Conscious Content: Environment

Flipping the Coin: Why Nature Doesn't Heal

By Conscious Adventurist Admin

Flipping the Coin: Why Nature Doesn't Heal

By: Alice Bellini

Take a fish and keep him in a tiny splash of water ever since he’s born. He will be on the verge of choking his whole life. He won’t even know swimming exists. A sense of frustration and anxiety will accompany him everyday. In a word, he won’t be a fish.

And even if he is “lucky enough” to live in a fish tank, he won’t be able to experience streams, corals and sands, nor all the other species of fishes and living beings that are meant to surround him. Storms and sunlight. Freedom of choice. He will never develop resilience, nor the capacity to believe in himself against fear and adversities. He won’t be able to eat properly. He will struggle against a complete disconnection. Almost certainly, he will never be able to be at peace with himself, because he’ll spend his life figuring out why he’s not happy in that splash of water, or in that fish tank. Why he’s not good enough and strong enough to feel and be calm and happy.

Then take that fish and put him into the ocean. All of a sudden, he feels, and he feels good. Connected, at peace, fulfilled. So he’ll believe the sea has a healing power, when it actually was all the rest of his life that was sickening.

Likewise, we believe nature has a healing power, when it actually is society as we know it––made of consumerism, judgments and corporate ladders––that have the power to take our humanity away, disconnect, drain and anesthetize us. Eventually, make us sick.

Distraction is one of the greatest tools of control, after all. Calling things the wrong way. Distorting our reality.

So when we experience nature, it’s not healing we feel, but rather what life is really meant to be. We go back to our roots, we discover the chance of being grateful and focused on the present moment; we become human again and we just feel plain good. In a word: authentic.

Conscious Content: Mountain Trail

We start to make more conscious choices, we embrace our vulnerability, our limits and our mortality, because we suddenly realize they allow us to feel love, express kindness, be curious and explore the world. They allow us to live in a dimension that is way more appropriate for us. Actually, they allow us to live.

We all equally experience that, because nature is in our guts.

So if we start calling things with their proper name and if we really find a power to nature, then that’s just the capacity of being unmistakably ourselves. Not trying to be something different just to be liked, approved or shared. We don’t demand invincibility, immortality or perfection. Everything is just as it is. Here and now. Breathing and being. No distractions, no instruments of control, hence freedom.

If we don’t know where to start, we can start from ourselves: aren’t we nature too, after all? We are not superior, nor owners. We are not something apart. We are fully and gratefully part of this planet. If you observe the outside, you will find many great correspondences and teachings about the inside, and the other way around: that’s what they mean when they say we are one with the universe, like everything else.

We too have a role, we too serve a purpose. The less human we are, running after unnatural and unrealistic fabrications, the more we’ll experience and breed shame. The reason why we constantly feel we are not something enough is that we are not in the right environment. You don’t expect a fish to feel adequate, happy and healthy outside of water, do you?

Conscious content - water breaking over rocks

The reason why we feel so disconnected and always craving something we’ll never obtain is because we are not tuning into the right frequencies. A lion will never be at peace if he tries to live the life of a computer, or that of a superhero. If he’s after immortality, if he poisons himself a bit everyday. Perfection is not the purpose.

Diversity teaches us that there are many different ways and points of view, we just have to find the one we resonate with the most. Embrace our nature and become humans.

Does this mean we all have to go back to living in caves and giving up on our creativeness, never invent anything and stop being animals with critical minds? Of course, not at all. It means to choose to use our tools properly. We, differently from all other animals, can be aware of ourselves and develop thoughts and actions consciously. We can name what we feel. We can choose, but most importantly we know that we can. So the way we use our brain, and our products and our means, that’s what makes the difference, that’s what allows us to be one change or the other. That’s what makes us men-men instead of machine-men, as Charlie Chaplin would call them.

Conscious Content - Mountain Top

To cultivate our awareness is vital. Of course there are many ways to do it. Mindfulness is one. But if none of them convinces you and if you don’t know where to start, then start from being aware that you breathe and that that’s what makes you alive. That’s the first exchange you have with the rest of the world, that’s the first sign you are here and now. Inhale. Exhale. Feel the air. Acknowledge your presence and your present moment. You don’t need an hour, you don’t need any particular equipment, you don’t need anything else but yourself, like every other living being on this planet.

By breathing, you’ll just connect. And there the human journey begins, toward a more mindful and conscious way of exploring the world. It’s a first step, on probably what will be the greatest of expeditions.

Nature doesn’t have a healing power, she teaches and involves, that’s what she does. She demonstrates the obvious, if we are willing to see it.

Embrace and accept. Show up, collaborate, experience the present moment. Nature has the power of coherence, of being the change she wants to see, of recognizing the important things.

The moment we understand that, we’ll flip the coin. We’ll initiate a culture of gratitude and mindfulness, of sharing, belonging and living authentically. We’ll stop consuming and we’ll start using. We’ll cease fear and we’ll start coexistence. We’ll inspire instead of compete. We’ll stop perfecting and we’ll start embracing.

We’ll become humans.

