Cheers to Mother Earth
By Cindy Palzkill
In honor of Earth Day (April 22, 2019), we at Drunk Yoga would like to talk about the care and nurturing of our very precious, beloved Mother Earth.
Earth Day was founded back in 1970 by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, who was a leader in the fight against environmental degradation. The first Earth Day was organized as a teach-in directed mainly toward environmental issues in the United States, but its momentum grew and Earth Day is now a global event…pretty cool.
Interestingly, as we humans become more aware of how our behaviors harm or help our environment, there are fascinating parallels being drawn that link the denigration of women to similar denigration of the planet. It makes sense, after all, as nature (Mother Earth, Mother Nature) has been associated with the feminine since the beginning of time – women are often nurturers, and we glean our nutrition from the Earth. Lama Tsultrim Allione explains the importance of the link between the degradation of the feminine and of the Earth in her book, Wisdom Rising. Journey into the Mandala of the Empowered Feminine. She points out how the same historically patriarchal social structures that have dominated women over the centuries, have treated the Earth the same way, as something to be dominated in the name of power and especially commerce.
Fortunately, more and more of us are recognizing that lack of the feminine in powerful social structures is harming not only males and females alike, but now the Earth. To Allione, this is a spiritual crisis that needs to be addressed. I tend to agree. Elevating our views on the value of the masculine and feminine and learning to see our planet as sacred is becoming a priority to many of us. Mother Earth needs us and we need each other.
So, what’s a Drunk Yogi to do with such a serious crisis facing us today? Fortunately, opportunities abound to join the momentum that made Earth Day a worldwide event:
Educate Ourselves – Find a seminar, or better yet a documentary film, that teaches about your local environment. These can be really interesting histories of what’s been going on in the area of the Earth you call home, and how it’s changed as communities have grown over the decades. These educational series often address the immediate needs we can all help out with, for example how to keep watersheds healthier and do’s and don’ts regarding feeding of wildlife. [Fun fact -- blueberries are a good food choice for birds. So when an April snowstorm hits your area (as it did in the Midwest recently), and you don’t have a bird feeder outside your window, do the birds around your home a favor and throw them a handful of blueberries. It will help them weather the storm until the snow melts and they can find food again.] State Natural Resources Departments (DNR) often have information regarding local natural resources.
Stay Current on Recycling – Many of us are diligent about recycling, which is great. Unfortunately, it’s becoming increasingly costly for recycling services to properly handle it all. Many of the destinations for recyclables worldwide are overrun with refuse to the point where they won’t accept anymore. This means local pick-up services are implementing stricter rules on what they accept. If you haven’t checked lately, the guidelines you’ve been following for years may have changed. It’s probably important we try to work together on this one – citizens and recycling companies alike – because in spite of how we as individuals may feel about the barriers (cost, space on the planet, profit), it’s important we keep working at finding ways to re-use materials.
Celebrate Mother Earth – So back to learning to treat the Earth as sacred…this is a big deal. Who better to set the example for nurturing our overburdened planet than bad ass Drunk Yogis? After all, we can relate. We’re learning every day the importance of healing ourselves and the value of working together and having each other’s backs. It’s no problem at all to extend the same support to Mother Earth, now is it 😉
Fortunately, this can also be fun. Here’s a few ideas:
Participate in an Earth Day Event: There are lots of community walk/runs happening on Earth Day across the country. These community events bring awareness to environmental issues and some raise money for the cause. What a great activity for a group of family and/or friends to come together and feel the positive vibes directed toward our beautiful planet.
Organize an Event at Work: This could be a movie showing (A Plastic Ocean is a good choice), complete with popcorn in reusable serving containers. Or, if you’re so inclined, do a write-up or presentation on ways your workplace can decrease use of nonrecyclables. Whatever strikes your fancy – Earth Day is all about awareness of the cause, after all.
Work with the kids: Because at the end of the day, we’re leaving this planet to them. Who better to teach environmental awareness to than the next generation of recyclers.
Yes, supporting our beloved Mother Earth is a serious issue – there’s a lot of history to the misuse of our planet and a lot of science defining the harm that’s already occurred. Fortunately, we also have a lot of strong, nurturing women and men around to take on the cause. We can do this together – I’d say there’s reason for hope.
Happy Earth Day Drunk Yogis!