When most people talk about healing the earth, they mention simple acts we can do to minimise out impact. It’s rare to find someone who is prepared to go that extra mile and speak the truth… that minimising our impact isn’t going to cut it.
Dr Mahdi Mason is an environmental consultant, author and land healer. She recently released her second book ‘Earth Healing: Healing the Earth to heal ourselves’ to critical acclaim. Her passion is helping people to understand the importance of reversing our environmental impacts, not just reducing them.
I really like Mahdi’s view on life and passion for sustainability, and I’m thrilled to be sharing her message with you.
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Would you mind sharing your story?
It all started with animals and just being obsessed with animals from when I was born. I was always one of those kids who was just fascinated at seeing bugs and birds and pets. I loved my pets probably way too much, and hugged them way too much. They probably need a lot more space than I gave them! I’ve always loved animals, and I couldn’t ever stand to see any of them suffering.
So, it all started with animals and of course animals live in an environment. As I got a bit older I understood that to be able to protect animals on a large scale I needed to understand about their environments and their habitats. I needed an in-depth understanding of ecosystems. So my interest has all come from my love of animals in the beginning, and that led me to study environmental science at university. After studying environmental science I was able to get a job in environmental management in mining.
I always got the question about how could you possible work in mining if you care so much about the environment.My response to that is you need people on the front line who, actually really care and who are going to take the time to educate people in the organisations. And really make sure that they’re minimising their harm as much as possible.
The other thing that I realised about was that I had much more of a chance for people within the organisations to listen to me if I was working in the organisation. I knew if I was working for one of the green groups or something perhaps they would not listen as much. I saw it as a chance to really change people’s behaviours and a real position to educate people.
Additionally when I was working mining, I was able to earn some really good money. That enabled me to go travelling overseas and see animals in their natural habitats around the world.
I was also able to go and spend time with indigenous populations around the world. Learning first hand from the Inca and how people in Peru and the Amazon worked with, treated, and saw the environment. I was able to go and spend time with the indigenous Australians in Central Australia, and to understand what made them sustainable cultures for 80,000 years.
There was a big different between the way we were treating the environment here in Australia and mining and all of our other industries in the Western world, as opposed to how the indigenous cultures saw and were treating the environment.
So I was able to take some of that wisdom back from travelling around the world and apply it to the way that I managed and saw the environment. Not just in my job but also in my home life. The key difference I saw was that indigenous cultures never took anything from the environment without giving something in return. This is what made the indigenous cultures so sustainable, because they had this balance between what they’re taking from the land and what they’re giving back. That is what was missing in our way of managing and treating the environment here in Australia and across all industries.
I realised that until I was starting to address that issue, until we are starting to give back to the environment in the same sort of ways that we are taking from it, in the same sort of volumes. That we were never going to be a sustainable society. That’s what led me to write my book on earth healing.
Can you please explain what an earth healer is and how the average person can become one?
Earth healing is simply this idea, this concept of giving back to the environment. Think about all the things we take from the environment. We need air, which comes from the environment. We need water, which comes from the environment. We need food, which comes from the environment. We need shelter. We need the environment for mental wellbeing, for our spiritual wellbeing. All these things we’re taking from the environment all the time, and quite often not giving anything back in return.
The term ‘earth healing’ is the practise of giving back to the earth. It’s something that every single person can do from home. There are a million different ways you can do it and it won’t cost a cent. It’s really taking the next step in environmental management. We’re taking the next step in sustainability.
It’s getting people out of this mindset of simply reducing our impact on the environment. Because the damage we’ve done is so huge now that we can’t be depending on other people. We can’t be dependent on the governments to fix the environment for us. Or the green groups. We can’t be relying on anyone else, we all need to start taking responsibility ourselves.
We need to start taking things to the next level. Most people are doing things like using reusable shopping bags, reusable coffee cups, using eco friendly products, picking up plastic pollution, trying to stop using single use products. So those things reduce our impact, and those things are great but they only slow down our rate of destruction on the earth. They don’t stop them and they don’t reverse them.
