Nature, unique landscapes and the joy that they bring into our lives are at the heart of the World Environment Day which always takes place on 5 June and has been running for over four decades. This year’s theme ‘Raise your voice, not the sea level’ discusses the effects of global warming: rising sea levels and flooding worldwide. In fact, the IPPC predicts a sea level rise of 0.18 – 0.38m increase by 2100 in the most optimistic scenario and 0.26 – 0.59m in the most pessimistic.
Consequently, we should all get involved to halt global warming and protect this precious planet that is our home. Why not swap the car for your bicycle or use sustainable bags for your shopping? Every little action matters.
Therefore, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) asks people to join the WED Challenge which is embraced by celebrities such as Gisele Bundchen, actor Don Cheadle, footballer Yaya Toure and Ian Somerhalder. Reducing your footprint by managing your meals smartly and supporting environmentally friendly companies are amongst the actions of the challenge.
We Are Life Itself!
We are alive. Along with every other living being on our planet, we have been gifted the simple yet wondrous opportunity to embody life. What if the point of our lives were simply to live among all the beautiful life forms that have arisen in the natural world?
Consider for a moment that the joy of being alive could be our only purpose. We belong in the natural world. We are the natural world, just like the trees, the flowers, the sun and the sky.
When I am out in nature, I feel an innate sense of belonging. I don’t feel alone, I feel alive. Experiencing the mystery of a forest, noticing the sunlight flicker on a tree’s leaves, watching the flow of a stream trickling over rocks or listening to the song of a bird, I always find companionship in nature. We are not separate. We are integral parts of each other.
As human beings with the ability for conscious thought, it is easy to live our lives wrapped up in our problems, dwelling on the past, planning for the future, caught up in urges of obtaining pleasure and trying to rid ourselves of pain. What if we stopped for a moment and opened up to life as it is right now, in front of us? Live in it. Listen to it, look at it, smell it, touch it and taste it, as often as you can. Feel the simple experience of being alive. It is always accessible, wherever we are, whatever we are doing and whatever is going on in our lives.
Have you ever just sat down for a moment and felt the warmth of the sun on your face? Appreciated some beautiful flowers in a park on your way to the supermarket? Or marveled at stunning displays of autumn colours in the trees? Try it. Notice nature around you. Give it your full attention from time to time. Experience it with all your senses, and really look, as if you are encountering it for the first time. You too are nature. You too are alive.
Mindfulness Practice: In Touch with the Earth
When we are in touch with the earth, we can appreciate that
we are part of all that is around us. Find some grass, a meadow,
a park or a bit of garden where you won’t be disturbed. Lie
down on the ground. Become aware of the earth beneath you.
Close your eyes and become aware of your breath. Notice
what your breathing is like. Bring your attention to how each
part of your body feels as it is in contact with the ground. Feel
the warmth of the sun on your face, breathe in the scents,
notice the breeze against your skin and hear the sounds of
nature. Allow yourself to experience this moment and
gradually let go of the idea that you are separate – you are
connected to the earth and part of life itself.
TO WIN A COPY OF MINDFULNESS & THE NATURAL WORLD
Follow us on Twitter and retweet on of our #WorldEnvironmentDay tweets to be entered into a draw.
Include the hashtag #MindfulnessNaturalWorld so we can track re-tweets.
The winner will be chosen at random at 9am on Friday 6th June 2014 (all tweets up to this point will be included).
We will then ask for the winner’s details in a private message.