Friday, May 2, 2008

The Spiritual Lessons of the Environmental Crises

--Feature: "The Conscious Life w/Dr. Jennifer Howard"--

In the area where I live, we had a Living Green Expo this past weekend, and it caused me to wonder about some things in a fresh way. There were many interesting and entertaining exhibits in the booths that lined the pathways, along with a lineup of speakers, of which I was one. Among the exhibits could be found book sellers, alternative health care methods and products, eco-friendly constructions products, healthy cooking and an assortment of wholistic magazines and news papers.

What does it really mean to live a green lifestyle? Some folks think in terms of solar rooftop panels, composting, recycling and other important concrete applications. Since my predilection is to think in terms of psychology and spirituality, I found my wonderings going in another direction. What does living a green lifestyle look like from a larger frame of reference?

We could say that living a green lifestyle is a commitment to living a life with more awareness of how we are affecting the planet we live on. Why do we bother? One impetus is having the foresight to notice that the choices we make now are part of our personal survival, as well as human survival and survival of the earth. Understanding this allows us to see that everything and everyone is connected. From the most practical earth-bound reasoning, this has been proven to be true. Not only are we affected by the actions of people in our communities, but how the pollution from one area of the world brings about changes in another part of the world. Something happens in one part of the world, which compromises life and nature great distances away. Therefore, we learn that every action we take does affect the earth and other people as well. That is humbling and at the same time empowering. We can’t just hide any more. It is time to wake up and take our rightful place on the planet.

Not only are we connected in the most physical sense, but we are connected in many other ways. Studies in the fields of psychology, spirituality and quantum physics all tell us that from the most concrete of levels of living to the most profound levels of consciousness, we are connected. If we think about this for a moment, we can see that our thoughts, feelings and actions have power and consequences. The choices we make in life influence how our life goes and influences the lives of other’s.

Let’s think for a moment. What would it be like if we made choices that reflected the concept that everything is connected? What might be different in our lives if we really knew that what we thought, felt and did affected others? We might be different. What would it look like if we knew that we are empowered to live a richer, fuller, more compassionate life? Compassion toward ourselves not only makes us kinder to others but also kinder to the planet.

Many of us don’t realize we can make these choices. We tend to give in and give up too quickly. We don’t take good enough care of our bodies, minds or spirits. We might think that we don’t matter, so nothing about us matters. We think we can’t make a difference with what we say or do. Most of us live our lives without being conscious of the full spectrum of possibilities in these choices. We forget, don’t take the time or don’t realize that we have what it takes to create a life that brings others, the planet and ourselves into more harmony. We do have what it takes. Let’s celebrate that!

This week allow yourself to ponder this question: What are the choices you could make, large or small, which would reflect the concept that everything is connected? Notice those choices and see if you can put a few into action.

Jennifer Howard, Ph.D. is an internationally known psychotherapist, Integrated Kabbalistic Healer®, life coach, educator, and author. She maintains private practices and is co-founder of the Healing Path Center with offices in New York City and Huntington, L.I., New York, as well as an extensive phone practice.

As a licensed psychotherapist, Dr. Howard brings together 24 years of experience, extensive training and expertise in mind-body psychology, meditation, and a variety of the healing arts. Dr. Howard has been frequently seen as an expert and featured guest, on national television shows including, The Maury Povich Show, Turning Point, America’s Talking, Rolanda, Charles Perez and others. Before becoming a psychotherapist, Howard was a professional actress and dancer. She is also the author of "Changes That Last", publication date to be announced.

For more information on Dr Howard, or to reach her directly, go to her SITE

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