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The Bees Need Our Help on Earth Day

The Bees Need Our Help on Earth Day

honey_bee-t3From the Editor, Elizabeth:  On Earth Day, the bees visited me three times, imploring me to publish reminders about their call for our help. It’s time to stop the reckless use of pesticides.  Roundup and other harmful pesticides have already been banned across the globe.  North Americans, Children of Mother Earth, please remember the bees in your Earth Day ceremonies and end this scourge on our farms.
Below is the Jacob Devaney’s article in UpliftConnect.com for Earth Day reminding us that Monsanto is waking us all up:
FIVE REASONS TO BE GRATEFUL FOR MONSANTO| ‪#‎OceanNation‬ ‪#‎BeeLove‬ ‪#‎BeeSustain‬
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We live in a world of contrasting elements and sometimes
a direct experience of opposites can help us grow and evolve.

For example, loss can teach us about connection, grief can give us an appreciation for joy, a long cold winter will make us celebrate the coming spring. Last fall I was working on an article about GMO, and I really enjoyed researching the topic. I learned some important things about issues that seemed unrelated on the surface but are actually quite interconnected and essential for all of us to recognize. Monsanto, so often despised on social networks and demonized – yet it may be providing an opportunity for a much needed dialogue, in effect enlightening us through demonstrating the contrast of opposites.

It is fair enough to say that Monsanto opposes the beliefs of those who care about their right to know what is in their food, by pushing back against GMO labeling laws. This giant corporation also stands in contrast to the belief systems of those who believe in heirloom seeds, organic and bio-dynamic agriculture. The increase in pesticides used on GMO crops end up pouring into our waterways, which places Monsanto at odds with environmental groups and those concerned with water quality. Others find themselves in contradiction with this multinational bio-chemical corporation because the bees that pollinate flowers and vegetables are threatened by these pesticides. If opposites attract, Monsanto has done wonders to attract and unite many people who share a deep love for life on the planet.

Sustainability is defined, in ecology as ”…how biological systems remain diverse and productive. Long-lived and healthy wetlands and forests are examples of sustainable biological systems. In more general terms, sustainability is the endurance of systems and processes.”

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The definition of greenwashing is “A form of spin in which green PR or green marketing is deceptively used to promote the perception that an organization’s products, aims or policies are environmentally friendly. Evidence that an organization is greenwashing often comes from pointing out the spending differences: when significantly more money or time has been spent advertising being ‘green’ (that is, operating with consideration for the environment), than is actually spent on environmentally sound practices.

Greenwashing efforts can range from changing the name or label of a product to evoke the natural environment on a product that contains harmful chemicals to multimillion dollar advertising campaigns portraying highly polluting energy companies as eco-friendly.”

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Using the logic of opposites, we can be grateful that Monsanto has illuminated issues that we should all be concerned about. Here are 5 worth considering:

1. Recognizing the damage of pesticides in our water:

The growth of GMO crops eventually produce pesticide-resistant insects which increases the amount of pesticides needed to obtain the same results year after year. The increased use of these pesticides runs off into creeks, streams, watersheds, and our drinking water.

The Pesticide Induced Diseases Database provides access to a wide array of scientific studies on the dangerous health effects of pesticides. Glyphosate and Roundup, the herbicides which GE crops depend upon, are implicated in numerous adverse health impacts in human beings. Roundup formulations are of particular concern because the ‘inactive/inert’ ingredients in the product have been shown to enhance the toxicity of glyphosate. One particular ‘inactive’ ingredient, polyethoxylated tallowamine, or POEA, a surfactant used to adhere and allow glyphosate to penetrate into plant leaves, was shown to be capable of killing human cells, particularly embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells, according to a study published in Chemical Research and Toxicology.
– Beyond Pesticides

2. Teaching us about the history of chemical warfare:

Agent Orange was one of the herbicides and defoliants used by the U.S. military as part of its herbicidal warfare program, during the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1971. It was manufactured for the U.S. Department of Defense primarily by Monsanto Corporation and Dow Chemical. The British were the first to employ herbicides and defoliants to destroy the crops, bushes, and trees of communist insurgents in Malaya during the Malayan Emergency.

We now have a revolving door between high-level Monsanto lobbyists and politicians, who legislate food safety and production with business interests placed above the environment and public health.

