By Nanci Shanderá, Ph.D.
Global warming. Extinction of thousands of plant and animal species. Fracking. Glacial melt and rising seas. Powerful weather events. Harmful chemicals in our food supply. Do you feel overwhelmed by just reading those words? And even though you sincerely hope we can find solutions to these difficult challenges, do you feel powerless to do anything about them?
You may be surprised if you consider that you actually do have the potential for doing something very significant in healing our planet. This idea is based upon the ages-old metaphysical Truth that our thinking creates our reality. When viewed globally, we can see that for centuries, all of our collective thoughts and fear-based beliefs have led to our current challenging reality. Important events such as the Harmonic Convergence in 1987, 9/11 in 2001, the culmination of the Mayan Prophecy in December of 2012, and more have raised our awareness of our interconnectedness to life. We have become more caring about one another and all forms of life on Earth. Organizations for positive change are multiplying. Activists are no longer seen as malcontents. During the recent two-week Climate Change Conference in Paris, thousands created healing rituals and ceremonies around the various venues for the purpose of envisioning the power of Love and Unity.
On deeper, inner levels of consciousness, our hearts are opening. There is far less room for selfishness, greed, self-serving competition, isolation, fear about what others think of us, and doubts about ourselves. The old pattern was to reject the power of Love all the while deeply longing for it, even if unconsciously. Wars are begun by this very concept. Political or religious leaders who fear loss of their power attempt to control others by misusing that power through violence, misinformation, or threat. But they are not immune to the very real need to be loved. So based on our evolving willingness to love one another, we can transform criticism and complaints about these people into compassion. We can send healing thoughts and energies to them, their organizations, their families, and co-workers. We can gaze into their faces in photos, imagining the children they once were, and the potential for good they hide behind their business faces. We can envision them being truly loved and opened to new possibilities. We really do have more power than we think in creating appreciable shifts in global awareness and change. The key here is knowing that by doing an activity such as this one, we are actually working to change ourselves. Outer action is always a reflection of what is within. We have unconsciously agreed to allow others to abuse life. Inner work develops awareness of how we as individuals have contributed to the abuse and can then contribute to a more conscious way of life on Earth.
A powerful way to transform our Inner Environment and the climate of our lives is by employing some typical environmental issues, such as water and air pollution, as metaphors.
Air Pollution & Thought Pollution
Most of us know the basic causes of air pollution. Now, people are helping to restore clean air by driving environmentally friendly cars, cutting down power usage, or supporting businesses that practice wise use of resources.
Metaphysically, the element of air is associated with the mind, our thoughts, and our beliefs. Transforming air pollution might begin with internalizing the idea that our thoughts have become polluted and manifest outwardly as unhealthy air.
Imagine a typical smoggy day. Feel how difficult it is to breathe this polluted air, think of how unhealthy it is for your body, recall what you know about what contributed to this problem (too many automobiles, unregulated industry, etc.). Be aware of how you feel as you observe this image.
Now, shift your attention from smoggy air to how you may have polluted your mind and emotions with negative thinking. Think of something that you think about yourself, such as "I'm just not (smart/good-looking/rich, etc.) enough." Or, "I'll never get what I really want out of life." If you have never asked yourself these kinds of questions, it may surprise you to become aware of the thoughts and beliefs that you've allowed to affect you deeply. Just one strongly held and persistent belief that you're not good enough can affect your physical and emotional health for a lifetime. You might create a list of each negative belief about yourself each time you think of one. To see these beliefs on the page impacts your subconscious and inspires you to change them.
Transforming beliefs in our inner environment takes more than mere affirmations. Restoring your natural loving nature toward yourself takes time and patience…and lots of willingness to observe yourself when the old nagging negatives arise. Conscious awareness is required for change to happen. As you witness the old thoughts and beliefs, they begin to change their behavior and make the space for you to create what you choose to believe about yourself.
Water Pollution & Honoring Our Feelings
Availability of pure water for personal use and for growing our food is of great concern. Many of us use recyclable water containers, buy organic produce grown with non-toxic water, and help to clean up our rivers and lakes.
Metaphysically, the element of water is associated with emotions, spirituality, and intuition. The idea that we have contributed to water pollution by allowing ourselves to shut down our true feelings is a key to solving our challenges for clean water resources. Lack of flow of water and emotions always causes stagnation of Nature's intention.
Imagine a lovely, pristine stream in beautiful surroundings. Create a canoe or raft and hop on. Close your eyes as you float downstream. Be aware of how you feel emotionally as you dangle your hand in the water and rest gently. Now, switch the scene. You are now on a wreck of a raft which is falling apart and leaking water as you float downstream. You are aware of many obstacles in the water like sharp rocks and jagged tree limbs. The water is sluggish and dark, and scum is floating on the surface. How do you feel about this watery environment? Would you want to swim in it? Drink it? Of course not! You know it's toxic and stagnant.
Now, shift the picture of the polluted water to how you have allowed your emotions and connection to spirit to become stagnant and toxic. Have you given permission to your emotions to run your life by inappropriate, childish behavior and expression? Have you denied and rejected your feelings for fear of what others might think? Do you hide your true feelings and manufacture "socially acceptable" ones? How might you change this the next time you have the opportunity to respond to someone from your true feeling nature?
Disrespect for the Earth & Opening the Heart
The Earth as our Mother is now the most important concern in all societies around the globe. People are awakening to how the majority have allowed a very small, selfish minority to steal and ruin so much of what our Earth gives us. Now we are working together as one global society, to rectify and heal the Earth's many systems, bringing love and respect into the equation for restoration.
Spiritually, respect for our Earth requires the heart to be actively involved in the healing process. But we can only do that if we love ourselves unconditionally. We cannot love others or our Earth truly if our love depends upon conditions.
Try witnessing yourself in a mirror. Just observe. After a few minutes you will most likely begin to think or feel things about yourself that are not unconditional: "Well, I'd like myself a lot better if…", "How can I love myself with all my issues?", "I don't even know who that is in the mirror!" Look at each thought or feeling about yourself as they come up. What conditions must be met before you could accept yourself fully? Keep in mind that much of our unacceptability was founded upon others' attitudes, beliefs, dogma, or rules. The freedom gained by releasing the old rules is worth any discomfort.
By resolving your inner pollution by deepened awareness, you automatically contribute greatly to the healing of our planet. As you restore who you truly are, no longer colored by learned, fear-based beliefs and inauthentic emotions, you restore our planet. Love radiates through you to all forms of life everywhere. There is an old saying that when a butterfly flaps its wings, it creates a wind on the other side of the Earth. Through the power of learning to love and accept ourselves unconditionally, we show others the way.
Key Points in Healing the Earth by Healing Ourselves
• Send Love to anyone or any form of life needing it.
• Cleanse your polluted thoughts and beliefs.
• Develop a new relationship with your emotions and honor your feeling nature.
• Learn to love unconditionally.