, but I am asking you to pause and examine the relationship you have with nature.
Many people have fallen out of having a relationship with nature. Yes, many people live in cities- perhaps including you. Because of your location or living circumstances, you might have an easy excuse for not interacting with nature often. Or maybe you’d rather focus on the millions of people living in cities and how are you supposed to change them? Pause that line of thinking, let’s regroup.
Today you are only dealing with one person, one relationship, one action.
You are going to start observing what is your relationship with nature. And whether or not you are urban, suburban, or rural, you have a way that you can interact with nature every day. You have the sky no matter where you are. There are probably trees or shrubs. There is the food on your plate- which may or may not include things that you can recognize as nature. Start observing where you can see nature in your life.
As you observe where you have nature, you can ask start exploring and noticing, How you relate to nature.
How do you develop a relationship with nature?
Think about this as any other relationship. Personal relationships are based in connection, in interactions and a desire for mutual admiration, benefit, and respect. Do you spend time with nature? Do you notice new things about nature? Do you listen to nature? Is it a one-sided relationship or do the two partners work together?
You may have never thought of this like a relationship, and that’s ok. Today and tomorrow I want you to start looking at this as a relationship with new eyes.
Ask Mother Nature what she would ask of you. She might not answer in words or with a command to you. She might answer with something that you notice or that just pops into your head. She might start with a curiosity.
Follow the thread. Be open, be gentle, be curious.
Like any other relationship, if you make it all about you, it gets out of balance.
This is a relationship, a dance you are entering into. You don’t know all the steps and neither do I.
Some people want to fix nature by doing things to her- I was reminded of this last night as I watched a science show. Some people want to “seed” her with chemicals and compounds- adding things to the environment that upset the natural balance. I ask that they would first seek to develop a relationship with her and respect her. I ask them to see her inherent value and wisdom.
Understand Her systems.
We have believed a lie that we are doomed. That ALL is futile. It is a very convincing lie. There’s enough news to make you believe that lie- and the science to back it up.
But I want to ask you, who does that lie serve?
I’m not saying things don’t look dire. I’m a scientist and an organic gardener. I know from observation and reading the reports that things look grim and systems are in decline. I also know that does not inspire me to action.
I know that if you and I give up, destruction wins.
Yes, every single natural system on our planet is in decline or trouble. But I never lose hope. I am a sower of seeds. Seed sowers never despair.
Do not lose hope. Do not believe that we’re F****d and its all useless anyway. Do not think that we have come to far to turn this around.
I am not denying the science. I am saying, listen to Mother Earth. Pause and ask yourself, is giving up the best I can do?
I doubt that’s true. I don’t even know if you’ve tapped into most of your potential. I think you’ve got skills, motivations, and talents that are untapped and underused.
Yes, we have an imbalance happening on this planet. Yes, its going to take some work to bring things back into harmony. Yes, we have the people and the power to do it.
There’s a lot to do, and yet, if we don’t come from a place of connection with nature, we might miss some of her signs to us.
Part of what got us into this situation with the environment is we have been treating this relationship with nature as a one-way street.
Yes, we have a lot of things we would like to shift- some of which feels out of our control. However, you can start with actions within your control. You can reconnect with your relationship to nature- or deepen it if you already have a connection.
This is where we start. It is not where we will stop.
Learn from her wisdom.
Go take a walk, outside. Look and listen.
Pause the chatter in your mind, the judgments, and the fears. Reconnect with her, look at mother nature.
Start listening and seeing what you notice. Listen for what you are called to do next.
Start with building a relationship with nature. An actual personal relationship based in actual interaction- which entails observation, listening and receptivity. In my experience, its the best relationship I’ve ever had.
I look forward to hearing about your experience. Reach out and share with me about your relationship with nature.
If you want to be a sower of seeds too, share this article and sow hope in someone else.
Rachel Strivelli, is an In Her Wisdom Teacher. She helps people recognize the wisdom within themselves and in the natural world. She works with individuals and businesses, as a coach and consultant. She am a sower of seeds. People work with her to awaken & activate their creative potential. Businesses come to her who want to innovate and honor the natural world in their organization. Reach out to her if you’d like to explore having her work with you or your business.