"We are living parts of this living body of earth” – Joanna Macy.
It may well be the challenge of our century and the primary responsibility of education, to foster an understanding among our species that nature is beautiful because of her inherent divinity, and that the health of our biosphere depends on the health of its human inhabitants.
We belong to this intricate and vast living system which ancient cultures call "Mother Earth”. When, as mentors, we value the sacred and feminine aspects of this earth, our home, and we recognize that we are made of the same stuff; the stuff of life, we can encourage others to open to their true natures, and begin to generate the momentum required to restore balance to the human community and our planet.
In our various roles, whether therapist, educator, parent or leader, when we are open to learning, we are better able to collaborate with integrity at all levels within our communities: political, corporate, institutional and environmental.
Learning, loving and teaching are, for me as an intuitive person, all related. In most traditional educational institutions, personal development has been undervalued. In order for us each to awaken to our individual purpose (or in other words, to figure out how we can best be of help), we do have to let down our defenses, but when we do, we become increasingly present to our thoughts, emotions and bodies. To be aware in this way is to be empowered. It means to be grounded in the earth’s life force, and to more naturally connect to one another. When present to the emotional field and to the energetic and physical realms, learning becomes real, embodied knowing. Moreover, when this ‘realness’ emerges, an expansion takes place in our minds and hearts, enabling us to feel the connection we have always had, to what eco-psychologists call the ‘web of life’.
Spending time in nature teaches us the value of solitude and silence, and opens us up to our connection with the rest of this living planet. When our minds become quiet, our hearts and bodies become accessible, reliable sources of wisdom. And then, as we learn to appreciate the value of both community and solitude, our living web becomes woven with the stories of our wisdom, experience, and honesty.
I say we need to hold up a mirror. Challenge your students, kids, and friends to be truthful when they are barely glimpsing those places where they are being untrue. Applaud them for their openness to feedback, for their willingness to explore their blind spots and especially, for their courage to stand their ground. It is so important to recognize the value of personal growth. There are, as Parker Palmer says, "risks inherent in pursuing the deep things of the world or of the soul”, but this is where confidence is born, and where we will find the seeds to replant the world.
As bosses, parents and teachers, I believe our job is to encourage the development of certain practical skills, but also emotional and spiritual potential.
In this way we can recognize our relationship with all species, and act to restore earth to her Self.