One of the things I most love about our warmer months in Byron Bay are my beach walks and swims. Every day the ocean shares her gifts with me. Sometimes, she’s as gentle as the softest breeze, and there’s hardly any swell. The waters are crystal clear, and little fish swim around me as I float in her salty womb, letting all my cares wash away.
Other times, she shows me her muscle. Strong currents and powerful waves challenge me to find the “sweet spot” where I can play and relish the pure strength of nature, without being tossed like a rag doll onto the sand.
It’s my one ritual that sets me up for a beautiful day. I never take my phone. It’s always bare feet, sunglasses (because the sun gets mighty strong), and a present mind. I feel the coolness of the water and the texture of the sand under my feet, and I let my mind relax and enjoy this moment.
Sometimes there are worries or trains of thoughts as I start out….yet always, as I return from my beach walk and swim, I feel rejuvenated.
Do you have practices like this that set you up for your perfect day – practices that cleanse your energy field, and reconnect you to our very own Gaia?
Nature pours her gifts onto us….
but do we in turn pour our care onto her?
The past few weeks, as we come out of our celebration season, I’ve noticed lots of pieces of rubbish on the beach as I walk her sandy straights.
It’s rubbish left by other people – those who are either forgetful or who simply don’t care. And as I walk, and see the many people around me (as the crowds are only just starting to dissipate), I can’t say I’ve seen a single person picking up a piece of rubbish from the beach.
I find that odd. Yesterday, I came back to my starting point and in my hands were 2 wrappers, 3 cigarette butts, an icecream stick, a sodden bandaid, and a plastic lid. A week ago, it was two hair scrunchies, some lids, another bandaid, some more scraps of plastic….all lying in plain sight at the water’s edge where most people were walking or playing.
So where does this attitude come from, of “I didn’t put it there, so it’s not my problem”? How did we suddenly become so disconnected from our Planet, that we segregate life into another person’s problem versus our own.
At what point did our personal comfort become more important than actually caring for someone or something that cannot care for itself?
Well, certainly our great Gaia can bring fire, brimstone and pestilence down on us, if she really wants to give us a shake up. But it should never need to come to that.
She rents her space to us each and every day.
It’s by her blessing that we have land to live on, produce to feed ourselves with, fresh air to breathe, and the very presence of nature to fill our hearts and senses.
She never charges us for these things. She gives them freely. Yet do we take from her, or do we receive from her?
There are many ways we can show our gratitude back to the Earth. Keeping our oceans and shores clean of human rubbish is just one way. That protects the many creatures who are dependent on the oceans for their survival.
But another (often overlooked) aspect of our relationship with nature is what chemicals we contribute to the Earth.
As I walk the beach, I’ve been struck by the heavily scented sunscreens that so many people are wearing. Well, of course they would. We’re on the beach, we’ve been told to “Slip, Slop Slap” (ie. wear hat and sunscreen).
Unfortunately, the fragrances present in most sunscreens and virtually all types of personal care and cleaning products wash down our drains and make their way to the oceans. These fragrances are usually a cocktail of synthetic chemicals, and based on phthalates (pronounced “thalates”). These are powerful hormone disrupters, creating havoc in the delicate hormonal balance for all living things.
I was both fascinated and horrified to hear of frogs being found with 6 or 8 legs (instead of 4), and male frogs having ovaries, and female frogs having male genitalia.
This is what we are doing to our Earth.
So it’s never someone else’s problem. It’s always our choice – how do we respond, in order to care for the Earth that cares so much for us.
For me, that’s owning that the buck stops with me. If someone else’s rubbish is lying there, it’s within my view, therefore it’s now my choice to pick it up.
I can intervene to stop the domino effect of rubbish causing havoc with our oceans and land. And I can also make conscious choices around the products that I use in my home, and on my skin.
Fortunately, there are some companies that share my love of the Planet. I’ve found one such company in Young Living, whose range of personal care and cleaning products are not only free of all known harmful chemicals – they are also energised with the power and natural aroma of therapeutic-grade essential oils. And for the sun lovers amongst us, they also have a great SPF50 Mineral Sunscreen Lotion – caring for our skin, at the same time as being kind to our Planet.