"You obtained too much, what‘s left?... Her pain is becoming more and more, she is becoming less and less... Oh, mama... Last night I dreamed she will leave us soon..."
With the most recent media coverage of our climate crisis and the global climate strikes that took place this week, it is impossible to turn a blind eye to our dire situation and hard not to be moved by the courage of Greta Thunberg and the potency of her plea.
GLOBAL CLIMATE STRIKES
There are mixed public opinions of Greta Thunberg, the environmental activist who began the school strikes for climate movement but I personally have been amazed and inspired by the passion, eloquence and self-assurance with which she has demanded and commanded the attention of so many. The strikes on September 20th were recorded to be the largest climate strikes in history, totaling four million people worldwide. In this time of despair and hopelessness, I admire her determination and dedication to motivate us all, fellow youth and politicians alike, to do everything we can to take immediate action to prevent devastating and irreversible damage to our ecosystems. The urgency is clear. There is no second chance once we pass the tipping point.
"The bigger your carbon footprint, the bigger your moral duty,
The bigger your platform, the bigger your responsibility."
LAST MONTH - THE AMAZON RAINFOREST
Though the devastating damage of deforestation has been going on for years, the media coverage of the forest fires in the Amazon last month finally brought a major issue to the forefront, again, making it impossible for us to ignore.
About 17% of the Amazon has been destroyed over the last 50 years with some scientists
fearing the rainforest could reach an irreversible tipping point if that rises to 20% or 25%.
HOW WE RESPONDED
As the world prayed for Amazonia, the lungs of our planet, Bone and I were called to not only pray but to take action. While we were in China, we were grateful to be hosted by Jann at EU NOIA living for our signature Yoga with Live Music offering. As artists, Bone and I often have to consider our own energetic and financial sustainability, however this was a time we knew we had to do as much as we could to help. We donated 50% of our proceeds from our Yoga with Live Music event to support the Rainforest Trust to help save Indigenous Lands in the Amazon.
We are so grateful to those that joined us and also to those in our community who could not be present but donated to us directly. It may seem like just a drop in the ocean.. but I truly believe every drop counts.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
– Margaret Mead
THE RAINFOREST TRUST
This was not the first time we have contributed to The Rainforest Trust and it certainly will not be our last. The Rainforest Trust is one of the leading organizations you can contribute to, in order to help preserve wildlife and prevent the mass deforestation that is occurring worldwide. The Rainforest Trust purchases and protects the most threatened tropical forests, saving endangered wildlife through partnerships and community engagement. Every action taken to protect rainforest will have a lasting impact on the future by maintaining our planet’s critical ecosystems.
Rainforests are the life-support system of our planet and home to millions of communities and threatened species, but climate change, species extinctions and habitat destruction threaten all life on Earth.
Saving rainforests helps regulate our climate, filter pollutants and protect our most endangered wildlife,
among so many other benefits.
Rainforest Trust takes the direct approach of purchasing and protecting threatened tropical habitats and is proud to have purchased and protected over 20 million acres of rainforest in our 30-year history.
HOW WE WILL CONTINUE TO RESPOND TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS
The feeling of helplessness as well as the lack of time, energy and resources can be debilitating for many of us, preventing us from making a stand or making simple changes to help heal our Mother Earth. This month, I am grateful for the support of my teacher Janet Stone and her manager Connie Engel, for leading and coordinating a small group of karma yogis to offer our time and wisdom the help energize and restore the dedicated individuals working to safeguard our environment, through weekly yoga classes at The National Resource Defense center in San Francisco.
Again, it may seem like such a small and simple gesture but I appreciate the opportunity to serve and be a part of an organization that is fighting big battles to help save our earth and its precious natural resources.
THE NATIONAL RESOURCE DEFENCSE CENTER
NRDC works to safeguard the earth—
its people, its plants and animals,
and the natural systems on which all life depends.
NRDC experts ground their work in research and science to advocate
for laws and policies that create lasting environmental change.
From meeting and talking more with the staff, I was encouraged to hear of their positioning and initiatives in China. As many of you know I spent almost seven years living and working fulltime in Shanghai and witnessed first hand the urgent need for policies and alternative technologies to help the dire environmental (and health) crisis that is affecting us all.
For two decades, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has been a thought leader and trusted adviser to our partners in China. With a highly effective team of more than 30 people based in our Beijing office, NRDC China Program have worked hard at both the national and local levels to recommend, develop, and help implement innovative laws, policies, technologies, and market tools that conserve natural resources, curb pollution and accelerate China's transition to a clean, low-carbon economy. NRDC's Beijing Representative Office is registered under the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau and supervised by the National Forestry and Grassland Administration of China.
