We seem to have become conditioned, on a global scale, to search for 'quick fixes' - but quick fixes never work in the long term. They don't work in personal relationships so how can they possibly be expected to work on issues as massive and on-going as declining biodiversity, climate change, deforestation, food security, pollution, waste.....the list goes on. It's really no use papering over the cracks if we don't simultaneously address the root of the problem - i.e disconnection.
Addressing this disconnection is not something that someone else can do for us. It needs to start within - and then spiral out (nature loves spirals!) till it encompasses and envelops all of our relationships; our relationships with ourselves, with each other and with the natural world. There are no barriers to this process other than the ones you put up yourself by saying 'I can't'. You can!!! It really is SO simple; all you need to do is think in terms of changing your habits. The only thing that limits us is our habits.
TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.
Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Make it count! Perhaps you could make a list of all the resources you use each day and decide to spend just one day a week cutting some of them out. Then, use the time that you gain from (for instance) not using the computer, to go for a walk. Take some long, slow, deep breaths; embrace the elements; listen to the sounds around you and know that you are a part of all that you see, hear and feel....not apart from it. Stop and look closely at what's around you...maybe squat down and count the amount of different grasses and flowers you can see from where you are. Do you recognise them? Can you name any of them? Do you know if they are edible or have medicinal properties? Plants are amazing and have a way of sucking you into their world so that time stands still and before you know it you have reconnected - albeit just for a few moments - with nature.
I've had people call me puritanical, fanatical & dickensian because I try to spend one day a week (usually Sunday) without electricity, gas, oil, computer, mobile phone, car & money - but what I have re-gained from switching off on these cannot be measured.
As an 'army child', my family were constantly on the move. This had its downsides, but one of the upsides is that my brothers and I constantly had new environments and habitats to explore. My childhood was full of mini 'adventures' - I made friends with the trees and flowers that inhabited these spaces as well as the birds and insects and I never once thought of myself as separate from them in any way.
At some stage during my early adult life I lost this connection - and for a few years (those in which I spent more time indoors than out) I struggled with myriad health problems. It wasn't a good time.
Choosing to spend at least one day a week in the slow lane helped me begin the reconnection process and I will never again know what it is to be 'alone'. Whilst I am immersed in nature I loose all track of time and nothing matters other than the moment.
I have learned to recognise different sights and sounds; to know which bees or birds I might spot in which environments; and to tread more lightly so that I don't disturb the inhabitants of the hills, woodlands and river banks where I walk. I still make mistakes, but I'm learning from them. Just last week I was trying to video an amazingly active bumblebee nest on the banks of the river Severn, but in my excitement I sat too close to the nest and realised afterwards that I had disturbed the bees' landmarks and interfered with their flight path. I'll be more respectful next time.
Reconnection takes time - it isn't something you can hurry but it is imperative that we begin the process ASAP both individually and collectively. It doesn't matter where you start; getting to know yourself, the people around you and the environment you live in are all interconnected - so one will lead automatically to another. You may fancy plunging in at the deep end by going out and sleeping in a bivi bag under the stars....or you may decide to go and sit on a bench in the local park for half an hour. It doesn't matter how you/we do it....what matters is that we recognise that we are all a part of this amazing planet that nurtures and sustains us and that we start treating ourselves, each other and all other life with love and respect.
I hope this makes sense; it's difficult trying to express something so huge in a blog.
Wishing you a beautiful sunshine filled day...whoever you are and whatever you do! xxx
Make a Nature Mandala; I did! - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXsr-Gu15Sk
Listen to Lolo Williams. He tells it as it is - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnJQjtvngqA
Lovely first post Brigit, will you bee (haha) having a followers button so I can keep upto date with your posts?, thanks xReplyDelete
nevermind it just appeared on the page :)ReplyDelete
Excellent, thought provoking piece B.ReplyDelete
Lovely post, beautifully expressed! Will share this widely, thank you :)ReplyDelete
Than you so much for reading my blog post and for the lovely feedback!ReplyDelete
It's not the first blog post Dotty Delightful. I'm not very good at keeping it up though; I keep meaning to do more but I'm really slow on the computer so each one takes ages.
'today is the first day of the rest of your life', so powerful and yes i agree Bee it has to come from us and we can all make a difference.ReplyDelete
it both amazes and saddens me how disconnected most people are. you are so inspiring and not puritanical, just feeling and living from your heart and showing us all that it is possible to make changes.
thank you beautiful Bee,
peace and blessings
Great post Brigit - thanks for letting me use it today on www.nextstarfish.comReplyDelete
All the best
Lovely post Brigit! So true. There is much ReConnection and ReMembering taking place even amidst the chaotic desperate grasping onto the old disconnected ways.ReplyDelete
Have re-posted here: http://ecomonkey.blogspot.com/2011/11/reconnecting.html xx
Yeah, mankind has become so far removed, and detached, from nature that we forget just how much nature and it's beauty can enrich our lives..your Sunday Switch-off is a really good idea and I will strive to do something the same :)ReplyDelete
This is exactly what I am hoping to do :) Life has become strained & chaotic for me lately..making me think about what I really want out of life. Being busy & stressed is part of life, especially running your own business too! I feel the need to reconnect with the outdoors & get in the slow-lane more than ever before! I live in a beautiful place but I take little time *to be* in it & absorb it & I miss it. My soul suffers for it. As the song says..We are stardust. We are golden. And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden :) Today is the day to make changes. Thanks for making so much sense xReplyDelete
If we could only 'all live in the moment' and treat this time as if it were our last, then perhaps we would focus on what's important and make a serious change for the better.ReplyDelete
I really enjoyed this. you are so right in saying we need to turn off and turn on,if you will.we have got so far away from the roots of the earth. what a beautiful way to suggest reaqquinting ourselves.sunday seems to be the perfect day to do so as well. enjoy yours! :}ReplyDelete
Bee. You express yourself very well. On a subject that's not always that easy to communicate. You will I imagine enjoy this tribute to the poem "the call of the wild" by Robert Service - It talks about "growing bigger in the bigness of the whole" I have learned to recite it by heart and it has kept me company when seemingly alone in the natural world many times.ReplyDelete
Thank you for sharing your tribute Alan....what a lovely thing to have learned by heart. it's very beautiful.Delete
I've also been enjoying your Hedge chef videos VERY much and hope you don't mind if I share them on facebook and twitter...