The Ripple Effect

Care for the self, care for the planet.

By Donna D’Cruz

We feel it, the dissonance. This is an uncommon age of stress and anxiety, a time where we are challenged with an epidemic of lifestyle-related diseases like obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and sleep disorders, to name a few. It is also a time of increasing addictions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has officially named 113 addictions, and there are many more latent addictions waiting in the wings, like social media addiction. Why do we feel so out of sorts with ourselves, that we are ready to pop a pill to help quell overwrought states, where even the most primordial and natural function like sleep is impacted?

We are linked to one another in a boundless way through technology, and yet we are increasingly disconnected. Our spirit is the transcendent, timeless part of us that is beyond measure, and it is this that resonates at its most divine and highest frequency when in harmony with Mother Nature.

In the ancient Hermetic sciences it was written: “As above, so below.” As we care for the self, we care for others, we put our attention toward Mother Earth. In our modern outlook and way of life, we are so focused on transacting with nature’s resources that we have allowed this to distract us from learning about the power of these same resources.

There are many simple and effective ways to respect the Earth’s resources, while bringing balance into all aspects of your life. One of the biggest topics in the media is climate change. We often struggle with feelings of helplessness facing the enormity of the issue: “Where do I start, what can I do?” Pick three things that are easy for you to sustain. As you impact the self, you will begin to impact your family, friends, work environment and the planet’s collective consciousness.

Here are my three favorite things to begin with:

  1. Avoid single-use plastic as much as possible.
  2. Buy food as locally as possible; support local farmers markets, especially those farmers who avoid insecticide and harm to animals. Engage and ask questions. It’s your body, your planet.
  3. Check in with your breath and spend quality time in nature (walking, biking, hiking, watching a sunset, feeling the morning light on your face) and begin a wondrous journey toward understanding your own nature through this stillness.

“As you develop your awareness in nature, you begin to see how we influence all life and how all life influences us. A key and critical feature for us to know.” —Tony Ten Fingers/ Wanbli Nata’u, Oglala Lakota