3. Understanding the interconnected web of life including honey bees

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Who woulda’ thought that the ecosystem was so interconnected and interdependent that all these vegetables would be dependent on honey bees?

• Apples • Onions • Avocados • Carrots • Mangos • Lemons • Limes • Honeydew • Cantaloupe • Zucchini • Summer squash • Eggplant • Cucumbers • Celery • Green onions • Cauliflower • Leeks • Bok choy • Kale • Broccoli • Broccoli rabe • Mustard greens

More information here.

By targeting the insects that ruin crops, pesticides have inadvertently  hurt our bees to the extent that we could have wide spread bee colony collapse if we don’t do something about it.

4. Questioning commercial agriculture and considering where our food comes from

Our population has grown exponentially, and what may have been a solution 50 years ago may be a problem today. Consider all the fossil fuels used to ship food across the planet. What if more food was grown locally, if local laws encouraged community gardens and food forests? It is important to question the direction in which things are going. Some of the problems we currently face are forcing us to reconsider what large-scale agriculture should look like. Asking the tough questions always leads to solutions, and there are always safer, more effective ways to move forward.

5. Inspiring us to grow our own heirloom seeds and source our food locally

Because of the industry push-back against local and state ballot-initiatives to have GMO food accurately labeled, one of the best ways to know what you are getting is to grow your own or support local farmers. Supporting local farmers and growing your own also decreases the amount of fossil fuels that are used in transport and provides you with the freshest, most nutritious food possible. Heirloom seeds are available at places like Organic-farmingNative Seed Search and with them comes a long lineage of cultural heritage and stories from the people who have preserved them. This helps us to have a deeper understanding of our place within the larger web of life around us, and our role in history to make this place better for future generations. This Culture Collective article has a list of great resources about the importance of heirloom seeds.

When we were children we all learned to walk by falling down… lots! We learned the importance of honesty when we told a fib and lost the trust of a friend. We learned how precious love is when we lost a lover. We are wired to embrace opposites in this world of contrast, sometimes there are painful lessons but the quicker we adapt and learn, the quicker we grow and heal. Biotech gave us many solutions as our population swelled, but it is riddled with problems that we must now openly address. Just as training wheels may have once helped us ride a bike, we would find them limiting if we were to keep them on after we knew how to ride. Permaculture has many organic solutions that help to regenerate the land while using organic, and we need to consider transiting commercial agriculture into safer ways of producing healthy food. Perhaps we may one day thank Monsanto for causing us to wake up, to organize, and push for safer alternatives!

WORDS BY JACOB DEVANEY

How an Apple Tree Transformed my Life

How an Apple Tree Transformed my Life

“Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.”                   – Herman Hesse

Several years ago we spent an autumn season in the orchard region just outside of Melbourne. I was in between creative projects and feeling the need to do something more dynamic with my energy than sitting at the computer sending and receiving emails, so I followed an impulse to a local biodynamic farm and got a job picking apples during the last six weeks of harvest.

The notion was quite romantic initially… I’d spend my days wandering the orchard rows connecting with my Muse, and my evenings writing to my heart’s content.  The first few days were pretty exciting – driving tractors, climbing trees, embracing the daily challenge of filling 3 big apple crates with 2,000 apples each before sunset. But by day four… I’m pretty sure I hated it. With bruised grooves in each shoulder from my apple pouch and carpel tunnel in my wrists from twist-pulling Fuji’s all day, I hadn’t had the energy to open my laptop once, much less to write anything of value. I was starting to wonder if I was wasting my time – ‘valuable time’ I was telling myself, that I could be channeling into any number of potentially exciting projects. Here I was, slaving away for a fraction of my normal fee, getting pounded by the days and by the foreman, who had a way of applying subtle pressure to the pace of my picking that made me feel, well, inept. I’d be out there working my way up the rows, soaking wet with morning dew, and he’d stop by on his motorcycle, look into the bins and just kind of shake his head. He wouldn’t say much, but what his eyes were speaking was, “Really? This is all you got?!”

