Celebrations will be held on 5 June to mark World Environment Day, which serves to remind people to bring their awareness to the environment.
With barely a moment of calmness or clarity, it is difficult for most people to have the space in their lives to worry about the environment. Daily News Egypt sat down with Shama Kaur, a Kundalini yoga and aquarian trainer, in order to answer this question.
Considering that most people live incredibly fast paced lives, this is a very difficult thing to do. They commute to work, and for many people the ride to work is getting longer due to traffic. Once at work, there are enormous pressures to be productive and creative.
They work very long hours to support themselves and their loved ones. They feel the constant rush as they run from one appointment to another other, sometimes squeezing in as many errands as they can.
At the end of the day, people will rush home to take care of their family, most of them opting for fast-food, whilst some of them may have the luxury of time to exercise or do some yoga. As a result their nervous system is overactive, maybe even fried.
“It’s of paramount importance to take a pause, take a few deep breaths, and look at the big picture,” Shama said, adding, “The more we are living in a ‘stress-zone’, the more we are self-focused. We care to think in terms of our security, needs, desires, and those of our family.”
She also said, “We may make a little room in our lives to consider the needs of others, but there is not enough space to care for the environment.”
Behaving in this way happens when we operate from the lower three chakras also known as the lower triangle. The first chakra, Muladhara, is linked to our need for security, whilst the second, the Svatshtana, is linked to our desire for pleasures, and the third, Manipura, is linked to our actions that lead to a high self-worth, she added.
A regular practice of yoga, meditation, breathing, and relaxation techniques, as well as journaling and arts balances the nervous system. It helps take one out of the stress zone and energy to push them into the higher triangle, made up of the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh chakras.
The fourth chakra, the Anahata or Heart Chakra, is linked to our connectedness to the community and environment, or going beyond our Self to serve.
Shama indicated that the heart chakra is the starting point of our consciousness, and it gives us the ability to think carefully about the consequences of our actions before we act.
It impacts the way we take care of our body and mind which then impacts how we care for our community and environment because every cause has an effect. Or in other words rubbish in, rubbish out.
Take food, for example. If you eat rotten cheese; you will get a tummy ache. If you drink coffee every day; you will likely get headaches. If you eat too much fried chicken or pizza; you will feel heavy and tired.
So the quality of food that we choose has an impact on our health, energy, and mood. That is why more and more people are increasing their intake of high-quality, plant-based foods like fruits; vegetables; grains; legumes; nuts; and seeds.
Interestingly, these same foods have a lesser impact on the environment; they lower greenhouse gas emissions, eutrophication, water use, and cropland use. By contrast, foods like lamb, beef, cheese, chocolate, coffee, and prawns have a much higher carbon footprint than plant-based foods.
So if you want to invite more consciousness in your life, start by looking at what you eat. Begin asking questions such as: Where did this food come from? How long did it take to reach me? How much has gone into it to make it so tasty? How much of it is still in its original form? How much will I throw after I unwrap it?
These questions have contributed to world-wide change in lifestyle choices such as eating what is local (rather than imported), avoiding processed and packaged foods, eating according to season, eating out only occasionally, whilst growing food at home. It also means packing lunch to work, separating organic and non-organic food, creating your at-home compost and feeding food waste to animals on the street.
In terms of information and media, most of us have an overdose of information and it is coming at us from our emails, smart phones, social media channels, the news, Netflix and many more outlets. We are overloaded.
But we never take the time to filter the information before using it. We talk about it, spread it, use it to make rash decisions, believe it at face-value and it pollutes our subconscious mind.
Soon enough and without even realising it, our subconscious is filled to the brim with stories, experiences, and beliefs that are not our own. Let us call that subconscious rubbish. They have, however, become part of the way that our mind functions, influencing our decisions.
A regular meditation practice cleans our subconscious from all that rubbish, which allows you to see and think clearly and make decisions which are really true for you, rather than those dictated by society.
Today, our oceans are reminding us about the work that we must do to clean our subconscious. If you look around, most beaches, oceans and seas are filled with rubbish. Some oceans are so full that you can barely swim due to all the masses of rubbish. It is so bad that our sea life is getting hurt, tangled in rubbish and eating plastic and all kinds of waste.
Now if we step into our heart, we can choose to clean our diets and lifestyle, the rubbish of our subconscious and that of the oceans and lands, because after all, this planet is not only for us, but for many generations to come.
Consciousness entails remembering that we are part of the Whole Universe, not separate entities minding their own business. We are called to remember that just like we have a birth mother who has provided and cared for our needs, Mother Earth sits in her beauty providing day in and day out for our needs. Therefore, we must thank her by stepping up our act and giving her the care that we would give to our own Mother. She deserves it.