Yesterday, we celebrated Earth Day, a day that has been dedicated to raising awareness and inspiring action for our beautiful planet since 1974.

When I feel into what is happening on the planet, I can easily feel overwhelmed. There are a lot of things that I do in my daily life to contribute to the planet (both physically and energetically), and always, SO MUCH more I could do.

Sometimes when I stare directly into the eyes of the enormity that lies before us, I begin to wonder what difference, if any, I can even make… and this can spiral me into despair and inaction. Yesterday, I was filled with hope and inspiration.

I went to a beautiful Earth Day Meditation even run by the ever inspiring and incredible Luku Hicky and his beautiful heart-full colleague Hannah. It was a fundraiser aligned with Earth Day and was about raising awareness about the effect of plastics on our planet. It was such an informative and inspiring day and I came away with a sense of hope and empowerment in my actions and a feeling of a longer term vision.

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Since plastics were invented in 1907 and we have been on a massive learning journey about how this invention is impacting the planet and the life forms on it. At first there wasn’t much consideration about how to dispose of this useful new creation - chuck it out the window, throw it in the ocean… and in some places in the world, this is still the norm. Neither was their much consideration about how this new invention might effect our physical bodies and the bodies of animals where share this planet with. Like with many things we humans have invented, we have learnt as we go and now we are faced with an outcome that is calling for us to shift our habits and ways.

This contemplation got me reflecting about how and where our individual awareness and understanding shapes individual behaviours and actions, leading to an eventual tipping point in a community, leading to cultural shifts… and how this happens again and again and again as we learn along the way.

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:: FINDING HOPE ::

Each of these little examples show change in awareness and behaviour that has lead to cultural shifts, thus creating a new norms… which then creates the foundation for the next phase of growth, understanding and change.

Road Side Rubbish

When I was a kid, I remember the road sides being littered with rubbish. I remember my parents talking to us about how throwing rubbish out the window wasn’t really disposing of it, it was just putting it on the side of the road for someone else to clean up or get washed into our waterways. At the time, this idea was still growing in the cultural awareness. It required people to begin to shift their behaviours based on a new understanding, even if it seemed a little inconvenient at the time… ‘Whaaa i can’t just throw it out the window?! I have to collect my rubbish and deal with it later?’. It seems preposterous to us today, coz we are so inside the current cultural norm. These days, seeing someone throw rubbish out the window is a shock - awareness and individual action, gradually shaping cultural ways… change in action.

Recycling

Up until I was 20, we use to have to go to the local primary school recycling depot to do our recycling. Every week we would take our box of recycling to the depot and put the different plastics in the different bins (based on the number inside the triangle on the bottom of the item). Now, our recycling is picked from outside our front doors by the council. There was enough individual awareness and to create cultural change to make ’that recycling business’, that was first non-existent and then a minority, become the norm. (The discussion about what is actually happening to it and where it is going is another issue)

Macca’s and Polystyrene

When I was a kid, MacDonalds used polystyrene containers for their burgers and shakes. When I was about 12yo, there was a sweeping awareness moving through the community about the lack of sustainability of polystyrene. We talked about it at home, we did projects at school, wrote letters to McDonalds, started conversations about it and stood in action around it. There was a cultural tipping point, which lead MacDonalds (and then the other fast food chains) to move away from polystyrene and instituting the use of paper instead. (Now let’s get rid of straws!)

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None of these are by any means end points… they are simply milestones to show that change is occurring and that we just need to keep on keeping on, listen to our Belly Fires, be bold enough to take action - both in our lives and in policy, be open to changing information and new understanding and be willing to grow and change with it, both as individuals and communities.

We each have very personal Belly Fires that come from our souls unique makeup and experience on the planet. Some of us share similar Belly Fires and some of us have vastly different Belly Fires, but all of them equally important. It has never worked to shove your Belly Fire down the throat of another… and so I share this with respect for all Belly Fires, from my heart with love.

I am dedicating to allowing my Belly Fire to inspire action both in my personal life and in my community around the issue of plastics, marine life and the health of the oceans!

Sending love to all

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:: HOPE ::
Each of these little examples show change in awareness and behaviour has lead to cultural shifts, thus creating a new norm… which then creates the foundation for the phase of growth, understanding and change.

:: Road Side Rubbish ::
When I was a kid, I remember the road sides being littered with rubbish. I remember my parents talking to us about how throwing rubbish out the window wasn’t really disposing of it, it was just putting it on the side of the road for someone else to clean up or get washed into our waterways. At the time, this idea was still growing in the cultural awareness. It required people to begin to shift their behaviours based on a new understanding, even if it seemed a little inconvenient at the time… ‘Whaaa i can’t just throw it out the window?! I have to collect my rubbish and deal with it later?’. It seems preposterous to us today, coz we are so inside the current cultural norm. These days, seeing someone throw rubbish out the window is a shock - awareness and individual action, gradually shaping cultural ways… change in action.

:: Recycling ::
Up until I was 20, we use to have to go to the local primary school recycling depot to do our recycling. Every week we would take our box of recycling to the depot and put the different plastics in the different bins (based on the number inside the triangle on the bottom of the item). Now, our recycling is picked from outside our front doors by the council. There was enough individual awareness and to create cultural change to make ’that recycling business’, that was first non-existent and then a minority, become the norm. (The discussion about what is actually happening to it and where it is going is another issue)

:: Macca’s and Polystyrene ::
When I was a kid, MacDonalds used polystyrene containers for their burgers and shakes. When I was about 12yo, there was a sweeping awareness moving through the community about the lack of sustainability of polystyrene. We talked about it at home, we did projects at school, wrote letters to McDonalds, started conversations about it and stood in action around it. There was a cultural tipping point, which lead MacDonalds (and then the other fast food chains) to move away from polystyrene and instituting the use of paper instead. (Now let’s get rid of straws!)

***

None of these are by any means end points… they are simply milestones to show that change is occurring and that we just need to keep on keeping on, listen to our Belly Fires, be bold enough to take action - both in our lives and in policy, be open to changing information and new understanding and be willing to grow and change with it, both as individuals and communities.

We each have very unique and personal Belly Fires that come from our souls unique makeup and experience on the planet. Some of us share similar Belly Fires and some of us have vastly different Belly Fires, but all of them equally important. It has never worked to shove your Belly Fire down the throat of another…  and so with this in mind, I post this with the loving intention that it may brings hope, inspiration and / or action to someone somewhere in the world.

I am dedicating to allowing my Belly Fire to inspire action both in my personal life and in my community around the issue of plastics and the oceans!

Sending love to you all xx