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By week two I was getting faster, but my restlessness was growing. I was still finding myself too exhausted to be creatively useful in the evenings (shower-food-sleep was the pattern, waking just in time to throw on my overalls and get back out there the next morning) and on top of that, I had missed several key business calls and meeting invitations while being stuck up the ladder with a pouch full of Red Delicious. In two short weeks, this 40-acre property of fertile soil and thriving harvest had gone from poetically beautiful to overbearing, overwhelming and almost oppressive. So many apples… so many fricken apples. How would we ever get through them all?

By the end of week three I was starting to seriously consider pulling the escape hatch… That’s when George arrived.

George was a tall, thin Chinese man. I don’t know how old he was but I would guess mid-fifties. He had run a successful importing business for many years but recently let it go to be with and look after his parents for a while. Somehow he found the orchard and had decided to drive 90-minutes each way across city traffic to be there picking each day. I was having a hard time dragging myself out of bed to make the ten-minute drive, so I wondered how long George would last. He was a quiet man and we didn’t talk much for the first few days, but one thing I noticed straight away – which admittedly gave me some comfort at the time – was that he was a much slower picker than me. I was about half as fast as the foreman, and George… well George was about half as fast as me. Within a few days, the silent glares I’d been receiving from the foreman, started manifesting into snide remarks in George’s direction.

But the days were getting shorter and they needed the help, so as a couple of slow, misfit pickers, we were partnered up to work the same section of the orchard each day, sharing the harvest. Knowing that I would now have to pick even faster in order to make up for George if we were going to make our daily quota (a concept that George didn’t seem to understand) I found myself getting stressed and almost a bit resentful of my new partner. But a few days into our partnership, during our first lunch together, all of this changed.

After searching for a spot of high ground to check my phone messages, I joined George on the edge of an apple crate where he was eating a big chunk of homemade bread. We were well behind schedule, so I was eating fast and starting to do the math in my head of how many chest pouches would be needed to fill the next crate, when I heard George bite into a crispy Pink Lady and take a deep sighing breath. “This is the best job ever,” he said, with the sincerity of a child. “Fresh air, fresh apples, green grass, blue sky… Best job ever.”

I couldn’t see his eyes (in fact I’m not sure if I ever saw his eyes on the other side of his gold framed, Top Gun style shades), but I wouldn’t have been surprised if there was a tear hovering there. I looked at him for a long moment, taking in what he said and I realized that while we were both there doing the exact same work together, George was having a totally different experience to me. I was stressing out, picking as fast as I could, going home exhausted and frustrated, feeling like I should be doing something else… and he was driving three hours a day, picking half the amount of apples and experiencing moments of enlightened rapture. I was definitely missing something.

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After lunch I watched George picking for a while… gently handling each apple, looking at it for a moment or two before he placed it in his pouch and reaching for the next. He might have been pissing the foreman off, but he was doing something right. We finished the day at sunset and I remember glancing back at George just leaning back, smelling the air as I drove the tractor back up the hill.

 “The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.”          – William Blake

The next morning was wet and raining so most of the team took the day off. George had made the trip across town unknowingly and I didn’t have the heart to abandon him, so I stuck around to help. I decided to leave my phone – and as many thoughts as possible – in the car for the day, and for once really give myself a chance to BE at the orchard. Almost instantly, the day began to feel a bit different. The apples seemed to come off a little easier and my steps through the long, wet grass just seemed to be lighter. Despite the rain, it felt good to be there, surrounded by all this life and growth and energy in full fruition. I began to feel inspired by each tree’s ability to give forth so many ripe creations (hundreds of apples and thousands of seeds!), and how every single apple had the capacity to give birth to a whole new family of apple-giving trees. What a model for sustainable living! I wasn’t rushing, I wasn’t forcing anything, I wasn’t counting… but somehow the pouches and buckets were filling.

Midway through the morning, it started bucketing down with rain. Really hard. I ducked under a mature Granny Smith, whose branches were so laden with wet fruit that the canopy hung around me like a giant umbrella. I continued picking, lightening the load of her limbs, moving in to the very center. As I stretched out around her trunk to reach a stray apple on the other side, suddenly a strange feeling came over my body. The air seemed to get a bit thicker and I felt this sort of calm wash through me that I hadn’t felt for a very long time. I took a deep breath of apple-tree-air and looked up to realize that the limbs of this tree were all wrapped around me like a giant, tree arm hug. And with my chest against the trunk, I swear I could feel her pulse. I glanced around sheepishly to make sure the foreman wasn’t coming… and then I slid my arms fully around and hugged her right back. Several seconds (maybe minutes) passed. Not a single raindrop hit me. My face was wet with tears.

