Please consider joining me in support of the water protectors who are peacefully protesting the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota. Water IS life. No species on earth can survive without clean water.
I know I just posted about getting outdoors, but in the context of this weeks upstate NY flooding, during a conversation about how upset Mother Nature was, a friend asked me this question: "What should we be doing for Mother Nature to calm her down again?!!!" It's an enormous question, and my mind boggled at trying to answer it. I thought for a long time about it. Should I list off all the things that we all know we should be doing, like recycling, cutting down on fuel consumption, conserving water, ensuring an adequate supply of healthy non-GMO food, and supporting renewable energy resources? I decided that my friend already knew about all that, and was looking for something else, and my intuition tells me that it's not the message that Mother Nature is trying to get across anyway.
Should I say "Pray!"? Well, as much as I know that it would help, I still recognize that it's not the answer that's needed here. Yes, we should certainly do all that, but I think there's more to it.
It finally occurred to me that Mother Nature is, first and foremost, a mother. What does every mother want? Your respect, and your attention. She wants you to listen when she speaks, and learn, and understand. That's every mother's job...to teach you what you need to know in order to grow.
It seems that we, as a species, have managed to anger Mother Nature. We are like know-it-all teenagers, and we are not listening, and Mom is now pitching a fit. Floods (crying), fires (hot temper), earthquakes (stomping her feet), hurricanes and tornadoes (throwing the dishes). She's mad. She's trying every way she knows to get our attention, and make us listen, and we're still squabbling over silly stuff, like who can marry who, and where the imaginary boundary lines are, and who can cross them and who cannot. Enough already!! Just stop! Listen to Mother Nature. Turn off all the electrical gadgets, and get out of the house. Go out into the woods, and meadows, or to the beach, as far out as you can, and sit down, alone, and I really mean alone, and listen. Just listen...for at least two hours. All day if you can manage it. Be willing to open your mind, and really hear what's being said. In fact, ask what the message is. Think in your mind, "What are you trying to tell me? What are you trying to teach me?", and be open to hearing the answers. The answers may be different for everyone, and as mad as Mom is, you may have to go sit a few times before she's willing to talk to you, but if you do go, and you do sit, and you do listen, you are showing her respect, and I believe she will respond. I believe she will answer. Your job is to hear, and to learn, and then go do what she asks.
It seems that in many ways we have forgotten that we are one with nature. So many people live in the concrete jungles of cities, and see "nature" only in manicured urban parks. My heart aches for them.
There is such a tremendous difference between the energy of a wild, natural place, and the energy of a landscaped park. Science is discovering that as human beings we NEED to have time in nature. It is vital to our health and well-being, and especially that of our children. Disconnecting from our technology, at least occasionally, can be of tremendous benefit to our health. Hugging a tree, going barefoot on the earth, breathing the air of a forest...all these things are so very healing!!
So go!!! Get out there!! Take a hike, but also take the time to sit and observe, and learn what Nature has to teach us.
Good nutrition is so important! The food you eat is the fuel for your engine, and without proper fuel the engine cannot run at peak performance. Back before the days of fast food, and GMO's almost everyone had a garden, and grew most of their own food, and cooked meals from scratch. Now when we go to a grocery store we are faced with aisle after aisle of GMO riddled junk food, crammed with sugar, salt, dyes, and preservatives. Now we have to search out the organic food, and pay more for it. The catch is that if we don't do that, things will only get worse. We must demand healthy, organic foods for our own well-being, and more importantly for the well-being of our children and grandchildren, and for their children. It's a choice. The upside is that the more you eat organic, the better you feel, and the less you spend at the doctor's office, and you really do stop wanting all the sugar and junk. It's not easy to switch, but you can start slow. It's one more way to take control of your own good health.
How does one go about being responsible for their health and wellness? First, learn to listen to your body. You live in there, so no one can know it better than you!! Pay attention to what it's telling you. How are you feeling? What is normal for you? One of the most useful techniques that I have found to accomplish this is to keep a health journal. Here's a link to one. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/memoryminder-memoryminder-journals/1016953965
I'm not endorsing Barnes & Noble, or this particular journal, as I'm sure there are many others out there that are just as good. This just happens to be the one I have used, and am most familiar with. It has places to record how you are feeling each day, to note any pains or discomforts, where and how severe they are, what you ate, your physical activity, what drugs or vitamins you took, weight, temperature, blood pressure, sugar level, how you slept, and even the weather. You can also rate each day on whether overall you felt good, fair, or poor.
I found that by recording these things, and it only takes a few minutes each day, I became more aware of patterns. I found that it was much easier to relate what I was eating to how I was feeling, and was able to identify some things that I really needed to give up, or cut way back on, because I was able to see that they were causing problems for me. For instance, I found that when my diet becomes too acidic, my joints begin to hurt.
Give it a try. You might be surprised at what you learn!
I don't think anyone would argue the fact that we have a health care crisis in this country. So many people can't afford health insurance, or health care. Our health care system is compartmentalized into specialties, and is very drug and surgery oriented. We have been programmed to think that doctors are the only ones who know how to take care of us, and we have almost completely forgotten what "wellness" really means.
Perhaps this is exactly where we need to be right now...pushed into a corner. Perhaps this is what it will take to help us realize that we alone are responsible for our health and wellness. Not the "system". Not the doctors. Certainly doctors are a very valuable resource, but they are not the only resource. There is so much that we can do for ourselves, to reach and maintain a vibrant level of health and wellness. I'd like to share some of those resources with you in this blog. I hope you'll stay tuned!
As spring creeps closer for us here in the northeast, I am feeling the urge to be in the woods again, and am reminded of Nature's eternal cycles. The season of rest and recuperation is ending, and it is now time for new life (new ideas?) to spring forth. It is a time to be grateful for having survived the storms, and cold, and deprivations of winter, and to revel in the emerging life around us. We can feel the warmth of the sun increasing, hear the birds singing their spring songs, see flowers emerging from the earth, and know that, as always in all things, spring follows winter, and life is renewed. Happy spring to you!