That we learn to love ourselves-not in a sense of the ego, but rather an ability to have compassion and unconditional acceptance for ourselves as we would for a spouse, loved one or child, exactly as we are and who we are. That we become immune to the constant bombardment of marketing that tells us everything from our hair, bodies, and even our stuff is inadequate. That we come to love life so much we have no desire to distract ourselves with the things and behaviors that self destruct our bodies and minds.

That we become aware of each other not as competitive humans in a world of scarcity, but as a group of beings that see each other as equal parts of a cooperative whole.  That we celebrate success as finding life purpose, there are no winners or losers when we are all working together. That instead of responding in anger or hatred to others’ behaviors we respond with compassion, empathy, and most of all patience. When we begin to respond with love towards ourselves, it becomes second nature to respond to everyone else in the same way.

westboundary-photography-chris-gill-60180That we can extend this same compassion from ourselves to others and eventually the entire world. That we become consciously aware that every bite of food comes from a seemingly miraculous biological occurrence that relies upon a balanced ecosystem. That we remember every drink of water comes from a stream, river or aquifer. That every structure we enter was built from forest trees, sand and nearly every natural resource on earth. That we are so grateful for our food, water and shelter, we are selective in where we source these basic necessities of life.  That we realize our health and well-being is directly intertwined with the health and well-being of our mother earth.

That every chance we get we find ourselves in nature so that we can see what a gift it is to be a part of.  That we revel in the light of full moons, lose our worries at the edge of rippling water and giggle at the antics of the neighborhood squirrel. That in every moment we celebrate the joy of this thing called life.

~Audrey L Elder

“Heart” photo credit- Unsplash / Chang Duong

“Waterfall” photo credit- Unsplash / Photo by WestBoundary Photography chris gill on Unsplash