This Earth Day, we’re reminded of how everything is interconnected. When we don’t take care of the earth, climates change and impact our ecosystem, our food sources are altered (that is, if Monsanto hasn’t taken care of that already!), and our health suffers. It is important to tend to Mother Earth and treat her with respect. There are various things we can do to commemorate Earth Day. The following are some great suggestions by PBS Newshour Extra:
- Carry a reusable water bottle | According to the Dopper Foundation, 6,000 single-use plastic water bottles are thrown away every four seconds in the U.S., and only roughly 20 percent are recycled. Carrying a personal water bottle that you can fill up with tap water can cut down on waste and save you money.
- Unplug electronics after you’re done with them | Many of your electronics and appliances, like microwaves, televisions and cell phone chargers draw power from the plug even when you are not using them. According to the Stanford University School of Earth Sciences, you can cut down on this so-called “vampire power” by simply unplugging devices when they are not in use, or buying a smart power strip that will do this for you.
- Replace old incandescent light bulbs with energy-saving compact fluorescents | The EPA’s ENERGY STAR program, which identifies power-saving products in the marketplace, says that replacing just one incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent will save $40 in energy costs over the lifetime of the bulb. Compact fluorescents use about 75 percent less energy, produce 75 percent less heat and last at least six times as long as standard bulbs.
- Bike to school or work | According to BikesBelong.org, for every one mile on a bike instead of in a car, you can save one pound of CO2.
- Plant a tree | Planting a tree can help lessen pollution and provide shade to help reduce urban “heat islands” that are harmful to human health. Over the course of a year, a single tree can absorb about 48 pounds of carbon, making them some of the cheapest and most effective means of reducing CO2, according to the Arbor Environmental Alliance.
Even though I didn’t start this practice due to Earth Day, every year, through my yearly contribution to American Forests, I’ve had 25 trees planted in my name in a forest that is in desperate need, to honor a special family member. My connection to trees comes, in part, from being able to plant my own “Mita Tree” when I was a teenager. Note: “Mita” is my childhood nickname, which has stuck. This has ensued giggles within my immediate family, since my young nephew has just started to speak, and he accurately calls me “Tita Mita”, since “Tita” is the word for “Aunt” in Tagalog (Filipino).
So, I planted my “Mita Tree” in one of my family’s backyards in the Philippines in Iloilo (a town on the island of Panay), near the hut that my grandparents used to live in. A beautiful young mahogany tree. My brother has done the same, and so have many cousins in my family. Somewhere in Iloilo, there’s an army of mahogany trees thriving, representing each of our family members!
Hence, part of the reason why I have an affinity for trees, and wood. As I mentioned in a previous blog post or two, Wood is the element of Spring (although many of us are wondering, where is the Springlike weather? Global warming, anyone?) One thing I love about trees is their ability to create roots, and deeply earth. And, although us humans are mobile and dynamic, it is also important for us to deeply root and ground ourselves, too. This is especially important during these shaky, energetic times – don’t you feel all the movement that is happening? The difficulty in staying and remaining grounded, amidst all the stimulation and action that surrounds you?
Here are 3 things you can do to “earth” yourself and ground your energy:
- Roots Meditation – No, this is not about Questlove sitting in lotus position! This is a grounding meditation, if you are game for trying. When sitting on a chair or laying down to relax, envision roots growing from the soles of your feet – and into the cement of the floors of your building, down into the soil, bedrock, underground streams, straight into the magma. And envision the roots growing and further tapping into earth energy. Then, just as you went in, drink up the earth energy through your roots and into your body’s marrow and muscles. Yum! I especially love this meditation.
- Get Your Bare Feet On The Earth – If you are lucky enough to be in a warm climate, or even on a beach, enjoy digging your toes into the earth/sand, feel the earth holding your physical body upright. Get grateful about what the earth does simply by her being there to hold you up.
If you are, like me, in the East Coast during our 48 degree “Spring”, you can either wait a while till the earth warms up so you don’t get frostbitten tootsies, or you can walk barefoot on the floor (as long as it’s not a cold tile floor!)
If you want to get your acupuncture groove on, focus your energy on the ball of your foot. This is the point, Kidney 1, Yongquan (English translation: Gushing Spring.) It is an extremely grounding point, and I’ve used it to treat actual foot pain, to treating schizophrenia. If you want to get specific about the location (it’s called “acu”-puncture for a reason!), it is on the sole, in the depression when the foot is in plantar flexion, approximately at the anterior third and the posterior two third of the line from the web between the 2nd and 3rd toes to the back of the heel. Send your energy there, and you’ll feel less in your head in minutes!
- Eat root vegetables – Mmmm! Carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, oh my! Either way you cook it, root vegetables are extremely nourishing, and are particularly grounding to your energy. A good way to incorporate root veggies in a tasty way is to cube up a bunch of carrots, beets, celeric, burdock, and sweet potato, drizzle them with olive oil, roast them in the oven with a dash or salt and pepper, and viola! Instant grounding nourishment.
Do you have a favorite way of grounding? I’d love to hear about it!
In grounding love,
Note: It was very exciting when MindBodyGreen published my first article with them, “My Experience Using Acupuncture To Treat Addiction” this past Saturday! Keep an eye out for its feature on the Acupuncture section of the website, All Things Healing!
Copyright © 2013 by Alcantara Acupuncture & Healing Arts. All rights reserved. You may quote, copy, translate and link to this article, in its entirety, on free, non-donation based websites only, as long as you include the author name and a working link back to this website. All other uses are strictly prohibited.