If we really want to be helping the environment, consider the state that we’re in … We’ve killed over 50 percent of the ocean life within the last 40 years, we’ve got climate change, which is causing icebergs the size of countries to break off and melt now. The environment is in dire straights, so all of us need to be doing more than just reducing our impact. we need to be reducing our impact and taking things a step further to reverse our impact. That’s where I consider earth healing. It’s really doing those things to help the environment to reverse the damage we’ve done.
You have spent so much time with indigenous people around the globe. How do you think we can better harvest the wisdom of these people’s law?
The first step is to develop a relationship with some indigenous people in your local area. Most places have cultural centres that have a wide range of information where people can go and ask questions. But, just show that you have respect for land and that you really want to learn, and everybody opens up and shares the information they have. Because in the indigenous culture everybody wants to see the land is well looked after and that it’s cared for the way that it used to be.
Some of the key differences that we can harness that I’ve learned from indigenous cultures is, number one is that we can’t see ourselves as separate from the environment. Just because we spend so much time indoors and we don’t know what every plant species is, and we don’t grow all of our own food. It doesn’t mean that we’re not part of nature. We’re very much part of it and every single action that we have has an impact on it.
Every second of the day we’re taking something from the environment even if we can’t see it. Even it’s the carbon from the air or giving carbons to the air, I should probably say. Or drinking water from the rivers or whatever. Just because we can’t see it doesn’t mean we’re not taking from the environment. We need to start seeing ourselves as part of it and just like the indigenous people do, we’ve got to start playing our part. As humans we probably see ourselves as separate from the environment, and that means that we don’t really feel like we have a role to play, or we don’t have any responsibility in looking up. But every other creature has a part to play in the ecosystems they live in.
Indigenous people understand that we, actually are part of the environment. And because we take so much from the environment we have a responsibility to give things back as well. We have a responsibility to look after the environment just like every other natural creature does.
Another key difference is that you never take anything from the environment without having some gratitude, or without thinking about where it comes from. So, there’s some really key differences that I’ve noticed from the way most of western society thinks and the way our indigenous ancestors lived.
How did we get so disconnected from Mother Earth and how do you think we can reverse this, and rebuild strong connections again?
I think that we just got caught up because we do have technology to do things a lot faster, and to have to do so much more. We’ve become so caught up that we forgotten what is fulfilling for us as a people. We’re caught up in consumerism and convenience. People think that things are going to make us happy, whereas that’s not the case at all.
We need to go back to remembering what is actually fulfilling for us. And those are the things, like taking time out relaxing, spending time with our families, spending time in nature. Once we do that we realise we don’t need any of those other things at all. We don’t need the latest shoes or the latest fashion. We don’t need everything to be done instantly. That just stresses us out and makes us more unhappy.
An easy way to do that is to just start spending time in nature again. Start becoming grounded again. We can remember and start to value how we feel from the things like spending time in nature. And we become more balanced, more relaxed and happier people.
So all we need to do to start a connection with nature again is to stand … I recommend 20 minutes a day physically connecting with the ground, or physically spending time in nature. That means either sitting on the earth or standing barefoot on the earth. It might sound like 20 minutes a day is a long time. And I know so many of us are busy, but I’m telling you this will change your life. It will make you so much happier. So much more relaxed. So much more available to take on the hardships in your life. You’ll just come from a much more grounded place.
It’s been proven that spending time in nature reduces anxiety, reduces pain, increases mental capacity. It reduces blood pressure and stress, reduces cortisol levels. And you know what, I’ve been doing it for about 18 months every day and since then I haven’t been sick. So I think that there’s really something to say, and it really does help your body to function better.
So I put out a challenge to all of you to just try it for two weeks. Doing 20 minutes a day spending time in nature. And I promise you will be a different person. Once you do, just start to recognise how much nature does for us. That’s how much of a benefit we get from the environment just by spending time in it. You can probably tell I’m a bit passionate about this! But it’s an amazing thing.
Can you explain what you mean by embracing feminine energy?
