Eight years ago today, I found myself on a very small plane on a trip that transformed my life and was totally unexpected. Being with pioneers like Lynne Twist, Arlene Samen and an incredible group of women focused on maternal health was heart opening. I am so grateful I had this opportunity to become aware of the universal laws of Nature.
And then three years ago, it was unexpected when I found myself working on the film, Fantastic Fungi. This time, I had a greater appreciation of Nature and understood that we are not separate from her.
What I learned, once again, is that it is us who treat Nature, which we have also exploited, in law as property. But there is growing legal recognition that Nature has rights. And affirming these is essential to both a healthy environment and our own existence on this planet.
According to the “Rights of Nature” doctrine, “an ecosystem is entitled to legal personhood status and as such, has the right to defend itself in a court of law against harms, including environmental degradation caused by a specific development project or even by climate change.”
We’ve Been Regulating Nature
Did you know that psychedelic psilocybin mushrooms were banned in the US in 1970? They were categorized as Schedule 1 drugs. The United Nations determined that the potential for abuse outweighed their medicinal benefit. It us who have banned natural plants.
We decide the price of gold, coal, plants and sand; what is legal and illegal. We construct what is right and what is wrong. Our opportunity is to shift from these constructs and begin to evaluate for ourselves what is healthy and unhealthy. No one else can.
And then the unexpected happened. The Economist reports “The active ingredient, psilocybin, offers hope in treating depression” in 2019. And a few weeks ago, mainstream Bloomberg news reports “Study results have been breathtaking, showing total symptom alleviation for conditions including post-traumatic stress disorder and depression in huge percentages of patients previously resistant to treatment. Equally astounding are the diverse conditions that these drugs might treat, from addiction and anorexia to migraines. “
There is renewed interest in these plants not only for therapeutic reasons. Another reason may be that the estimated size of the global pharmaceutical psilocybin market by 2027 is $6.9, according to Data Bridge Market Research.
The Unexpected Magic Beneath and Within Us
There is a belief that to be innovative, we must conquer nature and manipulate it for our needs.Can we recognize the insanity of this type of thinking? There are natural systems trying to show us the way. All this unexpected beauty and simplicity is right in front of us every day.
It is refreshing to see the decriminalization of plants in different parts of the world from Portugal to cities in the US. There is an understanding that we have a mental health crisis and wouldn’t veterans or people facing end of life, for example, benefit from natural remedies that heal. The plants, like technologies, are our allies. How we use and regulate them is entirely up to us.
We have known about the benefits for decades but it takes effort to create what we need. A similar story is true of hemp, which is an ally. Did you know that “hemp in the United States was a legal crop in the 18th and 19th centuries. A ban was issued on the substance in the 20th century.Hemp returned as a legal crop in the 21st century. By 2019, the US had become the world’s third largest producer of hemp, behind China and Canada.”
We now construct healthy homes from hemp. And adding hemp seeds to our diet improve heart health when it comes to cholesterol, blood pressure and many additional benefits. There are also unexpected benefits for eczema, arthritis and even constipation.
Aligning with the Unexpected Beauty of Nature
Nature is here to guide us every step we take. She is our biggest ally in life when we begin to marvel at the magic of the unexpected wonders in front of us. Grounding ourselves and being outdoors has yet to have a price and hopefully never will.
Alice Walker reminds us that like us, “In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful.”
We are not separate from Nature. When we embrace the unexpected, we flow and remember our natural state of creation. Healthy living is our biggest opportunity and in our hands to construct in physical and non-physical realms.