Take a minute and look around at your environment. What do you see? What do you smell? What do you hear? What do you feel?
(In the last article you got an intro and outline to this series of articles on my experience ecoliving at Gaia.)
Ask yourself, “How is this environment supporting my health?”
And then, “How is this environment endangering my health?”
If you look more deeply at the last question, you might come up with things like:
[+] Pollution in the air
[+] Processed or unhealthy foods
[+] Lack of sunlight
[+] Artificial lighting
[+] Pollution in the water
And so on.
Furthermore, if you’re like most of us, you probably have a lot on your mind. You have to find ways to keep food on the table by making money which requires going to a job you may or may not enjoy.
You may be in relationships that aren’t functioning as well as they could. Or you simply lack that human connection. Whatever it is, you may be experiencing stress, anxiety, and loneliness.
Now that you’ve identified some things that are both helpful and harmful in your environment, think about how you can optimize your environment.
Imagine yourself for a few moments in a pristine forest with the sound of a nearby stream. You are surrounded by close family and friends.
What does this scene look like? Sound like? Feel like?
How do YOU feel in this environment? … where the air and water are clean; there’s plenty of sunlight; you’re enjoying time with your loved ones.
How do you think this affects your health?
Of course you’re healthier. And of course you feel better.
Why am I sharing this with you…and what does it have to do with my time at an ecovillage?
I suppose by now the answer may be obvious – because I already revealed my mission…to reunite people with nature – and better health. And, although it may not be THE solution to all of your problems, I would venture to guess that re-uniting with nature does solve many of your problems. In nature you drastically reduce all the harmful things that endlessly bombard you – like the dirty air, dirty water, unhealthy foods, stress, anxiety and so on.
So…although I ended up in Thailand because I went for vacation, I figured I might as well explore a bit. And, because I’m interested in exploring ways to reunite with nature – and better health – I decided I would see what was available.
What brought me to the ecovillage?
A friend of mine had been to an ecovillage and it sounded like an incredible experience. So I turned to Google and found a list of ecovillages around the globe on what’s called the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN). I reached out to Gaia a few months ahead of my trip and they seemed happy to have me as a volunteer.
I wasn’t really sure what I was getting into. I remember seeing something on their website about focusing on building in April. With my lack of experience, I was wondering if and how I could really help. And I was wondering if I would enjoy it.
Thankfully I did enjoy it. And I did a lot more than just building. I did some gardening. I collected straw. I cut bamboo. I cooked. And I cleaned.
That’s all for now. I’ll be sharing more of the details in upcoming articles. In the next article you’ll learn the 5 Things You Need to Know about ecovillages, ecoliving and intentional communities.