“Knowing that you love the earth changes you, activates you to defend and protect and celebrate. But when you feel that the earth loves you in return, that feeling transforms the relationship from a one-way street into a sacred bond.”― Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants
Happy Earth Day, Friends!
As you may already know — or perhaps deduced by now — I like to meditate. My go-to is to just tune in to my breath, but occasionally I like to get fancy, pop on my noise-canceling headphones, and recline on a pile of pillows with a guided visualization. I suppose these are more like hypnosis than plain meditation but bear with me.
Usually, at some point in these guided meditations, the guide tells you to go to the most beautiful place you’ve ever been.
I love this part because it brings to mind a flood of images. Snapshots of places I’ve been, places I loved so much I took a moment to deliberately encode as much sensory information as possible into my long-term memory.
There’s the one from a snowshoe backpacking trip in Zion National Park at golden hour
Dancing in an alpine meadow full of wildflowers in the late morning sun
Running among flowers that looked like something out of a Dr. Seuss book on Mt. Shasta
Sitting alone on a fallen tree at the edge of a crystal blue alpine lake surrounded by white granite boulders
Gazing at the most stars I’ve ever seen in my life from the Colca Canyon in Peru
Watching the sunrise from 10,000ft on Mt. Shasta
Watching the sunset from a hilltop covered in cactus blossoms and other desert wildflowers in northern Arizona, with a cluster of sycamores in the distance. I can smell that one, too.
There’s more, but I think you get the point.
These are the places I go in my mind when I want to bliss out. I hope they’re the images that flood my mind right before I die. Sorry to be morbid, but doesn’t that sound like a peaceful transition?
My point is every one of these scenes is of Mother Earth at her finest.
We live on a beautiful planet, shared by more living and sentient beings than we even realize. It’s pure magic. Just thinking about the gifts of nature blows my mind and turns my heart to gold. Sometimes, I love Mother Earth so much I want to fall to the ground and press my face against the soil.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a member of the human species. We have a tumultuous relationship with our Mother. We tend to over-extract, take for granted, and multiply at an alarming rate.
But we’re not all bad, and it’s nowhere near time to abandon hope for the future of this planet and the lifeforms that call it home.
Currently, I’m nearly finished reading Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. This is an affiliate link, and I insist you read this book if you haven’t already. Not only is it required reading for every Earthling, but it’s also one of the most beautifully written books I’ve experienced. I’m taking several months to read it slowly and mindfully. I’m kind of sad to be near the end. It’s that good.
Go buy it now!
In addition to stoking my love for plants and the planet, Kimmerer highlights the areas I know I can do better. She inspired me to think of ways I can help heal the planet, not only on Earth Day but every day.
3 easy ways to help heal the Earth every day
Grow your own sprouts
Sprouts are delicious, nutritious, and easy to grow. If you enjoy tossing some sprouts on your salad or sandwich, try growing your own to avoid buying them in plastic containers. You don’t even need a garden; sprouts grow just fine in a mason jar with a sprouting lid. I got this one and love it! (Affiliate link).
Start a “swear jar” for single use plastic
This is an idea from my old running coach, Jenn Shelton. She puts a dollar into a jar every time she buys an item with single-use plastic. When the jar is full, she donates the money to an Earth-friendly cause.
The exclamation point is for my overwhelming enthusiasm about thrifting. Nearly all my clothes are thrifted. I love ThredUp because they tell you how many gallons of water you save with every order. Use my link to save $10 on your first ThredUp order!
Likewise, when I’m finished wearing or using something, I donate or sell it. I’ve made a decent amount of side cash decluttering on Mercari — again, use this link for $10. You can buy and sell pretty much anything on this app!
I know three ideas isn’t a whole lot, but I wanted to make these easy and accessible to everyone. If you’re looking for more ways to get involved with healing Mother Earth, the internet is literally overflowing with options.
Thanks for reading! I hope you have a safe, beautiful, and lovely day, now and every day.
And if you’re feeling conflicted about your relationship with nature, or want to make a lifestyle change, I can help.