But first, I must start with a piece from environmentalist Paul Hawken.
He writes in The Ecology of Commerce – A Declaration of Sustainability:
“In our pursuit of growth at any cost, we have mimicked an immature ecosystem with unlimited resources. A mature economic system would appreciate an ancient forest or undisturbed grassland as the ideal for qualitative growth – fecund, abundant, dynamic, mature but highly evolved.”
One thing you must know about me is that I’m an environmentalist at heart.
Not the kind that straps myself to old growth trees when logging companies are about to clear cut and not the kind that won’t fly in order to not use up fossil fuels. As much as I do appreciate and respect those causes wholeheartedly, I see a bigger issue going on right now in the world.
One of my main mentors, Peter Levine, the founder of the body of work called Somatic Experiencing and really a pioneer in working at the somatic (body-based) level of the nervous system has often said that he believes this:
“True human enlightenment will only happen when each and every single person on the planet has learned how to regulate their very own nervous system.”
Not with the help of drugs, or foods or games, or any other kind of addiction, but when we can all listen to the inner landscape of our body and know how to take care of it naturally.
You see, when we hold onto a stressor (hold in an emotion, don’t allow our voice to speak up, ignore and maybe manage our anxiety, panic or depression) we fuel ourselves with chaos and dysregulation at the nervous system level. When enough of us on this planet are living in this mode, the world feels it. It makes the planet unwell.
Call it our collective burnout – our chronic fatigue, low energy and all the other health ailments and mental ruminations that go with this “chaos” gets transmitted outwards. What happens is that we suffer, our work suffers and those who need our work don’t get our work.
Remember the holistic big picture.
All of us humans form the cells of this planet. When the cells aren’t working efficiently and are filled with chaos, the organism suffers. Translation, the World suffers.
Yes that is right – not owning up to and shifting those held in emotions from years ago, not getting help with a traumatic accident that you still have nightmares about, or avoiding the grieving process from the loss of a loved one hurts the planet, and it hurts your cause. Massive amounts of energy gets trapped when we don’t allow that flow to move and that energy, when held up inside, disallows our purpose from being fulfilled
To piggyback off of what Paul Hawken speaks about above…
Our quest for success in our business comes at the cost of our own human nature (and the health that goes with it). The domestics of daily business life, and really life in general, masks that which drives us forward and keeps us ticking.
That nervous system I’ve been talking about, that internal world of the body that is pretty much invisible, but runs the entire show, has become foreign territory for most. When foreign to us, it’s virtually impossible to know how to help it and improve it’s function. \
When we fail to learn how to improve it’s function, we not only hurt our basic levels of human functioning (our digestion, our immune system and then some), we hinder our capacity to do our authentic work because a part of us is constantly living in some form of survival mode – fear, fright, helplessness, shame, uncertainty, anxiety, panic, fatigue, depression etc.
My environmental plea to you.
My hope is that business owners, creatives, practitioners and coaches of all kind rise to the challenge and ask themselves this question:
Am I really functioning at my best?
Do I run on the fuel of survival and fear when completing projects and doing the work I love?
Could I be better at how I’m taking care of my number one asset which is me?
To be continued..