Back in 2010, Gaia asked me to do something for her. It’s worked out really well for me, and yesterday I realized it was time to pass it on. It’s a very simple practice, but one that has deepened with time for me. I find I can do it anywhere, any time it occurs to me.
All she asked of me was to notice her beauty, where she is healthy and growing.
What we pay attention to grows. As Marcus Aurelius said, “Such as are your habitual thoughts; such also will be the character of your mind; for the soul is dyed by the color of your thoughts.”
As a culture, I think we focus far too much on what is wrong. I think we are in the mess we’re in because of this. In particular, we’ve been focusing on the end of the world, until it looks as if the world will end.
I have to admit, I love me my dystopian fiction and movies. The Road Warrior, Dies The Fire, The Hunger Games, etc. But I also love Star Trek, The Fifth Sacred Thing and Ecotopia. What I love about them, is that we humans are being called on to be our best selves. In a crappy situation, we’re stepping up to the plate and doing heroic things. We’re making the world a better place in the process.
My Gaia practice is a quiet way of doing that. I see the urban forest, not the concrete jungle. I see the bees in the lavender instead of the garbage on the sidewalk. How many bees there are in summer in the city if I just look for them! There are flowers everywhere, even in my “blighted” neighborhood. The bees are working hard in them, creating food, harvesting sunlight. The birds are there too, everywhere if I just look. And the trees. The more I look for them, the more I see. The more I listen, the more the world talks to me, and the more strength and inspiration I am given.
If you choose to do this practice, I’d love to hear about your experiences, and how it changes you, and the practice. Make it your own, pass it on. Together, we will change the world.