Updated: Jul 23, 2021
By Dr. Susan O’Leary
In my last article, I was asking how the workplace could embody an experience of well-being. Recently I had the pleasure of attending webinars in which people shared inspiring examples of creating sustainability and regenerative action. One that stood out to me was regarding regenerative farming; the speaker described how the experience of spending time at a farm that is run by hands-on farmers and diversified with wildlife and local plants would compare to your experience in a 5000-acre, machine-managed glycosylated cornfield. It was a powerful image of how, when we take people and nature out of places, we take the heart out of them as well.
I like to consider our bodies as our own little pieces of Earth. So, as with the farm, how can I better care for it and become mindful of when I may be polluting, depleting, and abusing it? As we consider the wonder of our bodies, our quality of life, and our lifestyle choices, we become aware that many of our current strategies and tools help manage symptoms and stressors but do not fully encompass the skills that create a truly healthy body and vibrant experience of our life. As with that cornfield, are we creating a body that we want to hang out with, that is regenerative in its physical and emotional self, in its spiritual essence? What are we cultivating?
Regenerative farming works on the premise that its methods restore the earth, replenishing the topsoil rather than merely extracting the food and depleting soil. Regenerative travellers leave a place improved for their having been there, whether that is through conservation of the environment, a culture, or healthy local economics. If we look toward regenerative health and clean ourselves up, we too may heal the planet. As we choose clean foods that nourish our cells as well as the earth, habits that balance our nervous system so we are creative, and activities that make us thrive, we are also our more naturally balanced selves. We shift from short-term responses or pushing though stressful situations to choices that promote behaviours and practices that are the basis of regenerative principles.
If we take an eagle’s view and consider the chaos and pivot point we are now gifted with, we have an opportunity to look through a regenerative lens and get creative with how we decide to go forward. The good news is we have solutions for a better way.
A shift toward a more regenerative lifestyle first requires us to develop a regenerative mindset. One simple tool is to ask yourself whether what you are doing is positive, negative, or neutral in its impact. There is no right or wrong answer - more important is that you find options that drive the regenerative pathway for you. This can include your thoughts, foods, emotions, activities, and relationships. Through each choice we gain access to our power and become aware of what momentum we want to create.
We are all figuring out this journey together, so I encourage you to use the supports that are available. There are many of us who can help to fine-tune the skills and tools that will work best for you and those you love, and allow the expression of your life that brings the heart back into it all.
Dr. Susan O’Leary
SOuL Wellbeing was formed during a creative moment when Susan was wandering the streets of Edinburgh while researching ways to expand on her years of work in wellness health care. Her 23 years of experience as a chiropractor and 30 years with lifestyle mentors in yoga, meditation, and positive mindsets, complement her passion to help people express inspired lives they love. She appreciates opportunities to facilitate positive change, working with individuals and groups to curate practical solutions for wellbeing. Outside her work, Susan can be found humbly learning the world of horses, lost in nature, and connecting with others through travel and culture.