As I sat in one windowless room after another, I held my retreat sisters and our experiences in my heart while I listened to one presentation after another explaining how to create more sustainable practices by sparking social impact, engaging employees, assessing economic impact, enhancing leadership skills, implementing better technology, issuing more thorough reports, and shifting to more renewable energy sources. Throughout the weekend I came back to one question: Where was the natural world in this conversation?
When I pondered what to write for Earth Day, I felt overwhelmed by the enormity of the task. I wanted to inspire as many people as possible to do something great for the Earth on April 22 (and beyond). I toyed with catchy titles like “Who’s Your Mama?” to try to attract readers.
While every day should be Earth Day, I believe it is important to do something special for at least one day. We need to honor our amazing Pachamama and show her how much we love her. Every act of appreciation, no matter how small, creates ripples of positive change.
And then I thought of mountain lion Master Teacher Windwalker’s Message for the World. What if each of us chose at least ONE action suggested during the incredible shamanic journey that he took me on?
So I retraced the steps of the journey and came up with a few suggestions for Earth Day based on the insights Windwalker shared with me.
People and animals must work together
Commit to creating a haven for wildlife in your own backyard. Simply put, wildlife need food, water, shelter; and the National Wildlife Federation has practical guidelines on how to create that in your yard, balcony or patio.
A Simple Ritual
You can take it one step farther with a simple ritual that honors our spiritual connection with All Our Relations (winged, feathered, finned, scaled, creepy crawlies, Tree People, Plant People, Stone People). With one hand touching the Earth make a promise to use natural fertilizers instead of harsh or poisonous chemicals on your grass, vegetables, flowers. Whatever you put in or on the Earth is spread by rain into the soil and into storm drains, creating a trickle down effect for wildlife and human life way beyond your back yard.
Cultivate your inner garden
What would make you feel happier and/or healthier? What would foster your personal growth? Sit down, preferably in nature, and explore what is holding you back from being the best you can be. Ask to receive guidance on the steps you need to take to achieve your goal.
Plant a real garden nurtured by love and organic ingredients
I will be planting flower and vegetable seeds, and in a few weeks I should be able to enjoy some organic leafy greens. There will be some work preparing the soil, but the harvest that I reap will make it all worthwhile. And there is fun in the planning, too. I love the names of some of the plants, like Grandpa Ott’s Morning Glory, and who wouldn’t love Drunken Woman Frizzy Haired Butterhead Lettuce?
Buffeting winds and smoke rising everywhere
Buy into the solution so that we can get rid of the problem of dirty energy. Make the switch to wind and solar powered energy for your home and/or support companies that are making a difference.
Many feet walking
Every gallon of gasoline burned creates 20 pounds of carbon dioxide. Commit to walking, biking, carpooling, or taking public transportation—one day a week can make a significant difference.
Closely knit smaller communities
Become one of the billion acts of Green by finding volunteer opportunities in your community through the Earth Day Network. You might even make some new friends!
Save a Tree
Help the environment – opt out of junk mail with Catalog Choice, a free service.
Planting a tree helps restore balance
Planting a tree is one of the easiest and most effective ways to improve the environment. If you don’t have the opportunity to plant trees in your community, donate to the Canopy Project, Stand for Trees or American Forests. Your dollars help plant more trees and protect forests.
Express gratitude for the natural elements
Recite St. Francis’ Canticle to the Sun, create a prayer from your heart, participate in a ceremony such as a despacho, or create your own ceremony. The intention is to honor and offer gratitude for the sun, moon, stars, wind, rain, oceans, lakes, earth and the animals—the ceremony that you create does not need to be complex, only heartfelt.
Create your own inner garden by learning how to connect more deeply with animals, restore balance to your life, increase intuitive skills, and help heal the Earth with live Reiki and shamanic teleclasses, available worldwide.
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A WILD WAY TO HEAL
Rose De Dan, Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing LLC, is an animal communicator, Reiki Master Teacher, shamanic energy healer, and author. Her classes, sessions and ceremonial work are inspired by wild and domestic animals who have issued a call to action for personal and global healing.
Her book Tails of a Healer: Animals, Reiki and Shamanism features heartwarming stories about animals and their role in her evolution as an energy worker and shamanic healer.