Our Relationship With Nature
Dear friends, Today I wanted to zoom in on my (our) relationship with nature considering the crisis we find ourselves in is a result of our interaction with nature (I do not believe in conspiracy theories, some of which are rather amusing to read). The last philosophy sharing circle at my latest retreat resulted in a conversation on the notion of spirituality, which usually sparks up a conversation of faith, belief, hocus pocus with some even deeming it as a taboo subject. For me, spirituality is about digging deeper into the very NATURE of our existence. And I emphasize NATURE here as it is not my intention here to demystify spirituality but to zoom in on an interesting remark made by one of my participants. For him, spirituality was in of itself, NATURE. He remarked that there is a "natural order' in how nature functions & interacts with all beings resulting in consequences of harmony. Nature's concept is so cleverly intrinsically linked in an effortless puzzle, yet in a logical order, and for some, this is interpreted as divine order. Now, I know I am opening a can of worms (or cookies in my case🐒), but this resonated with me. Shortly, two documentaries appeared on my phone through contacts and friends. Many of you will have heard of Attenborough's latest Netflix documentary on A life on our planet, and the second a very moving piece The Octopus Teacher. (Was it divine order that they were suggested to me the very next day?). Both (beautifully told stories) ) documentaries linked in with the discourse of spirituality within NATURE from my retreat. The message was LOUD and CLEAR from both films. Humans run the world as if they are APART from nature, when in fact we are A Part of nature. Let that thought sink in for a moment...
Covid 19 (sorry to mention our boring friend " Corona pants" here again) is a spiritual reckoning in my humble opinion. And I do not want to iterate this as some punishment from the mighty lords above. (thunderbolt lightning sound here) It's about going back to the fundamental law of how nature works and how there is a natural order of things. We are one big giant ecosystem all affecting each other in each system with its own consequences. To put it in "dummies" terms. If we mess with nature, it will mess with us. And Covid 19 is just one of the many concerns we are witnessing with the planet that is undermining our quality of living and the quality of LIFE as a whole. One of the branches of yoga philosophy is to study the self in order to examine how we feel and interact with the world. And as we continue too raise our awareness/consciousness, we in turn develop more compassion & humility for others and our existence in the world. The same principle goes for our relationship with nature. We have lost our relationship with it. The irony is that we are destroying it, when it is in fact the ONLY source that nourishes and feeds OUR ecosystem. Without it, we deplete. So the questions to ask now, how are we nourishing nature? How are we giving back to it or at the very least what are we doing to make this relationship work? Here are a few tactics that help me foster one (These things are aimed to inspire what works for you and not to preach what you SHOULD or SHOULDN'T do)
🌱 Virtually going to a 100% plant-based diet. I know this is an obvious one, but if every single human would make some change in that, we would not need to take up so much space. An acquaintance of mine recently said there was no point in changing as her humble act would not CURE the planet. This is the kind of BS complacency that got us in trouble! EVERY LITTLE ACT MATTERS. 🌿 Traveling more locally. Being partly from Asia, this is such a tough one, but I remember one of my last trips to the Komodo Islands in Indonesia and realised that it was inappropriate at the time for me to see the wildlife I witnessed with the unnecessary measures taken to protect their very existence. I promised if I would ever visit something that untouched without clear sustainable solutions for that particular enviroment, I will not go. But I have an abundance to see very closeby! 🌿 Traveling with purpose. How to give back to local communities or make it an educational trip. 🌿Packaging - we consume EVERY single day, so reducing the waste as much as I can has not only been eye opening in how much I CAN do, but it helped me become more organised which is so much more ZEN. I now only have to empty my trash once a week instead of three times a week and love seeing my cupboard with less plastic over time. 🌿 Buying, accumulating "stuff", " assets "for what? security? What is security worth when the planet is sick? This is frankly a bottomless pit that is never satisfied. We can NEVER buy enough stuff to make us feel good as this is a false illusion. That comes from inner work such as contemplation or meditation as some of you know. But WHEN buying "stuff", maybe some awareness as to where it is from and whether it depletes nature ONLY is a great start. 🌿 Last but not least, work and values. It's becoming clear to me that spending many hours a day doing work has to be in line with the needs of the planet. This is not possible for everyone, but maybe thinking about which hobbies or actions that can help make nature thrive is another great start.
I hope this resonated and if not take yourself and your pet (if you have one) out in nature and see how it makes you feel. The answers are all there if you just stop, breathe, and FEEL it. You are a part of nature. Please share this if this resonated or your own stories with me. I always like to hear from you. Mike 🧘🏻♂️