What does it mean to be green? For Kermit the frog it was the mere fact that he was green in color. For me, it means that I eat a lot of green foods and that I love the earth. I adore nature because it informs me how I feel about the world. Nature is my connection to God. Mother nature is the earth and the earth is my home– and that thrills me. But I didn’t get here by thinking green… I got here by becoming aware of who I am inside. I am ecologically aware because it is the natural place for me to be, because of the path that I have taken towards health and self-awareness.
Does the fact that we buy more “green” products make us more ecologically conscious or does it just mean that we feel better about the fact that some of the “stuff” that we are now buying is recyclable, renewable, and a little less bad for our environment? Perhaps both. Yet, buying more things even if they are green, doesn’t make waste and unconscious behavior towards the planet go away. It just makes us have a better feeling about what we are buying.
How can we become ecologically conscious or aware of our planet? Not only by the kind of goods that we buy, but also by making an effort to buy less because we are aware of the gifts we already have, and our attitude toward ourselves is more important than what we can obtain from the outside. Lessen the carbon footprint and cherish the world we live in.
In becoming truly thoughtful in what we buy we will feed our souls far more than the idea of changing the goods we consume. Don’t get me wrong, I love that there are products in the marketplace that are made and produced with our environment in mind (and we need to support them), but that is not what helps human beings become more mindful of themselves and their environment.
We need a shift in consciousness that guides us towards a loving intention for ourselves first that really speaks to how we as individuals show up in the world. Our economy is making it easier for us to do this anyway. There is less security for many to feel comfortable with the kind of unconscious hoarding of things we engaged in the last 2 to 3 decades.
Instead of focusing on what is happening outside our lives, it feels to me like a time to ask ourselves how do we live on a personal level? How do we affect the immediate environment we live in? How do we feel in our body? The first step to becoming green is to shift our focus from what we are doing on the outside and ask the question how do I occur and feel in my body? I love to discuss what it means to step into our environment as a conscious person. I like this kind of inquiry because it is what I ask of myself everyday.
The first step towards greening yourself is to inquire about how you feel in your inner self. How do you feel in your day-to-day life? How does your body feel when you take a walk, swim, jog, stretch, or do yoga or any kind of movement? Or have you let yourself fall away from moving your body? When you don’t move your body it is as though you are not tilling the soil of your garden. If you don’t move the soil, oxygenate it, water it and nourish it with the proper nutrients your plants become stagnant and they don’t flourish. So you can see how your first environment is your physical state. Eco-consciousness begins right where you are. Green yourself and then understand that who you are is the first step into becoming aware of the earth you live on.
Your first environment is your body and your awareness of how that feels is based on what you eat, how you move and if you take time for the ritual of observing yourself in Silence. In caring for your body in this way is how you begin to care for you. When you care for you, you are caring for the first and most important environment you have. It is the beginning of self-love. Self-love is self-awareness of how you show up in your world.
I truly believe that if a person becomes attuned to how their body is cared for, the idea of NOT caring for your actual outside environment becomes absurd. When you care for you, then you naturally care for the world you are living in, because that is your home, your temple. If you love who you are then you become an ecologically conscious person because it simply makes sense. It is the natural progression to come from self-awareness to environmental awareness.
When your body thrives energetically by feeding it well with locally grown and organic foods and your home becomes a haven for your creative and personal peace, then it is natural to want to make sure the bigger environment is cared for. It is making choices that serve your humanity. You then want to visit farmers markets, you want to recycle and consume less because buying more holds little interest for you anymore. What you already have becomes sacred, especially your time. It becomes uninteresting to you to waste time searching for things that don’t love you the way you can love yourself.
When a person is engaged in the solace and beauty in their lives they are less likely to want to buy things mindlessly. I have had periods in my life when shopping was a way to get outside myself, to distract from the places where I didn’t feel good about who I was. If I bought something whether clothes, gadgets, or whatever, I was distracted from the reality of how I was feeling inside. I like to shop, my goodness I am healthy woman, but it is not something that I do obsessively any longer. I do it as fun or necessary and I do it with joy, not as a way to fill up a hole inside where I don’t feel complete.
When I began to feel better about the me that I am, I began to need fewer things. I am feeling so much more in tune with a greater consumption of self-acceptance that I don’t need more stuff – green or otherwise – to enhance who I am. As I am on the journey of my own self-acceptance, I am becoming more loving of everyone and everything around me. It is cliché, but it is said that you can’t love until you find love of self first, and it is true for me.
After you become aware of your body then you can’t help but become aware of your work, habits and home. When you are at work, are you at ease? How do you feel in your home, in your personal sacred space? Or does it even feel sacred at all? What does your bedroom feel like? Is it a peaceful place of rest or is it a place that has lost all definition and you don’t even know why you sleep there? Is it too hard to get past the piled books, clothes, and things that disguise it? Is it a place for lovemaking, sleep, and meditation or has it become your office, your TV room or your storage bin? Is your kitchen a place that one wants to hang out in because the food and smells that come from it invite family closeness and a sense of comfort and well-being?
These are the questions to ask yourself about your personal environment. Get in tune with how you feel here in your life, in your body, and then you will have an easeful segue-way into the world and be naturally eco conscious.
When you make a choice to change your home you want it to reflect who you are, then you will buy necessary products that are healthy. You will want to use non toxic paints and carpets and you will think ‘wow If I change my kitchen countertops I might want to use a wood that is from trees that fell naturally in the forest’. You may want to put solar panels on your roof because you care that your home is filled with clean pure air and energy that serves this incredible being that you are.
Becoming “green” and environmentally aware is about loving yourself and then wanting your body to be housed gloriously in a healthy environment. And of course that means you become a better spouse, parent, and partner, because you are more able to care for others through the conscious choices you are making for yourself.
And of course this leads you to being aware of the desire for a healthier planet…hence you have become an ecologically conscious and GREEN human Being!