Earth Day: Considering Connectedness

As I think about Earth Day, I consider how interconnected and interdependent we all are. We’re not just talking about people and trees, but everything: other humans, other animals, plants, air, water, soil, sun, and so on.

In the hustle and bustle of everyday living, it’s easy to forget about all of this. We’re immersed in a culture that stresses independence and “getting ahead”–getting ahead of what, I’m still not sure.

Recognizing how we fit into the big picture helps us to maintain perspective and balance. This is important in an era when we’re geographically dispersed from many of the things to which we’re connected: family, workplace, school, food sources, and home may be in very different places.

Many Earth Day activities revolve around becoming more connected to our environments. We pause to consider the various elements of nature that our living and consumption patterns impact. This weekend, for example, I attended the festivities in a local nature reserve, and witnessed people connecting with plants and animals, family members, neighbors, and activities they enjoy.

But sustainability extends through various aspects of our everyday connectedness.

Are you feeling adventurous? Do you want to take your Earth Day celebration a bit beyond the norm? Do you want to go beyond pledging to recycle just a few more bottles over the next week?

If so, here’s a small challenge for you to consider over the next week or two.

Out of the life areas listed below, derived from the life wheel or Life Investment Portfolio Chart, pick out two or three areas where you currently feel disconnected or out of touch.

  • family
  • intimacy/romance
  • career/work
  • friends/community
  • spiritual
  • health
  • fun/recreation
  • giving/serving
  • home/physical environment
  • world situation
  • personal development

For each of the areas you choose, determine two small actions you can take to become more connected to someone or something important to you. For example, getting closer to family might be as simple as making a 10-minute phone call to two relatives you haven’t spoken with in some time.

As you take these small steps, observe yourself and others. What energy do you get back? What realizations do you have?

How does increased connection help you to live in a more sustainable fashion?

I’d love to hear about any ideas, inspiration, progress, or epiphanies you experience. Happy Earth Day!

Photo by Flickr user Gabriel Gonzalez. Brightness, contrast, and size adjusted. License.

Dave welcomes phone-based life, career, and transition coaching clients from around the world.

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