Only then did I truly arrive in the orchard, and from that day forward, I cherished my time with these trees.

“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe. To match your nature with Nature.” – Joseph Campbell

Some days George and I made our daily quota, some days we didn’t. He never really understood what it meant, and I no longer really cared. Strangely as I relaxed, so did the foreman. He stopped counting apples in the bin and I stopped counting my phone messages. As luck would have it, we finished the picking season just before the first frost… right on time. And just a few days after our final day of picking, my next writing project began. Right on time.

Last time I saw George he was talking about getting a job on an oil rig for a few months so he could be out in the ocean. He had heard it was good pay but difficult work with tough crews. I can just imagine him out there amongst a group of sea-weathered oil riggers, tearing off a piece of his homemade bread, taking a deep breath of clear ocean air. “Ah. Best job ever.”

WORDS BY CHIP RICHARDS

The post How an Apple Tree Transformed my Life appeared first on UPLIFT.
Source: Uplift Connect

Plant a Tree for Earth Day

Plant a Tree for Earth Day

Let’s Plant a Billion seeds this Earth Day!

It seems as if almost every time I speak about Earth Day, someone says ‘Why isn’t every day Earth Day?’, which is true, but also kind of misses the point.

While there are many campaigns which are aiming to highlight the myriad ways in which we could take better care of our planet, the ones that are really grabbing my attention this year are the ones that are inspiring us to take DIRECT ACTION. To get our hands in the soil, to plant a seed, to turn off our computers and phones for a moment and give some much needed attention back to this amazing and beautiful planet.

One of the most inspiring of these is the “PLEDGE TO PLANT” campaign that was created by a group of organisations and facebook pages including The Master Shift, Forest Nation, The White Feather Foundation and the Earth Day Network to give back a giant collective offering to the planet.

This has now grown into hundreds of organisations joining together, including UPLIFT. It seems as if there is a collective awakening happening right now that has been inspired by the power of social media, but now seeks to go beyond that; to take tangible real world action that makes a difference. Those inspiring facebook pages that you might like and share in your daily newsfeed are beginning to talk to each other and realise that alone each page may reach thousands, or even a million or so, people a week. Working together, however, we have the potential to reach tens of millions of people in a way that challenges the traditional mainstream media outlets. The difference is that instead of highlighting what isn’t working in the world, all of the problems, injustices, conflicts and destruction, we can highlight what is working, the solutions, the collaborations and the co-creations that are making the world a better place. This is the essential vision of UPLIFT, which Satish Kumar has described as “Sarvodaya”, or “upliftment for all”.

So, how do I participate in “Pledge to Plant”?

It’s really simple. All you need to do is commit by clicking on the link below and registering. Already there are enough people registered to commit to planting over a million trees. And that’s just the beginning! If you share this message to your networks, you can be part of this global wave of action. In fact, the whole success of this campaign depends upon YOU to DO SOMETHING! Of course, the next thing you need to do is to find a tree to plant (contact your local nursery, garden centre, or permaculture impact centre for advice) and then somewhere appropriate to plant it. There’s a bonus if you can film yourself doing it and the share it with us, so we can show the world that this is actually happening.

PLEDGE TO PLANT: Link: http://forestnation.com/earth-day-tree-planting/

If you still have any doubt whatsover that we need to change our collective behaviour and stop cutting down trees and start planting them instead, watch the entertaining (and moving) 2-minute video that The Master Shift created for Earth Day here. It’s been watched by over 13,000,000 people already, so the campaign is really starting to catch fire.

 

How much will it take before we wake up to the impact we have on the world?

It’s a fact that forest fragmentation has had lasting detrimental effects on our planet’s ecosystem with habitat fragmentation leading to 13 to 75 percent decrease in plant and animal diversity!

Nearly 20 percent of the world’s remaining forests are the distance of a football field, or about 100 meters, away from forest edges. Seventy percent of forest lands are within a half-mile of forest edges. That means almost no forests can really be considered wilderness,” Professor Nick Haddad, North Carolina State University.

