Showing Gratitude for Mother Earth
It’s April, a time of rebirth, and with Earth Day (4/22) and Arbor Day (4/26) a chance to reflect on our care of Mother Earth. We can show our gratitude for nature by honoring Ahimsa (non-violence) – doing less harm to the environment by making small changes and using less single-use plastic forks, bags and straws.
Ahimsa is the first of five Yamas or Laws of Life. Think of Ahimsa as doing no harm – and with respect to nature, showing compassion for all living things and care for all aspects of life, physical and emotional, beginning with self-care, care for all beings animals and yes, insects, and care for Mother Earth.
When you honor this Yama, you are motivated to help others. You are sensitive to the needs of others, beginning with yourself. Honoring your health in body and mind, you can be a beneficial human being. When you come from a place of compassion and gratitude, you pass it on to others naturally. Spread kindness by being kind. Smile and like a mirror others smile back.
As for Mother Earth, consider small ways you can reduce your use of plastic. Stop forgetting your water bottle; use it. Take your own bags to the grocery store. All our trash doesn’t just disappear once the trash and recycling trucks go away. Great efforts are made to recycle our waste, but so much ends up in landfills and rivers in the end. The greatest way to reduce waste is to reduce the use of plastic, one straw at a time.
The Yamas make up just one of yoga’s eight limbs. It’s interesting that “limbs” are used to describe the parts that make up a life, an animal, a bug or a tree. Happy Earth Day. Happy Arbor Day.
By Cheryl Goldin