How Ecopsychology Can Change Your So-called Life Into Real Life
Connect to our origins and belonging to be a better human
Ecopsychology is our human relationship with all living beings on the planet, and our Mother Earth. You share genes with other organisms and systems. So you are in.
As newcomers to Earth, having only been homo sapiens for the last 200,000 years of our nearly six-million-year human evolution, we share our DNA with every living organism that walks, hops, glides, swoops, or just grows.
Factor in the very recent advent of living indoors with technology, and it is simple enough to emerge outside at lunch and find our fellow sapiens glued to bleepin’ devices that hold us in thrall. Even health and well-being tips can be accessed on smart devices. That’s a good thing, right?
Yes and no. People who knew how to survive being human for the last six million years now need aps for everything from navigation to hunting and gathering. And in an uncertain world where peril and threat peeks around every corner like the next major epidemic, Cat-5 hurricane chaos, tyrannical toddler with nuclear codes, (I name no one) or the worst toxic explosion and/or spill that is yet to seep into our daily lives looms, we can use that technology.
But keeping your foundation in the real world is vital. Staying inspired requires that you must respire, that you breathe. You must open your senses and check in to the actual, living, pulsing, beating heart of all actual life. Our minds are easily cluttered with overwhelming incoming data. And guess what? Most of it is not real. It is information. It even allows connection to one another, but there is no substitute for the face to face, gesture to gesture, or even, person to tree oxygen/carbon exchange.
Having a healthy ecopsychological foundation on Earth allows your mindfulness and meditation to not simply check in, but to note all our relationships that create and sustain factual life. When you go outside notice the sky. Rain nourishes life. Sun coaxes it from healthy soil. Your lunch, even the air you breathe, comes from an immense network of life actively inter-acting to become YOU. Your senses are your gateway to all these relationships, and if you check out to spend too much of your time in a virtual reality, you disconnect. You become owned by your tools, not benefitted by them.
For the first time in human history, we hold the keys to open the door to a wider, more inclusive world, or to slam it shut in denial and negativity.
Natural attractions accessed with our senses conspire to create life. These attractions, or Selene Allures, (named for the strong pull that moon and Earth exchange that also make life possible) in Ecopsychology, influence your every moment.
Whether you call the creation that created you “God” or “Flying Spaghetti Monster” is largely irrelevant to the living, organized entity called Earth.
Nature is astonishing, trustworthy, predictable (through science) beautiful, and diverse. It is every amazing miracle you have ever experienced from the veins of life within a hand or leaf, or the night sky in a location far from light pollution.
And you can at any moment let go of your so-called life to take a regenerating moment to access actual life. Nature will heal and help you see everything better, to paraphrase Einstein.
Before you get all tree-hugging unbearable, your life a dew-kissed dance in the merry meadow, think again. Most of us, by means of living in an industrial age are destroying biological diversity with every new born breath that is drawn. But guilt and blame are counterproductive.
Climate change, together with the wars and unrest it unleashes is happening in the real world, too. But nature always offers you a choice in any moment. Reflect on this, and know you can change your attitude just as nature recycles death of each winter to become new spring life.
Nature will do what nature does. Warming temperatures bring storms, heat waves, fires, disease, and drought. It escalates conflicts, and is beginning to reveal the refugee crisis. Even extinction is accelerating, reducing the bio-diversity of our planet because we are addicted to industry, its ills, and its advantages.
So, there is a down side. And that’s a good thing. What? Wait! No. Why? Because looking at the real world demands that we see the impartiality of nature. Natural resources are finite. Overpopulation and over exploitation of them, or of people, results either in lessons learned and applied, or tremendous loss. Equality among sapiens is our best path toward addressing this, because cooperating minds and heard voices provide solutions.
Human beings influence our reality. In small ways, choose to do as every other living being does: reduce toxins and waste, use resources efficiently, not carelessly. Value diversity not mono-cultural immensity and madness. Employing principals of value, worth, and economy to network, share, care, and respect for equality counter balance the domination values that seek to bind the world into servitude for the few at the expense of the many.
Unplug. Tune into the music of singing birds and burbling creeks. Tune in to gratitude.
Nature, unlike wrathful gods, is not biased. She is neither wicked, nor merciful. Nature does not play favorites. And that makes her, in my humble opinion, the most magnificent, trustworthy creator in the multiverse. Stop, take a deep breath and know it’s true. Nature is here for you.