WHAT IS ECO-INTELLIGENCE? (Are You Using Yours, to Sustain Life & Health In Your Body & The Earth?
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 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 relying on your eco-intelligence to make choices that nourish life within your body and the earth? Do you see your family members relying on their eco-intelligence to do the same? When I study the natural world all around me, I see eco-intelligence at work within the lives of animals, plants, insects and ecosystems, which work together to create ecological balance and harmony. Where I don’t see eco-intelligence at work is in the behaviors of humans that have treated the earth and all living things as a profit making commodity rather than a system of life whose precious natural resources are meant to be jointly managed and cared for.
So, tell me: When do you think we humans stopped listening to our innate eco-intelligence? And why did we?
So, maybe you’re wondering: Did we stop listening to our innate eco-intelligence when the industrial revolution (and those who ran it) started providing us with goods whose production dumped lots of new chemical toxins into the earth? Or did we stop listening to our eco-intelligence when we became socially conditioned to consume food and lifestyle products that were toxic to our bodies? Or, is it more likely that we stopped listening to our eco-intelligence when we decided that our actions in the world didn’t hurt the greater whole of life?
Exploring Our Erroneous Belief that We Are Separate from the Earth
For a long time in our modern history, it occurs to me that we’ve been taught to view ourselves as “separate” from the earth. This separation mentality has led to some of the greatest challenges we have faced on our planet. It has led us to dominate the earth, pollute it, fight wars over the use of its resources, erode its quality of life, and threaten its future ability to support life. In treating our earth with disrespect, we have grown blind to the fact that we have also been treating ourselves with disrespect. What our eco-intelligence guides us to know and remember is that we humans and the earth represent one giant, interdependent system of life. We are a system of life that is always exchanging energy with one another. The kind of energy that we exchange with one another is either healthy and life-sustaining, or it is unhealthy and life-degenerating.
Our Human Lungs, The Earth’s Lungs
Have you ever thought about the idea that the earth’s respiratory system is a macrocosmic version of the human respiratory system? The earth's trees, which function as its lungs, breathe in the carbon dioxide that we exhaled and they exhale oxygen. We humans breathe in that oxygen through our lungs.
Our Human Digestive System, The Earth’s Digestive System
Have you ever thought about the idea that the earth’s digestive system is a macrocosmic version of the human digestive system? The land that covers the earth ingests food in the form of soil amendments (such as compost and manure) and it uses those nutrients, along with the sun, to nourish the development of seeds and crops. We humans eat the food that the earth produces, and our digestive system extracts nourishment from it, to provide us with energy.
Our Human Circulatory System, The Earth’s Circulatory
Have you ever thought about the idea that the earth’s circulatory system is a macrocosmic version of the human circulatory system? The earth has veins running through its terrestrial body (in the form of rivers, lakes, and streams) which deliver life-giving energy to all parts of the natural world, including plants and animals. We humans have blood flowing through our veins and capillaries that deliver nutrients to our organs, tissues, and cells.
I’m Grateful for What Mother Nature Teaches Me
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 am grateful for the beautiful illustration of eco-intelligence that Mother Nature provides. This illustration inspires me to practice reciprocity in my daily life. In case you're not familiar with the term reciprocity, it's essentially the practice of exchanging things (energy) with other living things, for mutual benefit. In case you're not familiar with the term reciprocity, it's essentially the practice of exchanging things with other living things for mutual benefit. 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.
Exchanging Positive Energy with the Earth (through the Practice of Reciprocity) Is Easy to Do
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 shopping for green lifestyle products. It can be as simple as buying the foods that you eat each week, from an organic farmer, or an organic food manufacturer that respects the health of people and the planet. It can be as simple as stocking your medicine cabinet with an herbal medicine, vs. a pharmaceutical drug. Many drugs are, unfortunately, toxic to the human ecology system and they often cause unwanted side-effects. Drugs, when flushed down the sewer system are toxic to the earth’s ecology system and they often end up in the municipal water supplies that we use to drink and bathe with. Exchanging positive energy with the earth can also be as simple as going outdoors and appreciating the natural world around you. By quietly observing Mother Nature and “giving all of her inhabitants a voice”, you will be demonstrating that you know your small, but meaningful place within the great web of life.
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