Happy Earth Day

The Earth Is Awesome

Happy Earth Day! Of all the days this is one we should all pause to acknowledge. Without mama earth there would be no life. No you. No me. Nada. Just one look at the other planets in our solar system and the ridiculous abundance we live in is clear.

Even when we try to concrete over her, she still finds a way through. Hello dandelions!

 The earth gifts us the water we drink, the food we eat and the air we breath. We don’t have to do anything for this, it’s right there. As I look out at my garden right now I can see dandelion flowers popping up everywhere. This highly nutritious plant is offering itself in abundance, ready to feed me, without me doing anything!

As our modern lifestyles have distanced and disconnected us from the earth we’ve forgotten just how important the earth is, not only to our survival but to our wellbeing.  When I say we’ve forgotten – I don’t mean intellectually. Most of us can rationally understand that trees and plants provide us with the fresh oxygen that we need, that healthy soil produces nutrient rich foods that sustain our bodies. But there’s another type of cognition that’s all but lost, a heart-centred, intuitive mode of cognition.

You can pick some wild flowers to decorate your home and remind you of your plant friends. The teapot is full of wild nettles, perfect at this time of year and full of iron, potassium and calcium. Yum!

I’m reading a fascinating book on this topic called The Secret Teachings of Plants. All ancient and indigenous people the world over said they learned about the medicinal properties of plants…wait for it…from the plants themselves! Sounds pretty out there, but this isn’t just one group of people in one geographic location at one point in time. This has been a way of knowing and communicating with the environment documented in distinct groups of people throughout the world at different times in history. They can’t all be wrong/bonkers/foolish/stoned. 

The book goes on to describe in incredible detail how the heart, our human heart, is a powerful organ of perception. It’s the organ that is most sensitive to electrical and magnetic fields. The earth itself, and all life on it, including the plants, are constantly sending out electrical and magnetic signals, these signals contain information.  We’re just not listening anymore. It’s not surprising then that we do things that harm the earth and harm ourselves in turn.

You can dedicate a tree to someone by donating to the Woodland Trust. The money goes towards conserving and planting new trees. What a beautiful gift, we’ve just dedicated a tree to our bump. http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/support-us/dedicate-a-tree/

Another point worth noting from the book is that our hearts will merge and entrain with other electromagnetic fields. A mother’s calm heartbeat calms a distressed baby when it’s held close to her chest. When we go out into nature, take a walk in the forest, our hearts entrain with the slower, deeper rhythm of the plants and trees we’re surrounded by. We feel calmer. Likewise, if we’re in a busy environment surrounded by stressed out people our heart entrains with that vibe and we feel the difference. So we haven’t completely lost this art of communication, but it could definitely do with some nurturing. 

 

How to Celebrate Earth Day

Given the gems from this book my top tip to celebrate Earth Day is simply to get outside and spend some time in contact with the earth and with the plants. Bonus points if you get barefooted and make direct contact with the earth (check out my new earthing obsession here).

If you’re as plant-illiterate as I am consider going on a foraging course to discover the plant-abundance on your doorstep. This dude was awesome and not too expensiveL http://www.edenwildfood.co.uk/

If everyone started to plug back into the source that sustains us, to cultivate this relationship, we wouldn’t be so blasé and passive about corporations and governments pillaging the earth for profit and convenience.

Until most us can recognise more plants and trees than company logos we’re not going to see the shift we need to live in harmony with the earth. So go out on Earth Day and take a look around. Get curious about what’s there. Start making some plant friends. Maybe pick some wild nettles or dandelions and make a special Earth-Day-locally-harvested-meal!

“The intention to note and detect external stimuli results in slowing of the heart. This shift in focus from thinking to external sensory perception, significantly modifies and slows the duration of the cardiac cycle, producing a transformational cascade that affects all physiological and cognitive functioning.” – The Secret Teachings of Plants

Resources and Links

The Secret Teachings of Plants

Food for Free

The Woodland Trust  Dedicate a tree to someone as a lovely gift or just donate to support our woodlands. The UK is one of the least wooded areas in Europe with around four per cent woodland cover. Four per cent!! Less then two per cent of the UK is covered by ancient woodland, which is both rare and irreplaceable.

http://www.edenwildfood.co.uk/  Get to know the wild edibles in your locality by taking a foraging course.  I had so much fun on this course, highly recommend! There’s free food everywhere when you know what you’re looking at!

Facebook Groups

Herb, Plant and Foraging identification workgroup

Edible and Medicinal Foraging UK

 

Author: Sam Vale Noya

Yoga instructor currently living and teaching in Reading, UK.