Beginning of August, mid point between Summer Solstice and Autumn Equinox marks a beautiful holiday-Lammas, or Lughnasadh in European culture-a celebration of the first harvest! My ancestors celebrated the Sun that flourishes bountiful crop. They celebrated Earth that produces abundant harvest. They danced around bonfires and gathered herbs and other plants. They baked bread and indulged in delicious meals. They celebrated Life. Because harvest literally meant well-being and life to them. It was their livelihood, their bread, their survival and thriving.
These holidays are about gratitude to our Nature for abundant harvest and all the good we have in our life! Here are couple ways you can celebrate the harvest of your life:
1. Make a list of everything and everyone you are grateful for: things, places, people, experiences, achievements, opportunities, lessons. Read it out load, close your eyes and feel into the abundance of your life! If you are having trouble feeling grateful or finding what to be grateful for, try reframing the language and use "even though" statements (even though, I just broke up with my boyfriend, I am grateful this relationship was such an opportunity for growth (even if I can't see it yet).
2. Write yourself a letter and tell how much you are proud, and grateful for yourself, how far you've come, and all the things you have done already in your life!
3. Write a note, text, or call someone who you care for, and tell them how grateful you are for having them in your life!
4. Give back! Whether it's a donation to your favorite charity or a coffee for a person behind you in Starbucks line. No small act of kindness goes unnoticed by Life! When we give, we receive!
5. Every evening before going to bed, recall 5 things that went right and that you are grateful for. I love doing this practice with kids!
6. Say "Thank you!" more!
Mark Borg Jr., Ph.D., a psychologist, psychoanalyst, and author of Don't Be a Dick: Change Yourself, Change Your World, says "Gratitude puts us into communication and communion with the world around us. It can lead to a cycle of giving and receiving that becomes reciprocal and can lead to a state of feeling and being in mutuality with the world."
August 1 is also a celebration of Pachamama in Andean tradition, who also depend on the rich harvest to survive. Ancient people all over the world understood the importance of respecting, protecting and celebrating Mother Earth that gives Life.
Today, most of us living in cities rarely touch earth. We get our produce from stores, without fully realizing what it means to plant, grow, and harvest it. Most of our food comes from places that do not respect the soil, and the food, using destructive methods of growing and spraying our food with chemicals.
We are disconnected from the land we live on. We are disconnected from nature, often spending very little time outdoors. Our phones, computers and tablets have become our "natural" world. We have forgotten who we are and that our true nature is Nature. We are made from the same source and of the same material, and have the same design! We are the Nature in our core and essence.
It's time to connect to that which gives us life in so many ways. It's time to treat our home, our Mother with love and respect. It's time to reconnect to Earth: put our hands in the soil, our bare feet in the grass, hug trees, plans trees, spend time in forests, lakes, and mountains, let our kids roam freely and wildly just like nature, support local farmers, reduce, reuse and recycle, support a national park or a wildlife refuge, get involved. Our survival, too, depends on Nature!
It's time to remember who we are and live in harmony and peace with ourselves and the nature around us, so we may create a better world of abundance, where we all flourish!
"We are nature and nature is us!" Andy Goldsworthy.