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The EarthWalkers

By Conscious Adventurist Admin

The EarthWalkers

At the end of the Vietnam war, Lynn and Morris Walker––creators of The EarthWalkers family band––were in the Vietnam jungle performing for U.S. soldiers when it started to pour. The power went out, the soldiers pulled their ponchos over their heads and together used their flashlights to illuminate the  duo. Despite the soaking rain, Lynn and Morris continued to play their instruments and sing.

Years later in a state park near Knoxville, Tennessee, Lynn and Morris found themselves performing for a group of 500 Boy Scouts in an eerily similar scenario. As they sang about eagles, it began to rain, the power went out and the Boy Scouts pulled their parkas over their heads. The group of boys held up their flashlights to see the couple.

“Morris and I looked at each other with the chill of de'ja vous and smiled and kept going,” said Lynn. “We won't forget that night ever.”

Lynn and Morris Walker

The EarthWalkers––a family folk band with an environmental message––grew out of Lynn and Morris’ adventurous experiences. The two folk singers traveled the country performing for public schools, hospitals, prisoners, reform school students and more, delivering a message of environmental stewardship and appreciation for the natural world.

“Morris and I did a lot of traveling around the world and saw that things were not so good environmentally in many countries,” said Lynn. “This was disturbing to us and we felt that music could move mountains and so we wanted to do our little part.”

The Earthwalkers

When they were able, Lynn and Morris brought their two young children, Skye and Amoris, into the band as well, homeschooling them as they traveled around the country living in their Chevy Gladiator van and Silverstreak trailer.

“We were doing the van life way back before it was popular,” said Skye, who now works as a muralist, artist and designer.

The EarthWalkers were on a mission to bring environmental education to children and adults, regardless of class or background. Rather than performing at more traditional music venues, the family sought out places where their message could be understood and developed. Schools assemblies were often their platforms and young children regularly comprised their audience.  

“The kids we performed for really liked us,” said Amoris, a documentary filmmaker and owner of Hot Tea Media. “It was the strangest and most wonderful feeling to have people love you just because you’re on stage playing music.”

The Earthwalkers

While a more “normal” childhood occasionally crossed their minds, Amoris and Skye explained that they experienced so much more within the country and the natural world than many other children were able to.

“ We were able to travel the country and see the natural places most students only read about in books,” said Amoris. “Some of those places had long-term impacts on our lives.”

The Earthwalkers

When her children were very young, Lynn said she recalled reading a psychology study that kids between the ages of six and nine weren’t dreaming about what they wanted to be when they grew up because they didn’t believe there was a future.

“And I thought, we need to do something,” said Lynn. “Is that what we’re doing, taking away the dreams of children?”

By touring the country and teaching their children about art and music while educating others about the environment, Lynn and Morris hoped they could provide a space for dreaming. Both Amoris and Skye expressed that they couldn’t imagine their childhood any other way.

While the family still plays music when they all gather together, Lynn and Morris have moved into video production and writing, while Skye works as a professional artist and Amoris works as a documentary filmmaker and digital content producer.

One thing that hasn’t changed though is their passion for the environmental movement and social justice. Teaching children is still an especially important aspect of the family’s life.

“If you teach the children they will go home and teach their parents,” said Amoris. “They will become the stewards of the earth.”  

 

To learn more about the EarthWalkers, check out their documentary here.

 

 

Anja Semanco

Creative Writer & Journalist

@ansemanco

 

Anja Semanco

Anja is a professional freelance writer living in Boulder, Colorado. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and appears in such places as Terrain.org and Zoomorphic magazine. Keep up with her at anjasemanco.com.

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The Xanadu Life

By Conscious Adventurist Admin

The Xanadu Life

The Xanadu Life is on a mission to make a happier, healthier world.

As a lifestyle brand inspiring “wellness, education and green living through unique and playful experiences,” Xanadu is demonstrating exactly what it takes to drive environmental responsibility, personal well-being and deeper human connectivity.

In just two weeks, Xanadu launches Camp Xanadu, a 200-person, all-inclusive summer retreat just 22 miles off the coast of Los Angeles on the west end of Catalina Island. From September 29 to October 1, camp-goers can expect nutritious meals, guided water excursions, team-building activities, yoga, campfire jams and more.

The camp draws people of all ages and all backgrounds. Whether you’re a banker or lifetime yogi, artist or engineer, Camp Xanadu is designed to take every person on their own personal journey. According to their site, “No matter where you live, how old you are, what shape you are, what ethnicity you are, or what your story is, we all breathe the same fresh ocean air, sleep under the same stars, and are united in our human experience.”

Registration is still available here.

When you get involved with Xanadu, you’re also getting involved with their incredible environmental work. They run the Xanadu Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to creating plastic free oceans through activation, education and art. You can find them year-round participating in coastal cleanups to address plastic waste, which makes up 90 percent of ocean pollution.

It’s never been easier to get closer to the outdoors and also be a responsible environmental steward.

Interested in getting involved with The Xanadu Life? Learn more about Camp Xanadu and the Xanadu Foundation here.

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