Earthday – Time for a New Narrative?
Today is Earthday, a movement set up in 1970 to inspire, challenge ideas, ignite passion and motivate people into action.
It gave a voice to the awakening consciousness to channel human energy into environmental issues.
But 46 years later, the Planet is in an even worse environmental crisis; Stratospheric ozone depletion, water scarcity, overpopulation degraded air quality, degraded water quality, land contamination, deforestation, soil erosion, and the sixth mass extinction of Earth’s wildlife happening right now, with habitat loss, plastic debris, mercury poisoning, climate change, and over exploitation for economic gain, to name but a few challenges we are facing.
On Earthday’s website it urges us to get involved by planting billions of trees, divesting from fossil fuels, making cities 100% renewable and build on the Paris Climate Talks momentum!
But in reality this is just ‘wishful thinking.’
It’s time for a new narrative, and a new set of values to change the destructive trajectory we are heading.
A Beautiful ‘Dream’
The problem with these solutions is that it’s still old paradigm. These are actions that are only cutting the tip off the problem, leaving the root to rot.
Since my MSc in Development Economics (majoring in Sustainable Development), in 1999 I have seen little progress in the sustainability debate. It is the same old rhetoric of planting trees to offset carbon dioxide.
All the climate talks, (and I attended both the Brazilian Earth Summit in 1992 and the South African World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002) were and still are, just rhetoric because there is a greater economic agenda of capitalism and continuous growth.
And ending fossil fuels and making all cities renewable is a beautiful dream that will never come to fruition because there are too many vested interests, and money invested, to stop the oil addiction.
Rip Out the Root
We can no longer afford to wait for billions of trees to save us, or for those in power to make real changes to our political and economic ideology.
If we want to see substantial, fast, long-lasting and powerful change each one of us has to take personal responsibility for our actions, and rip out the rotten root that is festering within us. And that rotten root is our imperialist value system.
Cure or Dis-ease
In December 2002, while I was trekking in Nepal after an intense eight day silent meditation retreat, as I was listening to ColdPlay’s Clocks, it was as if Chris Martin was speaking to me personally: “The Lights go out and I can’t be saved, tides that i tried to swim against, have brought me down upon my knees, oh I beg, I beg and plead….come out upon my seas, cursed missed opportunities, Am I part of the Cure? or am I part of the Disease…?”
And on that mountain, looking upon the snow capped mountains of the himalayas, I suddenly had a revelation…that I could no longer be part of the dis-ease that has spread across this Planet, and I had a choice! I had the luxury to choose how I wanted to live my life, and I could be part of the Cure instead.
The passion surged through me and I knew then that it was time to leave the corporate world where I had been working, bringing the messages of the shaman and sustainable development to big businesses in travel and tourism. In order to be part of the cure I had to head into the unknown and follow my teacher’s orders to write “the Shaman’s Last Apprentice,” a book about my experiences in the Amazon.
Value System Reset
What I learnt on that mountain is that we are either the cure or the disease, but most of us are being part of the disease without even realising it.
We are conditioned to make sure we and our families have ‘enough’ before we care about what is happening to the rest of the planet. But we are locked into a scarcity mindset so we NEVER have enough.
We have forgotten that we are living in a symbiotic relationship with every living thing on this planet, and if we lose one part of the food chain we lose a vital part of ourselves.
We need to RIP OUT THE ROOT and fundamentally change our value systems if we want to see real change.
When we put social and environmental values first and honour, respect and love ourselves, mother earth and all living things, we automatically start being part of the cure. We are essentially changing the way we interact with the ecosystem of our planet.
Part of the Cure
Living Shamanically is being part of the cure because we are living as a part of nature not apart from it. Shamans understand that all living things are interconnected and have equal importance to the preservation of life, and each species is contributing to the future direction life is taking on Earth.
Everything on this planet feeds off another living thing in order to maintain and sustain life. Every bee that pollinates a flower, every animal, bird and reptile is an essential part of our incredibly intricate web of life. When we lose a species of animal, plant, tree or flower to extinction, we lose a vital link in our biological chain and the delicate balance of the eco-system is affected.
We are coming full cycle, where this crisis is sparking the opportunity for us to evolve to the next state of consciousness, and a new value system that encompasses all living things.
In order for us to stop the trajectory we are on we must remember the teachings from our tribal and indigenous communities. We need to heal the deep separation and isolation we are feeling to come out of this mess and leave a healthy planet for future generations.
We are the most conscious, and self-aware animals and our role is to maintain the healthy balance of this eco-system for all living things and to preserve and sustain life for future generations. We have been given this task because only humans have the unique ability to consciously choose each action they take, and can understand the consequences of each action.
Humans also have the unique ability to consciously love. We have an exclusive love vibration that is unconditional and non-judgemental, enabling us to act with an awareness of love and compassion. All other living things are fulfilling their collective destiny from an intuitive or instinctual awareness.
Scorpio Full Moon
Auspiciously, this year Earthday lands on the Scorpio Full moon. Full moons intensify our emotions so we feel everything more deeply and personally, and make us face the consequences of our action, as they illuminate the hidden parts of our psyche, and bring the truth to the surface.
This Scorpio full moon reminds us that we are all in this together and there is no escaping the situation on Planet Earth. Climate change is affecting all of us regardless of race, wealth or creed, and levels the playing field so we are all equals.
It is pushing us to make the changes we need to make because we can no longer ignore the deep inner passion we are feeling. Let this Scorpio full moon illuminate your passions and ignite your drive to be the change, and become part of the cure this Planet so desperately needs.