February 3, 2020

Caring for Earth & Our Bodies like the Temples they Are.

The human body, it’s a miracle.

Our body is not only our vehicle and outer shell, it’s also a mysterious whole of particles, body cells, and star stuff, a place where secrets live. There’s still uncharted terrain when it comes to the human body. We still have questions about our bodies that no scientist or specialist has answers to (yet).

It seems I only pay attention to my body when something is wrong—when I feel sick, when my stomach hurts, or when a painful tendon in my upper arm makes it hard to relax in Shavasana pose (the delightful Corpse pose at the end of a yoga practice).

When it all seems to work fine, I don’t really think about it much; I take my healthy body for granted. And I know this isn’t right, my body needs more consideration. Especially as I know how the verdict of a doctor about what’s wrong can turn a life upside down, just within a split second. Life abruptly changes by a cruel and clear message, coming from the mouth of an expert. All of a sudden, our health is no longer an unchangeable given.

No, I don’t want to take my body for granted anymore.

A healthy body is something to be thankful for; it’s a treasure. The body is a sacred temple. Yet, we cause our sacred temples harm by feeding them processed food, meat, and pesticides, and by enabling our addictions to rule over our bodies and minds. We cause them harm by being bad gatekeepers. For whatever reason we are doing this, it’s time to stop further destruction and not only so we can save ourselves.

“The body is a sacred temple that needs to be loved with passion, sweetness, tenderness. If you can say you love your body completely, then you can be true when you say, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ For to love one’s body is to love the Earth. To destroy one’s body, is to destroy the Earth. To make one’s body beautiful is to embellish Earth.” ~ Don Marcellino, from the permaculture book, Miraculous Abundance by Perrine and Charles Hervé-Gruyer

We’ve got to embellish Earth by making our bodies beautiful, by nourishing them with locally produced vegetables and fruit, cultivated without pesticides.

I have the honor of giving my weekly support to a local farmer who cultivates the most delicious tomatoes, lettuce, cauliflower, potatoes, and much more goodness. Every Wednesday, I cycle to the small market in a town 21 km away. When I arrive after a gorgeous bike tour across the countryside, and I pick the fresh, green, crispy lettuce; sun-red tomatoes; and other beautiful gifts of Mother Nature, I find myself in admiration over the work this man does: growing these wonderful vegetables, which are far more tasty than any other lettuce or tomato I’ve had before. On top of that, it is all without plastic packaging.

One way to tackle climate change is to support organic and local farming. We aren’t only nourishing our bodies and minds with love and sweetness and shaping them with beauty and resilience; we can also take care of our earth—our mother and home. Both the human body and the planet are our home. We can choose how we take care of them both, how to nourish them, how to be caring gatekeepers and hosts.

It’s time to stop further destruction, exploitation, suffering, and sabotage.

As the French writer Voltaire wrote centuries ago, in his 1759 philosophical work, Candide ou L’optimisme: “Il faut cultiver notre jardin.” Before we are able to end the disasters in the world, we first need to start with our own home: We must cultivate our garden.”

In fact, we can’t bring positive change to the world around us while we neglect and slowly kill the body that’s been given to us. Only by cherishing our body, by nourishing it with goodness and telling it words of appreciation and wonder, are we capable of widening our circle.

Don’t we all desire a beautiful and healthy body that is taken care of with love?

Besides, it’s time we ourselves dedicate some time to becoming experts—on our own health, and about the health of our planet. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Actually, it’s quite simple: go to your local market and buy locally produced vegetables and fruit, preferably organic, and take a basket with you to carry these beauties home. Don’t wrap them in unnecessary plastic.

Support local farmers. They need us, and we need them to get a healthy body and a better world.

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