A couple of months ago, Scott Haber (http://scotthaber.com/about-me/) e-mailed me from the other side of the world – after reading my book Mindfulness and the Natural World in view of connecting with a kindred spirit! We immediately realised we were both on similar paths with overlapping motivations, aspirations and values around the importance of mindfulness of the natural world. Since then, we have spoken on the phone and support each other’s work regularly.
Scott has just finished writing a fantastic piece on “Why Mindfulness and Turning our Attention to Nature are Paramount for our Ecological Crisis?” and been involved in an associated video as part of an application to be a youth delegate at the the UN Climate talks in Poland which I wanted to share with you as it crystallises so much of our common approach to creating change in our relationship with nature within ourselves and around us….
“What is all this work about? I believe it to be creating more emotionally resilient individuals and more capable communities. I believe it to be helping people find what they want to do outside of rigid cultural dictations; I believe it to be forming new stories for how we relate to ourselves, others, and nature; I believe it to be allowing others to re-see, re-value, and reconnect with the natural world.
To connect with the natural world is being immersed in nature without needing to achieve or produce. It is connecting with the stories all around us instead of living dictated by the stories the mind may be constantly telling. It is an opportunity to let go of perpetual stimulation and rewire our constant need for entertainment. It is learning to once again participate in the world that surrounds and supports us in each and every moment.
Is it really that important to “connect” with nature? For our wellbeing and our ecological crisis, I believe so. Mindfulness and specifically nature-based mindfulness are paramount. (If mindfulness is defined as experiencing the totality of the present moment without judgement, we can think of nature-based mindfulness as tuning our experience, conscious attention and senses to the natural world.
Mindfulness can often be categorized as a self-help practice, with the emphasis on the self: it is a practice limited to individual betterment. Yet, mindfulness transcends beyond cultivating inner peace. I believe, mindfulness and turning our attention to nature hold the keys to helping us wade our way through our current ecological crisis”
Thank you to Scott for this brilliant work! In his words…
“I hope the experiences I provide can help remind others of their innate love for nature, for how could you destroy something you love? If we want to shift from the exploitative mindsets of capitalism and colonialism, it requires nothing less. To me, the best way to address the root of our ecological issues and to develop real climate justice, is in helping others remember, re-see, revalue, and reconnect with the natural world.”
I can only second that!