If you are a sensitive human, someone who cares deeply about animals, people, and the beautiful planet we inhabit, then you have probably experienced some profound moments of despair recently. It is much easier to distract, dissociate, or numb ourselves from the pain but for some of us these strategies are simply not an option. We ache because we love. That’s why we need daily practices for transmuting pain and increasing joy. A community movement grounded in the practice of gratitude is a powerful way to bring personal and planetary healing. This is why I am so happy to share with you about Earth Gratitude.
Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.
-Harvard Medical School
As an activist in my younger years I filled my brain with climate science and politics until I became angry, bitter, sad, and scared about the future. Luckily a friend taught me a very simple and powerful gratitude practice. She told me to write down a list of everything I am grateful for when I begin to feel hopeless and overwhelmed. I highly suggest that everyone try this because you will feel a profound shift happen within you when you do! This self-care practice also caused me to change the way I look at environmental activism.
My biggest critique of the environmental movement has been the way it is built around fear, doom, and gloom. Though being mentally informed with facts and statistics is important we also need to come at this challenge while being present and grounded in our heart. Bringing creativity, color, solutions, play, and gratitude into the equation is imperative for us as individuals and as a community.
Gratitude allows us to celebrate the present. It magnifies positive emotions.
-Robert Emmons, Why Gratitude is Good
Spring is naturally a time of renewal, and for those of us in the northern hemisphere, it is also when we celebrate Earth Day. We are constantly reminded that Earth Day needs to be every day. This is a way of being, a daily practice to stay present, lower our impact, live in gratitude, and make positive change. Earth Gratitude is an online community portal that supports us in this personal and global journey towards healing and well-being. They offer many resources including videos, e-books, and gamification that makes activism fun and empowering for people of all ages.
You can visit the Earth Gratitude website to read their free E-Zines that are filled with uplifting stories that help you stay inspired year-round. There is also an option to sign-up for 14 Days of Gratitude where you will receive emails to support your daily practice. Each year there is also an online Earth Day Festival with panel discussions, art, and enlightening conversations about how to better steward our personal well-being and care for the Earth. The beautiful thing about this is that it is a culture of caring and mutual support as we each do our small part to create a big change in the world.
What are you most grateful for? What are some things about nature that inspire you? What makes your heart feel joy and connection? Spend some time each day asking yourself these questions. Get a journal and create an ongoing list of these things that bring presence, love, and gratitude into your life. Make sure to take moments to breathe-in the beauty in nature that surrounds us.
This will change the way you look at life, and the challenges we all face as a global community. Only when we are mentally and emotionally healthy can we begin to take the positive steps forward to heal our planet. Be part of this movement towards bringing more gratitude and celebration to each day by visiting Earth Gratitude online and sharing this important resource with your friends!