On this new moon I have been reflecting on what more we can do to help and to be part of the change that is required to make amends for the environmental degradation that we all, as inhabitants of this earth, take responsibility for.
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
CARING FOR OURSELVES, CARING FOR THE PLANET
I have considered the many ways I have not been doing enough.. where, often due to the need of ease and convenience, I have made the less environmentally conscious choice. I recognize that when my lens is narrow and I am concerned only with the most immediate situation in front of me, to make it from A to B, to show up fully, to be on time, to be calm and prepared.. yes, those are valuable focuses to have but I also need to take a step back and widen my lens to see the greater impact of each of those immediate and direct choices that I make. I have found from my own self-study and experience that when I am well-rested, well-nourished, with ample amount of time, it is much simpler, easier and often more cost effective, to take public transport, to bring along my reusable mug, to eat in rather than take out, to buy bulk produce rather than the convienient pre-cut, pre-washed, pre-packaged items at the grocery store.. and the list goes on.
Self-care, I believe, is far from a selfish act. When we can take care of ourselves, we are in fact taking care of those around us and our environment at large, both on an energetic level (that is very real and tangible) as well as on a physical level. As a Yoga teacher, it has become quite apparent to me, how the integrity of my body, the rhythm of my breath and the pace and focus with which I lead a class affects not only the students in the room but also those they encounter immediately after the class. I am realizing more and more the value of the time and effort I invest in my own self-practice and self-study as the ripple effect is endless.
Self-care is easier said then done of course, as we so often have a never ending to-do-list and an extensive social calendar that always seems to take precedence over that much needed "me time." In response to our climate crisis I am taking an honest look at the use of my own personal energy and its expense. Taking an "energy audit" can be a very helpful exercise. You can ask yourself: Into what and where are you investing most of your time and energy? Where does it all go..? How often do you feel depleted and why? What changes need to happen to preserve your own valuable ecosystem? Through keen and honest self-study, we can begin to understand the root cause of ignorance and unhealthy addictions. We can observe what positive behaviors and habits can help us to feel more balanced and energized and therefore more likely to be clear-headed and driven to make better choices for ourselves and for the planet.
Greta Thunberg is proof of the powerful ripple effect that can occur when we are motivated, inspired and work with passion and integrity.
And so, on this new moon, I hope to inspire and to challenge you, our audience, to join us and to join Greta in this powerful movement to create lasting positive change to protect our Mother Earth.
If we are asking our politicians and leaders of big corporations to do what they can to help safeguard our environment, then I believe that we have a moral duty and responsibility to do the same.
I know how overwhelming it can seem and how helpless we can feel but no matter our circumstances,
I believe, we all can do something.
Here are some ideas:
- Reduce paper consumption (choose email notifications and buy directly without shipping and packaging)
- Say no to single use plastic (bags, straws and bottles)
- Reduce your intake of animal products (choose vegetarian or vegan options whenever you can)
- Be vigilant when using water (showering, washing dishes, laundry, house cleaning etc.)
- Use public transport, walk or cycle whenever possible
- Plant a tree https://onetreeplanted.org/pages/plant-a-tree-day-2019
- Use ecosia as your new search engine. It uses its profits to plant trees: https://www.ecosia.org
My dear friend, Zen priest + Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Jared Michaels was the first to inspire me to donate to The Rainforest Trust two years ago. For 28 months he has been donating $5 for every therapy session he offers. So far from the funds raised, he and his clients together have protected 12,718 acres of rainforest, safeguarded 2,453,705 trees and offset 2265 American lifetimes of carbon footprint..
I am so moved by his passion, dedication and determination to do everything he can to help our climate crisis,
I felt it there was no better time then now, to follow in his footsteps.
Starting today, Bone and I will donate 5% of all our online sales, from the offerings listed below, to the National Resources Defense Council and the Rainforest Trust to support their work.
STEPS TO SELF-CARE
Invest in your own healing and self-care through our supportive offerings and be a part of the change that counts.
- THE RAINFOREST TRUST: https://www.rainforesttrust.org/savetherainforest/
- THE NATIONAL RESOURCES DEFENCE COUNCIL : https://act.nrdc.org/donate/donate-monthly
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
Leave a comment below, tell us what you will be doing in response to the environmental crisis.
Let us know which organizations you want us to support through our ongoing efforts.
We want to hear from you.
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"No one is too small to have an impact and change the world. So do everything you can."