Happy Earth Day to our beautiful Mother, refuge, and home.
For a long time, we’ve acted unkindly towards you. We’ve cut down your forests, polluted your oceans, filled your lungs with toxic fumes, and exploited all the richness you’ve offered. Our greed and ignorance has blinded us to your beauty and infinite gifts. We are so very sorry.
A new day is upon us and with it, we wish to do better. We promise to become more mindful of our home and the creatures large and small with whom we share it. We promise to respect you with the sacred reverence that you deserve. We will cultivate peace, compassion, and kindness in your honor.
Please don’t give up on us. We have heard your call and are coming together as a global family to take care of you. Wait and see, one day soon, you’ll be proud of your children.
Sending love to Mother Earth,
Becoming mindful of your actions
Every day is an opportunity to express gratitude and respect to Mother Earth. Yet with our hectic schedules and modern ways, we’ve become disconnected from our roots that we’ve lost touch with our true nature.
So often, we forget to make time to appreciate living because we are so preoccupied with our busyness.
Busyness leads us to spending more time “in our heads”. The more time we spend constantly thinking, multi-tasking, and attacking our never-ending to-do lists, the less time we spend inhabiting our bodies.
What this really means is that the more time you spend doing, the less time you spend being. The challenge with this is that when you aren’t enjoying being alive, you become distracted.
Think about the last time you bought something.
Where was your head?
Was this product polluting? Did its manufacturing damage the earth? Was it produced ethically? Can it be recycled? Did you need it or did you just want it?
Our obsession with consuming stuff is just one way that we are causing increased burden on the planet. Becoming aware of how, what, and why you buy things will make a huge difference to the Earth as well as to your own health and happiness.
Every second of life is filled with precious jewels. Those jewels are our awareness of the sky, the Earth, the trees, the hills, the river, the ocean, and all the miracles around us. We don’t want to kill time. We want to profit as much as we can from the time that is given to us to live.
-Thich Nhat Hanh
Zen Master and Peace Activist
Recognizing the nature of interbeing
Many of us have become strangers in our own skin!
Just think, when is the last time that you sat with your breath and became aware of every sensation it had over your body?
Thanks in part to our busy lifestyles, we’ve not only lost touch with ourselves, but also with the world around us. This has led us to feel disconnected from other people as well as from the planet at large. Sadly, the more alienated or separate we see ourselves from nature, the lonelier we feel.
But the opposite is also true as well. The more we recognize the interbeing of all life, the less lonely we feel. Not only does this awareness make it easier for us to reach out and connect with other people, but it also increases our sense of belonging as well.
What is so wonderful is that at any moment, no matter where you are, you can connect with the world around you. A few mindful steps, peaceful breaths, even a cup of tea can be transformative.
If we all celebrated our planet with reverence and respect every day of the year, there is little doubt that the world would look much different than it does today. We too would also feel much different.
We are all part of the Earth
We are of the Earth.
The cells that make up our bodies, the food that we fuel them with, the air we breathe and water we drink. All of these things are parts of the Earth cycled through our systems.
Think of a simple cup of tea.
In the mug before you, there is sunshine, water, earth, the hands and work of farmers. With a mindful sip, you can feel gratitude and connection with the planet. By simply drinking your tea mindfully, you can feel connected to the world.
There’s a beautiful realization that comes from the appreciation that we embody earthness. That we aren’t just people, walking around, separate from the living and non-living elements around us. We are a part of nature, just as nature is a part of us.
When you’re mindful of this, it becomes difficult to feel lonely. You begin to see how everything in the natural world is connected. And that you are a unique point of connection.
When you make time to come back to your body, to fully live and inhabit your own skin, you begin to realize how rich a few minutes can be. That there are so many beautiful moments available to you if you only just turn off the dial to thinking and doing.
Heal yourself, heal the planet
One of the first steps in healing is learning how to relax.
Learning to find peace in yourself is a monumental achievement towards the healing process. It requires dedication, patience, and self-love.
A lot of people want to put an end to the environmental catastrophes of our time – climate change, pollution, deforestation, and extinction. These are all fantastic and noble goals that we should all work towards.
But before you are able to heal the planet, you must first heal yourself. It will not be possible to cultivate a peaceful world around you if your inner landscape is in a perpetual state of turmoil.
Start by calming the tiger within. It is much easier to see through compassionate understanding eyes when your mind isn’t engaged in battle. Inner peace is always available to you.
As you heal yourself, you also contribute to the healing of the planet.
Your actions make a difference
Each step you take and every small thing you do makes a difference. By living authentically and being committed to nurturing the planet, you will inspire others through your actions.
It’s easy to become discouraged when you feel like nothing you’re doing is making a difference. When you feel like you are one single person against an entire overwhelmingly difficult opponent.
The sobering truth is that you alone cannot put an end to all environmental catastrophes. That you alone cannot end all suffering. And that you alone cannot fix the planet.
And this is okay.
Once you become aware that you cannot change the planet all on your own, you’re greeted with an opportunity to experience the joys that come from collaboration and community. Through this, you can experience firsthand the value of interbeing and how embracing your connection with the world around you opens your heart for healing.
You begin to realize that however small, your actions do in fact matter. That they make a difference. And that you are very much needed and loved by the Earth.
That you are part of a very large family. And like a widely cast spider web, your life touches the life of many many others as well. We are all connected.
We only have this one home
We’re very lucky to have Mother Earth.
Without her, it’s most likely that we wouldn’t exist. Because as far as we know, this is the only planet capable of supporting life as diverse as ours.
Blinded by greed, hate, or ignorant ways, humans continue to harm the planet and in the process, ourselves.
When we pollute the Earth we are polluting ourselves. We are endangering our bodies. As the Earth becomes sick, so too do we.
It’s becoming increasingly important that we protect the environment and work towards sustainable solutions as much as possible. The United Nations predicts that by 2050, our population will reach 9.7 billion people. This means that there will be many more people who will also need food, water, shelter, and clothing.
Take good care of planet however you can, no matter where you are. As you do this, you are taking care of yourself, your friends, your family, and future generations as well.
I left Earth three times
And found no other place to go.
Please take care of Spaceship Earth.
Astronaut on Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo Space Missions
When we heal ourselves, we heal the planet.
Each day is a gift in which we are blessed with many moments to experience the wonder of being alive. These are opportunities to cultivate peace, compassion, and joy.
The more we understand nature, the more we understand our true self. We can’t help but feeling love and reverence for the planet when we feel gratitude for all that She does for us.
Today, we invite you to take a moment to reflect on your home. To reach out and connect with the natural world. To return to the Mother and offer your thanks for all that She provides.
This day, and every day, we invite you in joining us as we send our love to Mother Earth.
Photo thanks to Annie Spratt