Some people might argue that just planting a tree and then doing nothing else for the rest of the year makes no real difference. A good response is always to ask what that person actually did for Earth Day. Doing something is ALWAYS more powerful than being an armchair (or facebook) critic, but it is also true that we need to make a SYSTEMIC change to the way we treat our planet, not just an OCCASIONAL change. This is why the Declaration to Restore Mother Earth is so powerful, by making a personal commitment to change, we initiate the beginning of that systemic change, which is what we all really need to do in order to turn around the Global ecological crisis. Take a look at the video below and then sign the Declaration. It’s the perfect thing to do on Earth Day and also the best way we can ensure every day really is Earth Day too!

 

Make a personal commitment to Restore Mother Earth!

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The post Plant a Tree for Earth Day appeared first on UPLIFT.
Source: Uplift Connect

How Water Connects Us All

How Water Connects Us All

Reflections on the sacred element of water with Tim ‘Mac’ McCartney

Several years ago my surfbsurfing-296161_1280oard shaper shared with me why he believes riding a wave is such a special (and for many, metaphysical) experience. He described to me how waves actually begin as a pulse of energy thousands of miles away in the Earth’s atmosphere. How they enter into our weather system as wind, moving across the surface of the sea, how wind swell eventually builds into a ground swell which travels in deep ripples across vast expanses of ocean building in size and power, and how when a wave finally reaches the shoreline and rises to a curling peak… this is the culmination of a truly epic journey. To have the gift of meeting and riding this energy at the very climax of its existence is one of the things that makes surfing the magic experience it is.

Having grown up skiing in the mountains of Colorado, I had often contemplated the parallel journey of snowflakes en route to arriving as powder on the peaks. Only recently did I realize that these two epic journeys share one thing in common: the element of water.

In a recent conversation with the founder of Embercombe Tim ‘Mac’ Macarthy, I had the gift of listening to him share some of the many ways that our connection to the sacred element of water informs, inspires and activates our relationship to LIFE itself.  The very way Mac shares and speaks of this element feels like being with him in the currents of a river – winding its way peacefully, powerfully from the mountains to the sea.

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The following are excerpts from our World Water Day interview (video below), in which Mac reflects upon his and all of our connection to the waters of life:

I would say that it is in us deeply to gravitate always to the element of water… There is no element that has quite the same capacity to delight and to terrify.

The great waters are always associated with our dreaming. We gaze to the horizon and over the oceans and in our imagination everything becomes possible.

It amazes me that when we look out into outer space and we dream of new lands and new planets,  the first question always that we ask of this new place is: “Is there water?”

Water is in our myths and in our legends… From the north of Britain, the Celtic lands, the Selkies were a mythical water being. The Mermaids, the Kraken of Scandinavia… All of these call to us and have that same deep mystery of water.

Water, I think, is one of the four great powers of our world and seems so connected with our emotions, with our deep longing… We talk about the waters of life. Water sits at the very fountain head… The well head of our spiritual knowing.

When we gather and sing around water we are calling and singing to life.

We are singing to our cells and we are singing to every other part of life, and in that there is a great upwelling of joy.

There is a such a sense, I feel, growing around the world. We want to go home.

People of all nations, all creeds, all beings. All of our relatives in the animal world and in the plant world and in every other world. We circle our hands, and we will know, as we do it that we are part of one bigger circle. I am sure that will bring much joy to all of us, including me.

Mac McCartney shares insight into our sacred connection with water with UPLIFT host Chip Richards

WORDS BY CHIP RICHARDS

The post How Water Connects Us All appeared first on UPLIFT.
Source: Uplift Connect

What is the Collective Field and Why Does it Matter?

What is the Collective Field and Why Does it Matter?

Each of us participates in limiting or liberating those around us
Recognizing this is key to expanding possibilities individually and globally.

The thing about the Collective Field is that we rarely consider it, or even know that it is there.  It is the collective emotional, psychic energy that builds in the unconscious, just beneath the surface of our awareness and bursts into consciousness spontaneously as if it came out of nowhere. An awareness of this internal process can empower you to manifest your highest potential.

