A Healthy Lifestyle
by Dr. Cornelia Featherstone. This is an excerpt from the Worldview dimension of Gaia Education’s Design for Sustainability curriculum.
In the ongoing process of change, health is not a static condition. There are many things we can do to enhance our present state of health.
Connecting with Spirit
Early morning meditation in the sanctuary allows me to connect with Spirit with my own small voice within that tells me that God is there in all for me to behold, that the intelligence of nature and other manifestations of consciousness are accessible to me — I just have to ask. Or I can go to Taize singing in the Nature Sanctuary to raise my voice in joy and devotion. Later in the day I can join group meditations or use the sanctuaries, special nature spots or wherever I am at that moment to re-connect and practice mindfulness, compassion or contemplation.
A walk to the beach, some of us swim in the bracing Moray Firth every day from May through to November(!), or joining one of the exercise classes on offer. There is much choice: from Yoga, Tai Chi, to dancing (modern, Five Rhythms, sacred dance or belly dancing), to aerobics — at various times throughout the day. Some are classes, others are groups of friends getting together to support each other and have fun.
A wholesome organic breakfast in a peaceful setting with my family, friends or by myself gives me sustenance to go into the day. Much of my food comes from the gardens and Earthshare (our Community Supported Agriculture project) — it is organic, local, in season, grown with love and with no food miles that cost the Earth. What the gardens or Earthshare cannot provide I find in the Phoenix shop — our community store which offers everything from the whole range of food to herbs, remedies, body care products to arts and crafts and books. My purchases support a local business that gives employment and brings wealth to the collective.
My work inspires and fulfils me — I can express my care for my fellow human beings and for the Earth in a constructive way. I have the option of sharing about my inspiration, my concerns, visions or questions either in the work department or when meeting others. I know that my contribution is only one of many that make the whole community what it is and contribute to its work in the world.
Arts, crafts and culture create a rich tapestry of joy, colour, and social networking. We are blessed with several very active arts centres — the Universal Hall for the performing arts, the Findhorn Pottery, the Arts Centre dedicated to creating beauty, the Weaving Studio. There is a crafts group supporting a regular crafts fair. Many different opportunities to make music, in different choirs, ensembles and bands or just ad hoc when taking part in ‘community sharings’ (evenings or mixed performances in the Hall) or in the ‘Open Mike’ on a Sunday night, when we can let the performer in us off the lead. Many community members use ‘spare time’ for volunteer work. In our money-driven society, it is healing to the individual to be giving freely without counting the return. It can be for the joy of doing things with others, or for the sake of the task at hand — serving people or the environment, or just to experience the joy of giving generously, willingly — as an expression of service or abundance.
The empowerment gained from having a say in the wider context of our lives is an integral aspect of our community. Sometimes we may groan about the number of meetings and presentations to attend but they offer us a choice to be involved, to have our voice heard, to shape the life of the ecovillage. In the ongoing process of change, health is not a static condition. There are many things we can do to enhance our present state of health. To bring positive change it is important to identify the small, manageable next steps we can realistically take to improve our health, be that a change in diet, activity levels or relationship patterns. The next step is to make a commitment to that change and establish a support and review structure that will allow it to become anchored in the daily routine. Community support is essential for this — not only the infrastructure that offers a smorgasbord of opportunities but also the social support to sustain the change. The community offers a wide range of alternative medicine that can support the quest for improved lifestyle and better health.
Would you like to learn more?
This is an excerpt from the Worldview dimension of Gaia Education’s online course in Design for Sustainability. The course will start on 1 June 2020.
To find out more about this online programme visit the course page here!
Gaia Education is a leading-edge provider of sustainability education that promotes thriving communities within planetary boundaries.
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