March 2023: Personally Relating to Earth

Hello again, our brilliant Potatoes! Happy March! 🌿🌷

We’re continuing our theme of relating to Earth, and our specific topic covers individual personal relationships! (If you’re wondering what this has to do with environmentalism, remember that inspiring action starts with caring about a cause and believing we can make a difference. This may not have direct effects on your carbon footprint, but we believe it’s also necessary. We also hope this will help you in general!)

You’ve probably heard the common phrase “We need each other.” This is usually referring to only to humans needing other humans — which IS true — but in actuality “We need each other” is true for all of us: humans, plants, animals, fungi, air, water, etc. We need each other to literally survive, of course, but we’d argue that we need each other as friends and community to thrive! Also, the idea that we are individuals above all else can lead us to forget the ways we depend on each other and are not actually separate. Western society has overemphasized and made our value dependent on our personal contributions. We can easily alienate ourselves from each other and the outside world, which has led us into a time of deep disconnection, isolation, and loneliness. By working for the needs of the whole community — rather than individual progress — and by relating to others, human and nonhuman, we create symbiosis and harmony with each other. Social connection is shown to have a huge positive effect on humans’ health, and so does connection to Earth. Also, empathy for Earth and nonhuman creatures often translates to empathy for other humans (an example), leading to a healthier human society as well.

Similarly, we sometimes view our bodies as tools or as things to be controlled, rather than parts of us that deserve respect. For example, we often talk about exercising, getting enough sleep, etc. in the context of being able to achieve what we want, instead of for the sake of ourselves and our general well-being. Sometimes, we act like our bodies are mere vessels for our minds. But our bodies are an important part of us, and physical and mental health affect each other. Much of our lives are lived through our bodies and not our minds — they keep us alive, of course, but also tell us what we need to stay healthy, convey our emotions, connect us to ecosystems (e.g. through food), and give us a physical presence in this glorious world. They are our link to the real world outside our minds, and by respecting and being in tune with them, we can also better engage with those around us and further overcome our disconnection. 

But! We would like to help you determine what you do to keep yourself connected and ask yourself what that relationship is like! So here’s a few things to think/ask yourself about!

  • Do you think of Earth as many beings and alive?
  • Do you know/consider where your food comes from?
  • Do you spend time outside getting to know beings who live in your area (and connect to the world that way)?
  • Does your spirituality/belief system include talking to Earth and the beings all around you?
  • Do you know how to derive medicine from plants?
  • What relationship do you have to your local land and ecosystems?
  • What do they give you?
  • What do you give them?
  • What other parts of Earth do you have a connection to? 

This is a lot, so examine whatever draws your attention the most!

If you’re wondering how to get back in touch with Earth, here are a few suggestions to start with:

  • Spend time outside in natural areas, especially mindfully and without distractions or in a way that actively helps them
  • Express gratitude to your surroundings and the beings and weather and such around you
  • Do mindfulness exercises or meditate if that helps you
  • Reflect on your role in existence
  • Participate in eco-friendly gardening to better understand and appreciate the source of your food and supplies and make it into more of a personal interaction
  • Learn about your local species and ecosystems
  • Read/watch/listen to/create environmental art

Please take a look at our checklist and resources for the month, and we hope this is helpful!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *