Growing up, I didn’t really have a choice when it came to prioritizing cleanliness. When I would go over to my Nonna’s house, in order to not give the poor woman a heart attack, I was very conscious of my impact on her home and her “house rules.”
Dishes would be cleared from the table just as soon as I could get the last spoonful of spaghetti in my mouth, and I was accustomed to washing the dishes before they went in the dishwasher, otherwise I’d hear it.
“O mio Dio, Christina, bella, don’t put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher!”
After dinner, our well trained family would develop a new level of comfort on the less than comfortable couches, all with their original plastic lining nicely intact. We’d chat, sitting awkwardly upright, and once it was time to go, we’d unstick our shorts-wearing thighs from the plastic with a lovely, bright red mark to show for it.
My Nonna was what you might refer to as a “neat freak.” But the woman may have been on to something. You see, if you took out those dishes or pulled off that plastic lining on the couches (and godspeed for the man that dares to do so), those things would be in just as good of condition as the day she bought them back in 1957.
My Nonna took great pride and care of her home, and because we respected her, because we were simply guests in the finely manicured home this hardworking, immigrant woman from Italy built for her and her family, we took care of it just as she would.
When you think about it, we’re all just guests here, whether it’s in Nonna’s house or the larger house that we all live in, Mother Earth’s home.
Let’s go back, billions of years ago. BOOM, the earth was created. A place where the first sign of life was discovered and evolved over time to create the human population. Year after year, we would develop this land. And as our brains and egos grew larger, we would begin to manufacture goods that would benefit not only our human brothers and sisters, but also ourselves.
Somewhere along the way, we forgot about those who came before us, and those who would come after. Typically I would pat a person on the back for being so present, so “in the now” but the same rules don’t quite apply here.
In this scenario, to not think of those who worked so hard to get you here and the generations to come, who will need to occupy this same land, is a mind operating from the ego.
It’s coming from the belief and understanding that what you do, your actions, your choices and your behaviors, don’t matter.
Or maybe it’s the belief that you matter, but you are the only one that matters.
If I put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, tore off the plastic from the couch, and took out the fine china from the cabinet and actually used it, I would be disrespecting all that my Nonna has done to get me to this country and I would be disrespecting the younger generation that would never be able to enjoy these fine luxuries.
Can you imagine how pristine and splendid this place we call home would be if we treated it the way we treated our grandmothers’ home?
I think she’d be proud.
But what does this have to do with our Wellness??
Believe it or not, the way you treat your environment contributes to the overall quality of your life. If you are looking to live the happiest, most fulfilling life, you may want to take a look at your Environmental Wellness.
When you raise your consciousness of the impact you have on this earth, and make efforts to live more harmoniously with nature, you ultimately lead a more balanced life.
Have you ever noticed the difference in your mental health when you step into a room that smells like old garbage and looks like it too, as opposed to a room that smells of fresh flowers and sparkles with an ominous shine?
When we take care of the earth, we take care of our home. And when we take care of our home, we pay homage to our ancestors and love for our children.
All Dimension of Wellness are intertwined. We cannot have one without the other.
To be honest, the Environmental Wellness Dimension frustrates me the most.
Because while I can certainly play a part, it is so far beyond my own efforts that contribute to my own wellbeing. In almost every other Dimension of Wellness, the amount of effort you make is a direct reflection of what you receive. But this earth is too big, and the damage is too deep for me alone. Even by turning off my car when it is parked, bringing my reusable bags to the store and consciously using and disposing of my trash, my wellness is still compromised by the lack of awareness of others.
I still need to breathe in the polluted air created by others, watch innocent animals get washed up on the shore from excessive trash in the ocean that is not mine and eat the food that has been laden in pesticide filled soil that I did not spray.
This is why part of your Environmental Wellness is not only taking care of your immediate surroundings, it is creating a voice for those actions.
In a non-violent, strategic and effective way, we need to speak up about Environmental Health.
There are many ways you can do this, and maybe you’ll come up with your own wonderful ideas, or starting a movement that speaks to your truth, but here are a few to get you started:
- Conserve energy. And propose an energy conservation plan for your town.
- Recycle. And teach your children/nieces/nephews how they can help you
- Volunteer with environmental organizations. Grab your neighbor to join you and spread their messages on your social media accounts.
- Educate yourself on the Earth’s Natural resources. And encourage your community to utilize solar panels.
- Spend time in nature, reveling in all her beauty and all she has to offer. And grab a buddy.
We all deserve to enjoy the vast wonders of the world.
So, Chicks, Peeps and Community, what is it you can do today, right now, to contribute to your Environmental Wellness? How can you care for yourself, and in turn, care for all of humanity?
I would love to see your photos or comments of the actions you are taking, so please tag @thechickscompany and allow us to spread the word of how you are making a difference!
We are all simply guests in Mother Earth’s home, so let’s clear the dishes, polish the silver and show her the respect she deserves.