The Multiple Discovery concept describes the phenomena throughout history of individuals around the world working independently and without knowledge of each other making the same discovery at practically the same moment. For many years people thought it was impossible for a runner to break the 4-minute-mile. As soon as Roger Bannister did it, he gave dozens of other athletes ‘permission’ to do the same within the same year. What is apparent is that there is a collective field of thought/belief that dictates, to some degree, what is possible and these limits are continuously being expanded. 

The term most often used is “emergent”, it describes the place where unconscious properties are birthed into the conscious realm. It is a process whereby larger entities, patterns, and regularities arise through interactions among smaller or simpler entities that themselves do not exhibit such properties.  When we apply this concept to human social systems, we begin to recognize the importance of thinking collectively, as well as individually. This can be difficult in a world that emphasizes the power of the individual.

limbicLimbic Resonance by Amanda Sage

Vladimir Vernadsky used the term “Noosphere” to describe the sphere of human thought as a distinct realm that shapes the physical world and thus the life-forms that inhabit it. In Vernadsky‘s theory of how the Earth developes, the noosphere is the third in a succession of phases, after the geosphere (inanimate matter) and the biosphere (biological life). Just as the emergence of life fundamentally transformed the geosphere, the emergence of human cognition fundamentally transforms the biosphere. 

With these ideas swirling through ones head in contrast to the immense global problems we are facing, it is apparent that a “mind-shift” is in order. We have the ability to bring about transformation and expand our notion of what is possible, but this will only happen when we begin to think collectively and with a balanced perspective.

We all know what it is like to walk into a room full of tension and anxiety, as pressure builds we can feel the potential for violence to break out. Likewise, we know what it feels like to walk into a room that is filled with safety and love. These vibrations, these emotions can not be seen, yet they are very contagious and contribute greatly to what is created within a given space. When people consciously focus their mindful energy together, simultaneously, towards increasing the vibration for positive outcomes globally, we can alter outcomes.

An analogy I love is about a bucket of crabs. Each time one reaches the top and almost escapes, the others pull it right back down into the bucket. We do this to each other when we let jealousy, competition, and pride rule us rather than wishing to lift up those around us. It takes self awareness to think collectively so that we can separate our own personal insecurities from our desire to see prosperity, success, healing for everyone. Clearly we have the potential to push each other down or lift each other up. What we do for or to others will always eventually come back to us, this is the beginning of understanding the collective field.

The noosphere is global, we are all in the same “room” and each of us effects the collective field.

The vibrations of fear and violence are powerful and mostly unconscious. The antidote is a conscious, mindful strengthening of the collective field with love, trust, and gratitude. This is not ethereal or mystical, it is a practical response to the situation we find ourselves in right now on the planet. Some say that humanity is doomed to self-destruct, but people also once said humans could not break the 4-minute-mile. Possibilities are endless, the wave of consciousness and transformation is contagious.

Surf’s up, it’s time to BE the change.

WORDS BY JACOB DEVANEY
FEATURED IMAGE BY ADAM SCOTT MILLER

The post What is the Collective Field and Why Does it Matter? appeared first on UPLIFT.
Source: Uplift Connect

How a Personal Commitment is Transforming my World

How a Personal Commitment is Transforming my World

Becoming a participant in the Restoration of Mother Earth

It isn’t often that I make a commitment which so profoundly impacts the way I live. The real gift of this discovery is that the more I give myself to this commitment, the more it gives in return.

When I first heard the Declaration to Restore Mother Earth being shared at UPLIFT 2014, my entire being was vibrating, fully attentive. I recognized the spiritual authority of where this transmission was coming from and realized just how much my heart longs for it to happen. 

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At the moment we were invited to make our own personal commitment, a ‘yes’ came from deep within me. Symbolic pieces of strings were placed in our hands, for us to infuse with our intentions and prayers for the healing and restoration of Mother Earth. These strings were  then to be carried back by the representatives of the Original Peoples of the Earth in La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta; to show the Elders that there are indeed people in the World who care…

From watching Alan Ereira’s 1990 BBC documentary The Heart of The World: Elder Brother’s Warning and the 2013 release Aluna, filmed in co-operation with the mamos, or spiritual leaders of the Original Peoples of the Earth, I learned that for generations they have dedicated their entire lives to the safekeeping of the spiritual balance of the World. I also learned that the modern-day mindset creates an imbalance which is destroying both the physical structure and the thought structure, or ‘matrix’, underlying existence. Both quantum physics and ancient wisdom suggest there is evidence of the power of intention to affect the underlying field. So yes, we need to let Mother Earth know we care. We need to let the Elders know that we care, and we need to take care with what we are contributing to this field. 

