ecospiritua-what?

Several years ago when I began reading and writing about ecospirituality, I’d have people ask me one of two questions:

  1. Are you worshipping nature instead of God?! OR. . .
  2. Is that a spiritual practice around recycling??

Umm, no and sort of.

So what IS ecospirituality?

Simply put, it embraces creation (aka nature) as a sacred and holy space where we grow in relationship with the Creator. It also encourages a “faith in action” approach to caring for and connecting with the world.

Ecospirituality is helping people experience ‘the holy’ in the natural world and recognize their relationship as human beings to all creation.

Sister Virginia Jones

Ecospirituality does not replace what you believe, and it’s not limited to one particular faith tradition. Ecospirituality reminds us we are called to care for the environment, be good stewards of creation, and demonstrate lovingkindness for the earth.

In other words, it connects what we believe with what we practice.

Photo of tree with field and mountains in background at sunset

So how can you nurture your soul while you care for the earth? These are five of my favorite practices that I’ve cultivated over the years.

  • Get your hands in the dirt: besides having microbes that are beneficial for our own wellbeing, gardening gets us out of our heads and into caring for creation. Plant, dig, sow, pray, listen, meditate. Create something beautiful or grow your own salad. Take in the joy of life that grows abundantly from soil, sun, and water.
  • Get your feet on the path: whether it’s a trail through the mountains, a lap around the park or a stroll down the beach, go on a mindfulness walk. Take in the details, slow down. Appreciate the moss on the rock, the shell in the sand, the bud on the tree. Offer gratitude for those things that bring beauty and peace to your life.
  • Turn your head toward the sky: remember there’s another world above what goes on right in front of you in the day-to-day. Lie on the ground or sit in a chair and appreciate the trees, clouds, moon, stars, and sky. Let it remind you of the balance of darkness and light in our world and the cycle of seasons that brings change.
  • Open your ears to the world: Mindfully remove those things that make your brain buzz. Go outside or use an app to listen to nature sounds. Close your eyes, hear the voices of the earth and wind, plants and creatures. Center your spirit through natural sounds and silence.
  • Make intention a daily commitment: As you connect with creation with a spiritual sense, you value the purpose of the earth as something to be cared for and honored. You’ll appreciate not only how it impacts your life but is necessary for the welfare of others. Be intentional about fostering your relationship with the natural world, not only through prayer and mindfulness, but through care and action as well.

Learn more about ecospirituality and how I connect with creation. Have any practices you want to share? Please comment below!

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