The movement for a sustainable earth needs more than savvy product choices – it needs mindful steps, taken with grace and a deep breath.
A new level of awareness is emerging in the green design movement about the less-visible world of energy work, an ephemeral layer that affects all our experience. By being open to a new type of questioning and answering, and by setting aside preconceived ideas of how we live, I believe we are able to connect to a deeper – and higher – level of energetic experience in the world. This energy work enriches the more physical aspects of green design and infuses itself into our experience of our homes and work spaces.
Perception, intuition and intention have as much to do with the future success of sustainable design as do recycled materials and energy-efficient systems. We need to open ourselves to a higher and more conscious level of decision-making about how we use our spaces, both urban and rural, domestic and work-related. When you think of greening your space, do you think of material choices? Or do you think of meditation? I think you’ll find that by bringing your own sense of calmness and grace into your space, you will do as much good to the home or work place as if you’d done an overhaul of your personal carbon footprint. These approaches, physical and metaphysical, go hand in hand.
There are three steps an individual may take in creating a deeper connection to the soul of their space. They are:
- Breathe in and out, in circles of increasing diameter, to connect the breath beyond the body to the space beyond. Imagine your breath extending beyond your body and into the room.Then imagine it touching the walls. Imagine the breath moving beyond the walls, to the outside. Imagine the breath moving beyond the outside, to the beyond. And then imagine breathing all that great energy back into your body and infusing your and your experience in a new way.
- Imagine you are planted in the ground. Your feet are like tree roots digging deep. Imagine your head is connected to the space above, like a hot air balloon fixed in a position connected to the ground.It’s not flying away but it is aloft, light, and has the potential to go higher. Take this simultaneous deepening (into the earth) and lengthening (into the spine and the sky) farther, into the space of the home. Imagine that you are connected yet flexible in your relationship to your home and your space. Let the edges of the space find you, and let yourself extend to reach those ephemeral edges, and move beyond them.
- Go back to your breath. You’re grounded in your space though the visualization of tree roots pushing down, and the skyward motion of the spine. Now focus on the seed point within yourself from which the breath originates. Let the light of the room, and of the space beyond the room, fill that seed point. See it grow inside you, and let its potential fill your conscious, thinking mind. Now move forward in your day, and make the next steps you take in greening your space or home or work place come from the brightest, most expanded, breath-full space inside you that you can. The decisions you make on a daily basis, and the perceptions you have of the situations and places you are in, will certainly be enhanced by taking breath-awareness with you in your every moment.
Be introspective in your choices, and informed with knowledge. Be resourceful in your decisions, ecology-conscious in your shopping, and mindful of your inner realm. The outer choices we make are nothing more than clothing for our inner selves. The buildings we inhabit are reflections of behaviors and choices we’ve made up to that point. Make your next moves conscious ones. I think you’ll find this makes a tremendous difference in both your relationship to your space, and to yourself. The movement for a more sustainable earth needs more than savvy product choices: it needs mindful steps, taken with grace and a deep breath.
P.S. This piece was previously shared with my newsletter subscribers in 2009. It seems timely to share it with all of you!