“You must be the change you want to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Many of us are overwhelmed by the enormity of our environmental challenges and this can lead to paralysis. Unsure what we can do that makes any difference, we can put our heads in the sand and do nothing. But what if the radical act of consciously attending to our own well-being helped change the world? Would that make us take better care of ourselves?
We posit that the answer is a resounding YES! When we stop viewing ourselves as separate from the melting ice sheets of Greenland, separate from the discarded paper cup in the street, or separate from the homeless person begging on the street corner, we become present to the connectivity of everything. And when we are conscious of what we put in and on our bodies, and how we care for ourselves, we are changing the world.
Each time we choose organic strawberries over the pesticide-laden option, we are helping our bodies and the Earth. We keep more toxins out of our already overburdened bodies, and more toxins out of the precious ground in which our food is grown. When we brush our teeth with toothpaste free from a chemical soup that defies pronunciation, we also keep those chemicals out of our wastewater. When we choose clothing made in an ethical manner, free from the sweatshop labors of children, we take a stand for all living things and the planet.
So next time you feel there’s not really anything little old you can do to change the world, remember that you do have the power to effect change in the thousands of everyday decisions you make for yourself. And in doing so, you’ll be breathing life into Gandhi’s powerful worlds.