In my life, I have never seen a time with so much instability that appears to be so widely out of our control. According to the press, the planet is literally melting on our clock; here in the UK, Brexit may or may not happen (which may or may not promise to disrupt everything from putting food on our tables to access to medicine, travel and education). Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, the United States is apparently enduring an ongoing and unnecessary state of national emergency. India and Pakistan are playing war games, the middle east continues to be at war in a variety of ways…and that was just yesterday’s news. The ongoing water crisis, poverty, violence and mass-pollution are a well advertised wheel of decay that won’t slow down, a seemingly unstoppable force that keeps the presses running and the public in a state of perpetual fear.
It is no wonder, then, that more people than ever suffer from indecision, depression and burn-out. It is exhausting to continually be in a mind-state of upheaval and uncertainty, not knowing what is truth, and what is fiction. On the other hand, now more than ever we ask ourselves these important questions, which hold the key for a more stable and sustainable inner space. That is, if we take the opportunity to unpack the connection between the temporal nature of all things, and our role in the world and our emotions a little further.
You see, the world as we know it has been under continual change for millions of years. All living things are born and must die, and along the way adaptations are made. Since human evolution, we, more than any other species, have carved our mark into the earth’s current form. While we can’t undo the past, we can learn from it, and remind ourselves that we tremendous collective power for good (or bad, but who’d want that?). With an increase in knowledge and a willingness to change consumption patterns for the benefit of the planet and her inhabitants, the ability to be skillful in voice and action becomes paramount. By honing our skills, we can each make a difference and contribute to the regeneration of a healthy ecosystem. For when we make choices that are better for the planet and not harmful to our fellow earthlings, we begin to feel better too. We feel less indecision, less anxiety … less helplessness. This is because when we allow ourselves to fully connect with nature, we experience inter-being. When we look closely enough at the trees, grass, water, mountains, birds … we can see our own reflection; we may even realize that we are a part of a vast and co-dependent ecosystem. We are interconnected by design; one might even call it divinity.
Like casting out karmic marbles, once the choice has made to no longer act in a way that harms the planet, it becomes easier, and more enjoyable to turn our attention inward. Not unlike a house that has finally been cleaned after years of hording and dust collection, once our outer actions become benevolent, we have more inner clarity and space to reflect on living a purposeful life; to nourish our inner growth of roots and resolutely understand that our true nature is unchanging and always available to us for refuge. It is from this place of unchanging stability that we can confidently stretch out into the uncertainty of outer life to connect … with the tree-beings, feathered ones, four-legged beings, and, even human beings. Earthlings seeing connection and oneness are the Tribe; we lift each other up and make the world a better place. From this place, when it is time for our demise, we go in peace, knowing we have done the best we can, even through times of great uncertainty. The trees have taught us well, to root inward and connect out. The birds have taught us how to nourish our young and take risks by spreading our wings. Our fellow earthlings have taught us how to speak out for the benefit of those who cannot. Now, it is up to each of us to teach each the Tribe kindness and compassion through positive action.