“When a man moves away from nature his heart becomes hard.”

-Lakota Proverb

When I first came to Sedona Mago Retreat, I had no concept of having a relationship with Mother Earth (Mago) or what that even entailed. In fact, my very first camping trip was just a few months after I moved to Sedona, and I asked to myself, “How have I not been doing this my whole life?”

It seems strange to think that I had spent over 25 years with no sense of connection to my own planet, but I realize how many of us spend our whole lives in this way. Since the discovery of agriculture some 10,000 years ago, humanity has perfected the art of convenience and comfortable living.  Many of us live in cities, drive cars, and spend most of our lives indoors.

However, what has this done to us as a species? With advances in technology, information and communication are more accessible now than ever before.  Yet, why is there so much disconnection and separation, not just with each other,  but with ourselves? I believe that it is because we have become so disconnected from the natural world, that we have forgotten that no matter who we are, where we come from, or what our story is, we are all indigenous to this Earth.

This beautiful planet provides more than enough to make our lives possible. We all breathe the same air, drink the same water, and walk the same land that our ancestors did. We often forget, that we ARE nature, and as we lose touch with the natural balance of life, we lose touch with the deepest, most fundamental part of ourselves.

My journey has revealed to me that the Earth is not just a rock that floats through space and fosters life, but that the Earth itself is a living, breathing organism, and that everything that lives upon it is intrinsically connected.  When we “plug in” to nature, we reestablish that lost connection and begin to feel our oneness with all things. This is the source of empathy. The ability to see ourselves in everyone and everything is something that I believe is a dormant superpower that lies within the heart of every human being. When we awaken to the empathy, compassion and love that has always been inside, we realize that we each have the exquisite capacity to be the noblest, wisest, and kindest creatures to ever walk the Earth.

So, today, I hope that you can spend a few quiet moments outdoors and feel the essence of life in the grass, in the trees, and in the whispering wind. Our Mother Earth is always communicating with us, and can be heard by those who listen with hearts wide open.