What used to be here?
What is the natural state of the land? What would happen to the land if left to its own devices? What might then grow? What animals might arrive?
The history of a piece of land can tell a lot about the type of ecosystem that used to be there and what should be there.
I spent last week at the first Habitat Bank in Colombia which is a land area is used for biodiversity conservation and preservation that is paid for through offset compensation schemes. In this area of San Martin, Meta, 600 acres of relict foothill forests are being protected within this Habitat Bank.
One of the key questions for restoration is to understand what naturally should be there. Scientists here study what plants and animals are native to a particular land area and how land that was previously used for cattle could be restored back to its natural state – that of a forest.
I find this line of thinking deeply connected to our sense of being – our heart, bodies and souls. What is our natural state of being?
What used to be in our hearts and souls?
What did we let in that wouldn’t naturally be there?
What can we restore?
This process of restoration and conservation is not just one that we should do to protect endangered ecosystems, it is a process of taking care of ourselves. It’s a process of caring for our inner fire, weeding out plants that have invaded our sacred spaces, and cultivating what should naturally be there. What is naturally there might be love, compassion, peace, curiosity, patience and what we might want to weed out is anxiety, fear, envy, greed, all things that as a child we did not have, but overtime have taken root and maybe even allowed to grow.
There is a lot of restoration we can do within ourselves. We could spend our whole life’s energy working on it, and likely, we will never be done with the process. But perhaps, a place to start is by asking: what was naturally there (in your heart)?