Look around you. Look around in your community, town, city, state, country, and the world itself. Look at our media, our politics, our businesses, and our culture. You will see that people act as if they are separate, alone, and have no relations. As a result, we think and behave in ways that cause needless suffering, further division, and reckless destruction. We act as if our behavior does not impact the circle of life, and as a result of that denial, we are out of harmony.

When it comes to the environment, that false feeling of separateness plays out in the way humankind uses the earth, its creatures, and its resources as if all of these are not impacted by one another. It also occurs in a way that may be less easy to identify, though, especially for those of us who consider ourselves to be environmentally conscious: we fall into the trap of blaming “the other.”

So, how do we get back into harmony and remember our connection to both Mother Earth and one another? Here are three steps to get us started.

1. Own it.

Own the situation at both the micro and macro levels. The way we treat our world reflects the way we treat ourselves. Indigenous Elders from all over the globe have come together to offer humanity four scared gifts, and we can use these gifts in our lives to heal ourselves, heal our relationships at every level, and heal the world:

  • Forgiveness: Forgiveness stops the cycle of blame that shackles us to what we don’t want, separating ourselves from each other and the earth.
  • Unity: We are interconnected, and the more we are awakened to this truth, the more we can understand the power and sensibility of oneness and take action together.
  • Healing: Reawakening our connection to nature, the earth and each other is powerful medicine that can heal many ills.
  • Hope: Focus on what gives you hope and let that inspire you to take positive action.

2. Stop pointing the finger.

We are quick to blame “evil” multinational corporations, greedy politicians, powerful media interests, and more. These entities could not exist, though, if we were not complicit. They thrive on our fear, division, despair, lethargy, and judgment. Return to step 1 and examine how you can take accountability and positive action outside of blame.

3. Connect from the heart.

Reconnect with each other and with the cycles of the natural world, including the movement of weather conditions and plant and animal behavior. Most of all though, we must reconnect with our true selves. When we honor the spirit that resides within us, this will be reflected in our external world. It starts and ends with love.

The world is in turmoil and people wonder what they should do. The problems seem daunting. The indigenous Elders say that we must change our consciousness now by shifting from the mind to the heart. Our challenges will not be resolved with logic and reason. Solutions are not found using the same thinking that created the problems. Let your heart guide you, and be open to looking at problems that arise through a new lens of love, accountability, and positive action.

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