Let's find ways to Flourish!
The natural world very directly impacts our physical, mental, and emotional health every single day, whether we realize it or not. And yet, it can be easy to forget about the deep connections we share with nature.
Sure, we know that clean air and clean water correlate directly with our health. But we rarely think deeper than that.
We also depend on trees, plants, and algae to produce the oxygen we breathe in and recycle the CO2 we breathe out. Carbon sinks such as wetlands and forests play an important role in mitigating the effects of pollution by drawing large amounts of carbon out of our atmosphere.
Healthy water systems do so much more than provide us with clean water. They transport nutrients, mitigate flooding, support local biodiversity, and work to remove toxins and waste from our surroundings.
These ecosystem services are of vital importance in our day-to-day lives.
Our bodies and our environment
On a much smaller scale, our relationship with our environment is...
Sustainable wellbeing is the intersection of personal wellbeing with social and environmental sustainability. By pursuing sustainable wellbeing, we can feel good about ourselves while taking care of the planet and community we live in!
While finding sustainable wellbeing is our goal, it might seem easier said than done. You might find yourself wondering “what exactly does sustainable wellbeing look like?” or “what concrete steps can I take to achieve sustainable wellbeing?”
Well, there isn’t one path towards sustainable wellbeing. The truth is that sustainable wellbeing looks different for everyone. The steps you take to improve your mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing are likely to be determined by your own lifestyle, values, personality and more.
That being said, it certainly can be difficult to forge your own path at times. If you struggle with thinking of ways to achieve sustainable wellbeing, you’re not alone! Staying inspired...
Sounds is interesting. It has the power to transport us to a calm and centred frame of mind or to stress us out. While a babbling brook might feel calming to our nervous system, traffic, the sounds of the urban environment, or noisy neighbours can stress us out. So what makes some sound pleasant and others stressful?
Is sound really just subjective and could we train ourselves to observe sound without judgment and simply use it as a tool to connect with ourselves?
When we find ourselves facing eco-anxiety, mindfulness is an excellent tool to help ourselves be more present, and gain perspective, but we often think about meditation or mindfulness as requiring a calm environment. However, in addition to basic breathwork, soundscapes are all around us all of the time and present an opportunity to tune in to our surroundings and practice mindfulness.
“Once you are meditative, music will naturally be a part of your life. Everything is vibration – everything is sound.” -...
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to the body and soul.” – John Muir
Humans have been connected to nature since the dawn of time, but as our lifestyles continue to change and evolve, people are spending less time outdoors.
This means a feeling of a lost or broken connection between us and the natural world. We sometimes think of nature as being quite separate from us, and just - out there - in the woods or what we see while on vacation. but the reality is that nature is all around us all the time, and we interact directly with it, we are just not aware of these interactions.
Really, do you think about the sun's energy in that spaghetti sauce? Or did you consider the role of the bees in pollinating your apple? Probably not.
The same thing is often true of our time spent outdoors. We are often more aware of the need for sunscreen or insect repellent than we are of the intricate web of...
Sometimes it seems like western culture is obsessed with happiness. Perhaps you know people who are almost like adrenaline junkies chasing their happiness. But I think a big part of the problem here is that we have a poor understanding of what happiness is and that leads us to pursue what is inherently fleeting.
So, if you really want those good feelings on a long-term basis, regardless of what life brings us, that is possible, but we need to revise the way that we define happiness.
It can be hard to know where to begin when we try to define happiness. With so many different definitions out there, and the highly personal aspects of the concept of being happy, defining the word happiness presents a unique challenge.
It is also important to understand the meaning of a few other terms within the context of happiness and greater overall wellness to better understand what we mean when we say we are happy, and what we are really seeking in our quest for overall wellbeing.
"You cannot step twice into the same river." - Heraclitus
We too are the embodiment of change, our experiences change us inwardly and outwardly, and, as it turns out, the same is true of the environmental movement. Where we once talked about sustainability being related to ecological, economic and social, we have an evolving understanding of sustainability.
Where we once may have been silent on the relationship between social justice and sustainability, we now voice that they are integrally linked. And these connections can be expansive and help us to understand on a new level the roots of the problems and, hopefully, gain insight into the solutions.
The concept of Ecofeminism is not new, however, we can continue to be informed by looking at the issues from a feminist perspective.
Ecofeminism is described as the development of new consciousness for all of life and was first introduced by Francoise d’Eaubonne, a French feminist, in 1974.
Ecofeminism highlights that the...
“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” – Marcus Garvey
Wisdom and cultural heritage are inherited and passed down from generation to generation. The knowledge and cultural heritage that is passed down creates a sense of belonging and strengthens cultural ties between generations.
Oral traditions, skills, belongings, languages, social practices, and natural environments are all part of cultural heritage and wisdom. They are often learned from previous generations and are considered an integral part of our identity.
The elements that are shared between generations represent the memories and knowledge of the past, as well as their importance in the present moment and in the future. Much of our knowledge of how to live sustainably originates in the principles and wisdom passed down from our ancestors.
Traditions and nuggets of wisdom are passed down not by accident, but because they are deemed...
“Art is born of the observation and investigation of nature” – Cicero
The environmental art movement emerged in the 1960s and 1970s alongside increasing citizen awareness of environmental issues as well as the human impact on the environment.
During these times, many artists were looking for ways to showcase the human connection to the natural world. There are a variety of reasons why artists choose to engage in land art such as the desire to draw attention to environmental issues, work in harmony with nature, or challenge the traditional concept of art production.
What is land art?
Although art has depicted natural scenes for centuries, land art is unique in the way that the art piece is nature itself.
Unlike traditional art pieces which utilize paints, varnishes, metals, plastics, and other man-made materials that have the potential to harm the environment and human health, land art does not have a negative environmental impact.
Land art uses materials that are...
We seek out nature for many reasons – for recreation, quiet and solitude, exercise, nature views, and plenty more. But did you know that nature has measurable positive effects on our physiological and psychological wellbeing?
You may have noticed that spending time in the outdoors leaves you feeling refreshed with an improved mood. You might even find yourself seeking out nature during times when you are stressed, upset, or feeling under the weather.
The biophilia hypothesis is the idea that humans have an innate tendency to seek connections and associate with nature. The term biophilia literally translates to “love of life.” American biologist Edward O. Wilson proposed in his work Biophilia (1984) that the tendency for humans seek out life and lifelike processes is biologically ingrained.
Throughout the course of our evolution, the natural environment has been conducive to our survival and enhanced our physical, emotional, and intellectual fitness. We depended...