In July, FHC put on our first ever Creating Health Summit! We were joined by Charles Eisenstein, Jaimen Macmillan, and Dan McKanan to look at health, as it relates to the individual and in relationship to the whole. Our founding board members also gave a panel presentation covering topics from education, to the healing garden, to altruism, and ancestry. This was such a special event and we are grateful to our presenters, to all those who participated, and for the generosity and support of our sponsors. In the following pages, you will find reflections from each of our panelists on their presentations.
A Garden of Life
by Dr. Steven Johnson
It is awe inspiring to witness Mother Earth working in her weaving rhythms, gracing us with a sense of day to day permanence. She acts both harshly and kindly in balanced measure. Her methods often cloaked in mystery. For the most part the subjects of her kingdom accept what comes and goes.
We, the so called “humans” are mostly trying to harness and control Mother Earth, but a growingly admonishing voice is arising speaking out about the many lessons to be learned from her. Especially, about the ebb and flow of life and the regenerating rhythms of life and death. However, I think the most important lesson is about how to evolve whilst consuming and sharing equally only what we need, free of greed and avarice.
The banner of “climate change” if you believe in it or not still begs the question: How much can mother Earth afford before she goes bankrupt. Even if we create technologies to live beyond her means is this fair to the fellow creatures and future generations we share planet Earth with.
I like the term Mother Earth because it connotes both the womb-like gift of giving birth and the quality of being a parent tasked with raising its children. We rarely abuse the child we raise and we inherently protect and nurture our kin. Another lesson to contemplate.
I find inspiration and motivation the garden as. I feel it as living organism constantly sharing Mother Earths life giving forces. I can “breath freely” and find coherence between my heart and mind in its presence. The garden creates for me a space to meditate which lifts me up to a higher plane of collective awareness to see above illness, injustice, pain, polarization and death and find strength in the regenerative and resilient power of nature.
When I try to empty my pre-conceptions and simply observe. I experience the diversity, colors, shapes and scents of flowers and plants living in the garden; smell the dirt filled with nutrition yielding bacteria, worms and fungi and the coming and going of the honey bees, insects, birds and animals my creative imagination blossoms like the tapestry of the garden itself.
When I observe the community of species living together in the garden, the changing of the landscape through the seasons the virtues of truth, beauty and goodness are no longer just words but a moral code we can change the world upon. There are no polarizing emotions emanating from the plants and the creatures sharing the garden space, only my own polarizing thoughts and feelings which immediately destroy truth, beauty and goodness in the world.
In a study of 20,000 people conducted at the European Centre for Environment & Human Health at the University of Exeter, found that people who spent two hours a week in green spaces — local parks or other natural environments, either all at once or spaced over several visits — were substantially more likely to report good health and psychological well-being than those who don’t. Also, reductions in depression, robbery, assault and crime occurred in these areas.
In 2015, the largest sociology review study to date entitled: Community gardens in urban areas: a critical reflection on the extent to which they strengthen social cohesion and provide alternative food …found consistent health improvement in measures of social cohesion amongst participants in urban garden projects as well as improved nutrition.
The main message I am trying to impart thus far is that our planet is a living entity with which our lives are inextricably linked. Nature demonstrates an important pathway to physical, social and planetary health creation. The garden like ourselves is a microcosm and metaphor for the wisdom of our universe which Mother Earth abides by.
The garden as a teacher of planetary stewardship is vital for our children and young people today.
The computer and internet do not provide the same experience of connectivity and coherence between person, society and planet as the garden and nature does. I would encourage all parents to instill a deep appreciation and respect for nature a and the outdoors into their children while it is still possible because it is hard to recapture this later in life.
I have also had the privilege to make anthroposophic based medicines. I remember the first time I saw some of the Wala mother plant tinctures in Germany. The mother tinctures I get to help make for Uriel pharmacy are modeled after these, employing The Day and night processes exposing the tinctures only to the light of sunrise and sunset along with rhythmical cooling and warming plus stirring processes. These mother tinctures smell fresh and test full of potency years after they should have molded or fermented and started to spoil, without any preservative being used. This made tangible for me the mysterious power of cosmic rhythms and for me they are no longer and abstract idea.
In truth, our whole planet thrives and sustains through the rhythms of seasons, tides, moon phases and the daily rhythm of the sun. We are part of a cosmic organism which we can quantify and study to some extent and yet there is so much we have as yet to understand about its secrets and expand the limits of our materialistic thinking. The fundamental wisdom and art of health creation is best taught by Mother earth. We can only understand what is living by respecting and immersing ourselves in the living world. We are at a crisis point where artificial intelligence may soon predominate the reality of our youth and future generations. Then we might lose the opportunity to learn the true secrets of sustainability, regeneration, resilience and health creation that support the “whole” earth and not just ourselves. If this continues to happen then Human Beings will truly be the “cancer” rather than the “caretakers “of the Earth.
Egoism, Altruism and Immunity
Dr. Carmen Hering, DO
In this time of global transition, we are all struggling to balance personal interests with those that belong to humankind and the earth in general. In order to find a path forward toward a just and sustainable future, global interests will need to become increasingly personal, where the good of humanity is gathered into oneself or ego and experienced as a personal reality. Through this transformation we can come into a state of global consciousness, otherwise known as the “consciousness soul” referenced in anthroposophy. This expanded state of awareness and experienced self-hood can reconcile the individual with the collective. Similarly, our immunity is connected to our ability to assert our biological identity while also attending to the manifold needs of our united and interdependent body. The human heart is the carrier of our immune system, and through it we can meet the paradox of self-determination and interdependence. This meeting place is the space of relationship and the social life.
Dr. Daciana Iancu, MD
How is our current health and way of being affected by our ancestors?
When we feel into the world today, what is the state of health of our own being? What is the health of our community? Of our humanity? What is the health of our earth?
Our individual health is a representation of our environment and our history, and our environment is a reflection of our own health and history. They are all mirrors of each other.
A lot of people today in this country suffer from anxiety and this is often an underlying cause for many health problems. Yet this level of anxiety seems to be out of context given the relatively safe conditions we live in today compared to times in the past. Could this anxiety be the result of what our ancestors experienced? Has this been passed down to us through genetics and cultural habits?
Awareness about our predisposition as a result of our ancestral experiences might explain why different people have responded in such opposite ways to the pandemic.
By becoming aware of how the trauma our ancestors experienced affects us today, we can shed light upon our own ways of being into the world. This can open the path towards our own healing, which in turn can help bring transformation into the ancestral lines and affect both our past and our future.