Even during these catastrophic events, we should not forget the beauty of Nature, the power of creation, she is almighty, she is forgiving, she is us and she can transform. For instance, the light from the sun has the energy to sustain an ongoing process of life on this planet even if, in terms of distance its million miles away. We can be located in any part of the world and still be a part of this healing process.
Collective Healing from Eco-Anxiety : A Glimpse into Beauty of Nature | Priyanka Singh
The term eco-anxiety have been gaining popularity in recent times. Though it’s not categorised as a mental illness, it’s becoming a major phenomenon affecting the modern youth causing symptoms like depression, sleeplessness and panic. Many of us have been through it or heard about it, for some it’s still unrelatable while for other it’s something that cannot be ignored. There is a crises in front of us, staring right at the face of humanity. Asking us where it all went wrong? What did we forget?
But here I am, just trying to remind you there is also beauty, there is also healing, there is also love and we must not forget to romanticise the Earth.
I’m Priyanka Singh, founder and EIC of planted journal magazine. I’m here to unravel sets of event that have shaped me into the person I have become, eco-anxiety has been a major part of this journey. I wouldn’t want to take away those moments of anxiety that made me conscious, a better version of myself and shown me what we as human can do, if we are capable to work through our fears not only for self but also for others and the Planet.
It was the summer of 2019, I was based in Netherlands surrounded by people that are ecologically aware. I was on my way to work as I noticed an old tree which was cut due to some construction, It grabbed my attention, I stood there and felt quite sad about this loss of life. Following to this there was a buzz on social media about the fires in the Amazon rainforest.
I kept staring at my feed, one post after another, stories after stories, it went on for few days. I was consumed and it affected me deeply.
That was the first time when I understood what eco-anxiety could do to a person. I was also diagnosed with other mental health issues and that contributed simultaneously with these factors.
For many people who have known me, It was shocking that how something that is happening in another part of the world could cause this to a person. Eco-anxiety and climate change is nothing but just a sign of disharmony that we have been facing, ‘everything affects everything and you have to understand whole web of connection’ (M. Mitchell Waldrop), a forest fire across the other part of the world, rapid deforestation, rising sea levels and loss of biodiversity. It’s affecting us more than we realise.
I have never been to the Amazon rainforest but I have always been an admirer of the beauty of nature. For me it’s a force that drives me, calms me and over the years I have developed this feeling that I belong to the Earth. Even if I stay in an urban environment, I always look at the tress, I enjoy walking bare foot on the ground, dancing in the park, looking at sunrises/sunsets, watching the moon, locating constellations or just looking at water flowing. I guess everybody does enjoy these things too, we have evolved in nature, It’s our home. It’s a place where we can easily find calm. I realised what I have always wanted to do, I needed to voice my opinion, I love to talk about the beauty of nature and our connection to the Earth. I’m deeply fascinated by indigenous communities and their way of living. I wanted to build a bridge through which I can connect ‘Human and Nature’. I decided to overcome my fears and do something about it. Healing is a long process, it unfolds itself when you move along your journey, it happens on many levels, step by step as we work towards consciously integrating our beliefs to our lifestyle, saying no to things that no longer serves us, aligning with our own heart rather than just being a part of a system. The more I started working towards this bridge, the better I dealt with my anxiety.
“When we heal ourselves, we heal the world” (Mark Nepo)
So I have created Planted Journal and It is really a journal unfolding this process of love and healing with art, words, photography, poems, stories. At this particular moment it’s very important to understand the connection to our land, it’s not in any particular part of the world. It’s the land on which we all walk, the air that we all breathe and the water that makes up our body. It’s all of the Earth. It’s for the people, for the community and for our future generations. Even during these catastrophic events, we should not forget the beauty of Nature, the power of creation, she is almighty, she is forgiving, she is us and she can transform. For instance, the light from the sun has the energy to sustain an ongoing process of life on this planet even if, in terms of distance its million miles away. We can be located in any part of the world and still be a part of this healing process. As I mentioned earlier ‘Everything affects everything’.
The thought of extinction is scary, it has happened before but neither did it stop the sun from rising or the Earth from thriving.
Life will remain on this planet, that is the beauty of this land, It always flourishes, now it’s upto us to flourish with that life as a species. We must heal the parts of ourselves that has forgotten to be a part of nature rather than be apart from it. We must remember where we came from. Only then, we will heal ourselves, heal as community and eventually heal the Earth.
Featured image by : Giovanni Santarelli
Written by : Priyanka Singh .