When I woke up today, the question that I was guided to answer for you on the pages of my eco-journal was: “What is eco-intelligence, and are you using yours, to sustain life and health within your body and the earth?"
Eco-intelligence is a term that I’ve coined in my work as an Eco Intelligent Lifestyle Mentor. And, if you’ve never heard me talk about it before, I'll offer you a short definition that I hope will resonate with you:
Eco-intelligence is the innate intelligence that you, and I, and all living things are born with that guides us to live in ecological balance and harmony, and make choices that protect, sustain, and nourish life within our bodies and the earth as a whole.
So, tell me? Are you in touch with your eco-intelligence? Do you call on it in your everyday life to make healthy choices for yourself and the earth? Do your friends and family do the same?
When I look out upon the earth today, I see the beauty of eco-intelligence at work in the natural world, everywhere I look. For instance, I see it in the intelligent behaviors of animals and in the intelligent growth of plants. I see it in all of the the eco-systems that keep on working to keep life alive. Where I don't see eco-intelligence, is in the behaviors of modern man, which, for quite some time, have been hurting the earth's ability to sustain life, as well as our own human ability.
If we pause to study the earth's current state of health, we can no longer deny that man has played a role in the melting of the ice caps, and the destruction of the rain forests, and the extinction of thousands of life species, and the dangerous warming of the planet.
Like the planet itself, whose health problems serve to define the condition known as "environmental illness", we humans are also now dealing with the symptoms of environmental illness.
The human form of this illness can be seen in many of the modern day disease conditions that we suffer from, which are the direct result of living out of harmony with nature. We are consumers of lifestyle products whose productions dumps tons of toxins into the earth's body, and we can't expect that we will escape their poisonous effects, given the fact that we live within a closed system of life!
So, tell me: When do you think we humans stopped listening to our innate eco-intelligence? And why did we?
I’m going to suggest that we stopped listening to our eco-intelligence when we made the decision to view ourselves as SEPARATE from the natural world. While this decision might have been largely unconscious, it was likely a socially conditioned or politically conditioned response. Unfortunately, what we forgot, as the result of our conditioning, is that, we humans ARE, and always have been, an integral part of the earth, just as the earth has always been an integral part of us.
Nature designed humans and the earth to function as ONE interdependent system of life. The optimal wholeness of this system is dependent upon our ability to exchange positive, life-giving energy with each other so that all of the systems that regulate life within our bodies and the earth function in balance and harmony.
Have you ever thought about the idea that the human respiratory system is a microcosmic version of the earth's respiratory system? We humans breathe in oxygen through our lungs and exhale carbon dioxide. The earth's trees, which are its lungs, breathe in carbon and exhale oxygen. This is a simple illustration of how humans and the earth exchange life giving energy, ---is it not?
Have you ever thought about the idea that the human digestive system is a microcosmic version of the earth's digestive system? We humans digest food in our stomachs and intestines and derive nourishment from it. The earth digests nutrients in the form of compost, and the seeds which are planted in the earth's soil derive nourishment from it.
Have you ever thought about the idea that the human circulatory system is a microcosmic version of the earth's circulatory system? We humans have blood running through our veins which delivers nutrients to our organs, tissues, and cells. The earth has veins running through it in the form of rivers, lakes, and streams, which quench the thirst of all living things.
I don't know about you, but when I think about the way that the functions of our bodies and the earth MIRROR one another, I have no doubt in my mind that there is a miraculous higher power at work in our lives, that is illustrating for us, how eco-intelligence expresses itself!
We humans can be all be thankful, I think you might agree with me, that nature has always provided us with life-giving sustenance, in the form of oxygen, water, sunlight, and land upon which we can grow food. We can also be thankful for all of the amazingly beautiful living things in the natural world that inspire our sense of beauty and wonder.
Do you think that if the earth and all living things had consciousness (as we humans do), that they would be thankful to us humans, for the sustenance that we’ve provided to them? Or, would it be painfully evident to them that we humans have taken much more from them, than we’ve ever given back?
Reciprocity is a word that I invite you to think about today. In case you're not familiar with the word, it's essentially the practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit. Are you ready, I wonder, to use your life in a way that supports you in exchanging positive energy with the earth, just as it has always exchanged positive energy with you?
To exchange positive energy with the earth, I want you to know, does not need to be a project that takes up a lot of your time and energy. It can be as simple as preparing a meal from ingredients that you grew yourself, or that you bought from an organic food supplier. It can be as simple as stocking your medicine cabinet with an herbal medicine, vs. a toxic drug that you might unconsciously flush down the toilet when the product has reached past its expiration date.
Exchanging energy with the earth can also be as simple as going outdoors and appreciating the natural world all around you. By quietly observing nature, you can discover a way to "give living things a voice." And isn't that what ALL living things want?
If you've enjoyed any of the ideas that I've shared with you today, I encourage you to stay tuned for my upcoming blog talk. I'm going to be exploring the way in which "Affluenza" threatens to silence your eco-intelligence.
Candia Lea Cole
Founder, Eco-Learning Legacies