Dropping In: Hurt People Hurt People
“If we want to address the environmental issues we have to dig up the roots. Chopping off the tops of weeds will only result in them growing back later.”
In week 1 of this Dropping In series, I mentioned that if we really want to address the ecological breakdown of this planet we have to get to the source. What is going on outside of us- the destruction of ecosystems- is a reflection of our species' inner turmoil. This week I want to dive deeper into this subject and its connection to dropping in.
There is an expression that I learned that changed how I view the world.
Hurt people, hurt people.
The context in which I learned this was in regards to having compassion for other people that I judge as not being good people. This saying reminded me that if I think someone is harmful, or rude, disrespectful, or any other negative opinion I have, there is most likely someone that taught them that. Or someone that did not teach them something better. There is a mother, a father, a sibling, or an influence that hurt or neglected this person, most likely when they were young, and it turned them into a human that hurts others.
Now, this expression is not to say accept these people into our lives and cheer them on. Boundaries, agreements, and even protection may be necessary.
Distance is very understandable.
What it illuminates is that the people with very few moral values were most likely not set up for success. Didn’t have healthy leadership in their life, or wasn’t a relationship that was compatible to pass it down. Maybe they weren’t loved enough or did not get raised in a healthy, nurturing society. Something was missing for them.
Today I want to tweak this expression just a tad. I want to say
Hurt people, hurt the environment.
This realization is what has brought me from snowboarding to writing, producing films on environmental consciousness, and to being a coach focused on training the subconscious mind. I believe, more than anything, that our internal suffering as a species is one of the biggest polluters on this planet.
Humans are creatures of habit.
It is a survival mechanization.
A habit cycle has been taught to me as a 4 part process.
Stimulus, Craving, Reaction, Reward.
Most of us are going through this cycle countless times per day. There is becoming an increasing supply of stimulation. Social media, food, work, achievement, tv, email, messaging, podcasts, YouTube, Netflix, the list of things that can grab our attention is limitless. So the Stimulus of the habit cycle can simply become boredom, or I should say, lack of sensation.
Craving is responsible for the consumption of unquantifiable amounts of unnecessary items. The US having a nearly 50% obesity rate is a very easy one to ponder on. Clothes, shoes, cars, planes, convenience, we have become a species that is constantly consuming, constantly stimulating, to feel something different. This has been created in us as a means of survival and is now spiraling out of control. Most of our consumption has lasting impacts on the natural world around us.
The more aware we become of what is going on inside of us, the more we can break these cycles of craving-based consumption. Dropping In can be a daily practice that I am going to explain at the end of this post.
Many of these habit cycles are not serving us, or the many species of this planet. Simple awareness practices can completely alter the way we are consuming. I can only be the captain of my vessel so it is on each and every one of us to get more attuned to what is going on inside of ourselves. What we are feeling and thinking to be of major importance.
As outdoor enthusiasts, we can be the leaders on this path. Nature draws us inward. We are an expression of nature, like the trees, the snow, the rocks, the animals. So when we are immersed in the natural world we have a head start into this deeper connection. This series will continue to focus on the connection of our favorite outdoor activities and how they allow us a much-needed access point for Dropping In.
Dropping In Instructions:
1. Pause for a moment and close your eyes. Closing your eyes takes a lot of outward stimulation away so it is easier to sense inwardly.
2. Take a few breaths with your eyes closed.
3. Pay attention to what is going on inside of your head. Where are your thoughts taking your imagination? What are you thinking about? Just observe.
4. Scan your body for sensation. Can you feel sensations inside your body from your head to your toes? Prickle, pain, tickle, itch, cold, hot, etc. Feel where your skin is exposed and your skin is covered by clothing.
5. How do you feel emotionally? Happy, sad, afraid, joyful, nervous, anxious, peaceful, etc.
Can you feel this emotion in a particular place in your body?
6. Take a few more breaths, wiggle your toes and fingers, and slowly open your eyes.
You can do this at any time. Dropping In is a practice like anything else. Becoming more attuned to what is going on inside of us. Becoming more sensitive we can notice stimulation and craving to break habits that are not serving us or this world.
Photographer: Jordan Ingmire