I was talking about being in this fast paced world where we have to do the undoable all the time. We have to get things done. We have to send that email. Nothing can wait for two seconds. We are always on the go and we’re always exhausted. That’s our masculine energy. Every single person has their feminine energy and their masculine energy. Most of society is well in their masculine energy. What we really need to do is come back and be more balanced and bring in our feminine energy. And the feminine energy is just what we were talking about. It’s taking that time out. Just stopping, forcing ourselves to do nothing. Allowing things to happen at their own pace. Taking the time to nurture ourselves, to spend that time in nature. Allow our bodies to rebalance and rejuvenate.
Spending time in nature is one of the best and most efficient ways to rejuvenate and embrace our feminine energy.
When we’re in that feminine state, we’re more relaxed and just let things happen. When we do those sort of things instead of rushing, and getting things done and buying things we’re being much kinder to the environment. Because we’re not consuming as much and we’re having less of an impact on the earth.
There, so that’s why I say it’s important to be embracing our femininity but also it makes us happier people. We’re going to be kinder to the environment and others if we’re happier ourselves. It’s so important that we’re taking the time out to embrace our feminine energy and to look after ourselves.
In your book you discuss reducing our metaphysical impact on the Earth. Can you explain how it helps to heal the environment?
Metaphysical energy is simply the energy that we can’t see. We all know that there’s the physical stuff like hard things that we can see. What we can’t see is all the other matter and energy that’s happening around us at every second.
For example we all know that there’s different atoms in the air, different chemicals, different things that we can’t see. There’s WIFI going on. All of those things are quite often forgotten about when we are talking about healing the environment. But those things have the potential to impact the environment just as they have the potential to impact ourselves.
Human beings also have a metaphysical impact on the environment in terms of our negative energy that we carry around. We have dense emotions and we’re unhappy. All of these things carry vibrations, which are denser and heavier if they are unhappy or sad or negative. Or they’re lighter, if they are happy and healthy and light. We have the potential to be either walking heavily on the earth if we are potential to be impacting the environment with our own health, and with the way that we live our lives.
If we really want to be helping the environment, we need to be thinking about the impacts that we’re individually having on the environment metaphysically. So that means we need to be doing things to look after our heath. So a good diet, getting exercise, embracing our feminine energy. It means taking care of our emotions, releasing the stuff that no longer serves us. We need to be watching our thoughts and making sure we’re not always thinking negatively as this makes us heavier on the earth.
Can you share some of your best tips on how we can heal the earth?
The first one that I always suggest people start with is composting. Sending our waste food to landfill means that none of the nutrients go back into the earth. Composting involves taking our waste food and putting it in our own yards to allow the environment to make use of those nutrients.
I recommend planting local, native trees. The importance of doing local native trees rather than just native trees is that they’ll still be wildlife in your area that is dependent on those sorts of plants, and that need that sort of food and can use those sorts of plants for shelter. The other benefit of planting local native plants is that they don’t take much to maintain because they’re used to the climate.
We can make our back yards habitat friendly. So putting all different types of habitats, or things that creatures can use as homes. We have things like leaf litter, some different rocks that things can hide in, maybe a little pond. A wide variety of species can come in and use our yard for staying in and finding food. A wide variety of plants will help to encourage biodiversity and more things coming back into our yards.
We can make our fences animal friendly so that they can get between areas of remnant vegetation.
Set up habitat boxes in your backyard. Leave out water for birds and for insects like bees. Set up native bee hives. We can give back areas of our yards … Create a space to give back to nature.
Another tip is starting a really basic permaculture systems. That means growing your own food and then putting your waste back. You create a whole system where you’re taking from your garden and giving back to it as well. Permaculture is absolutely wonderful, and it’s a huge, big topic. But if you’re interested there’s plenty of different articles out there on the internet.
Metaphysically we can also be educating other people of how we need to be giving back to the environment. We can be looking after our own health and making sure that we have a light energetic load on the planet.
It’s all about supporting our local ecosystems.
Where can we learn more about you and pick up a copy of Earth Healing?
Everyone can head to my website to learn a bit more about me and buy a copy of my book. My website is drmahdimason.com. My books are also available on all of the major online retailers. This includes Amazon, Booktopia, The Book Depository, and many others.
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