A Greener Self
The elements of our bodies were born in a primeval supernova billions of years ago. Who can be sure where our bodies begin or end? Geneen Marie Haugen
I love the Oscar Wilde quote, “Be yourself, everyone else is taken” as a way to ease the pressure of molding ourselves to fit in, to belong. It offers the invitation to celebrate the unique and valuable expressions that we each bring. And yet nothing can exist, include ourselves, without everything else. And everything that appears as distinct is an interconnected strand of a larger web.
Part of the solution to the current ecological crisis is to deeply embrace our interdependence with all things. This work starts as an inside job. As the poet Rilke states, “What is within surrounds us.” How might we move to a visceral knowing that the forest is part of our lungs, the rivers part of our circulation? This is not just poetic imagery – it can’t get much more practical, and sacred. Living from this awakened state of interdependence would shape decisions from which cleaning supplies we pour down the drain to the rapid deforestation from “slash and burn” agriculture.
AN INTERDEPENDENCE PRACTICE
Take some time to really look at the blossom of a single flower. Notice the forms, colors, shape, texture and aroma. Realize that the moisture in the petals was once rain, the strength of the stem has shaped itself from the rich nutrients of the earth, and the vibrancy began as sunlight. Now sense the vitality, the glow, the aliveness that animates the flower.
You can also do the same exercise looking at your hand. Really notice the colors, shape, texture, and scent. See your hand as if for the very first time. Remember the food from the earth you have eaten that has now become your body. Realize the elements of water, air, earth and sun that became the food. Then sense the vitality, the glow, the aliveness that animates your body. Close your eyes and feel that aliveness throughout and around you.
If this aliveness had a voice, what would it want you to know?