I believe, as do many others, that only a radical shift in consciousness will make a difference now. According to those who track the planetary boundary limits, we are already past the point of no return. We don’t have time anymore to sit through the debate of whether Climate Change is a real concern or not, or to wait for action to be taken through political and corporate tradeoffs.

To face the current state of our world can be overwhelming, and often gives rise to feelings of hopelessness and despair, especially when seeing the complacency, indifference and self-interest of our human condition. Yet somehow, making this commitment has given me a focus that amplifies another innate impulse – to care, connect and contribute.

As soon as the Declaration came online, I signed up and started encouraging everyone else to tune into the inspiration the Elders are sharing. Before long, I realized that the commitment is actually working both ways, and perhaps even more about receiving than giving!

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As we link our intention to contribute to the restoration of Mother Earth, we are also connecting with the Elders, and the innate order that governs nature, to care, nurture, protect and uplift all of life.

The Declaration calls for us to be conscious of our imbalanced ways of living, and that it is time to reclaim our connection to the Original Constitution of Mother Earth. This goes way beyond ensuring we take responsibility to reduce our own personal carbon footprint; it is vital for us to heal the painful disconnection we feel, and be willing to let go of our own justifications for separation.

The teachings of the great Indian sage Ramana Maharishi so perfectly summarize what is called for, now more than ever:

Your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render the world.
– Ramana Maharishi

In the Declaration film ‘Message from the Mother’ the representative of the Original People of the Earth in La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Nelson Caraballo, shares how important each person’s healing and commitment really is. By committing to align our intentions and actions, we are collectively participating in the Unification process becoming a reality. The Elders encourage us to live in harmony with nature, as the original people have done for thousands of years. They share how vital it is for us to care for the essential elements that constitute life, and to reactivate sacred sites so Mother Earth may return to her natural constitution, through our songs, dance, music, prayer and restorative ceremonies.

It is a powerful offering, to live with reverence for the simple things that actually matter most to us all. There are so many gifts: just to wake up in the morning and thank the sun for shining and be grateful to breathe fresh air and listen to the birds, to tend to the vegetable garden behind my house, to thank the seeds and the soil and the Earth for growing our food, and to nourish my family with care.

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I have never been one for praying, but I am learning there are so many beautiful ways to bring to life our appreciation for Life itself, and how this inspires, empowers and aligns our will to act accordingly, to do what we can within our own sphere of influence. The prayer that most resonates with my heart is to dedicate the actions of the day to serving the restoration of Mother Earth so that we, and all our future generations, may have fresh water to drink and pure air to breath and healthy, wholesome food to eat.

This focus has served me well, to bring to life the sacredness of living simply, to prioritize where I’m giving my attention, and to get over the personal stories which simply don’t matter much after all. It is also radically changing my conversations, focusing on what will unite us rather than divide us, bringing enthusiasm to celebrating lifestyle choices for personal and planetary wellbeing, and supporting the initiatives I feel most inspired by, as well as engaging in community projects and at our school.

It was especially insightful to learn about celebrating the sacredness and significance of Water this World Water Day from those who led the worldwide #LoveWater ceremonies, and all the inspiring initiatives emerging!

I can’t imagine that Google knows my intentions, but I notice how my attention, even online, is becoming more selective of credible information I can share, and the inspired initiatives I can support with my voice and actions. These days, attention is being drawn to how best to serve the collective focus on Earth Day coming up on April 22 and how we can come together to revitalize our own environments.

The question I live with is: how to bring awareness to those of us who are no longer in touch with the understanding that they too are an integral part of the natural world? How do we care for more than just what works for ‘me,’ but to truly tune into what works for ‘us’?

May we all embrace and activate the Unification Process – for our health, our happiness, our prosperity, our future, indeed everything of value that comes from our relationship with the Mother that nourishes us all.

WORDS BY ANNA BRIJBALA

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Source: Uplift Connect

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