Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day!

Celebrate and Uplift with Inspired Action
By Amy Phillips-Gary

Today is Earth Day! You've probably seen television ads and programs spotlight products that are “green” and eco-friendly. You may have already taken part in events in your community to mark the occasion: streamside cleanup, community gardening, or perhaps tree planting.

Earth Day, officially declared as April 22nd here in the U.S. in 1970, was conceived as a day to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment. More and more of us are joining in with Earth Day activities.

But before you pick up a shovel, trash bag or garden hoe, I'd like to invite you explore your intentions and motivations about our Earth and the environment of which we are all a part.

At almost every turn, we're told that our planet is in crisis environmentally. Whether it's carbon emissions, our dependency on fossil fuels or climate change, the talk is almost always how dire the environmental outlook is for our home, the Earth.

I do not advocate that we all stick our heads in the proverbial sand.

At the same time, however, I believe that the actions we take on this Earth Day and every day can be much more effective, long-lasting and mutually beneficial when we are inspired and positive-- instead of fearful or guilt-induced.

Lessons from Lisa Simpson
A recent episode of the satirical animated television show “The Simpsons,” showed the character Lisa turning to mind-numbing prescription drugs to cope with her deep depression about the frightening prospects for her town's future.

Lisa begins to see every person and thing in her life as only smiley faces in her drug-induced state. Where before Lisa was horrified to see people littering, dumping toxic waste or even being violent to one another, now she only sees garish bright yellow smiley faces.

Of course, it is not inspired, or inspiring, to walk around in a stupor as caricatured on “The Simpsons.” At the same time, to approach Earth Day-- or any other environmental action-- with a predominant feeling of fear, guilt, or a sense of self-righteousness is just as potentially ineffective and even detrimental.

Many of today's environmentally-oriented slogans attempting to raise awareness make an appeal to people to “save” or “protect” the Earth. This call is often followed up with statistics and facts about how many rainforest trees have been cut down, mountaintops removed, or how many plastic bags are piling up in landfills.

But what kind of existence are we mapping out for ourselves and our children with all of this fear?

Shift your energy and beliefs...
What beliefs do you hold about this Earth we live on? Do you tend to view it as polluted, in decline and threatened? Or do you believe that this is an amazing, abundant and sustainable place to live and thrive?

It can make a huge difference!

Have you ever taken an action when you mostly felt afraid or worried about whatever it was you were doing? Several years ago, my husband and I purchased a used car when we both were feeling fear, doubt and lack. The car turned out to be a total money pit as it seemed to need constant repair and maintenance. A big lesson for us was learned.
Never take action when your energies are fearful, negative and dominated by lack.

Attitudes and beliefs are quite powerful, which you probably already know from examples in your own life. This phenomenon tends to hold true in other areas as well-- including our relationship with the environment.

Take only inspired action...
What inspires you about this glorious Earth? I love watching the sun reflect off a stream in one my city's metroparks. I also feel renewed just being in the presence of trees and the green lushness of a forest. And, to me, there's something so much tastier and fresher about locally grown organic foods.

Touch in with what makes you feel alive and excited about your environment. From that energy and with those vibrations moving through you, choose your inspired action.

Notice how different it feels to plant a tree, till a cosmmunity garden or even pick up trash by a stream when your thoughts and attitude are focused on uplifting and hopefulness.

Truly celebrate this Earth Day. We are all interconnected with one another and with our planet. As we inwardly and energetically thrive, expand and continually renew, so does our Earth.

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