Happy Earth Day!

Since a protest on this day in 1970 against the exploitation of our environment, April 22 has been celebrated around the world as a holiday in honor of protecting it.

Today, whether you are planting trees in nature or making your way through a concrete jungle, I encourage you to take a few minutes to bask in gratitude for Earth’s incredible bounty and beauty.

To start, find a place to sit where you can physically connect with the earth. If you can do this meditation outdoors, that would be ideal. If you’re indoors, visualize the bare ground underneath the foundation that supports you, and connect with the earth in your mind.

Find a comfortable sitting position with one hand on your heart and one hand on the ground.

Take several deep, grounding breaths. Now bring your awareness to your senses. If you’re outside, you should notice sounds, smells, and sensations coming from the environment around you.

Without judgement, simply notice the sensory input your body is experiencing. Continue to breathe deeply and slowly.

Now, bring your awareness to your heart center. As you inhale, imagine you’re filling your heart with love, and imagine that love spreading throughout your body. With each breath, feel the love in your heart expanding outward to fill the space around you, continuing to grow steadily.

As you fill your heart with overflowing love, bring to your mind the many things you feel grateful for. You may think of your own healthy body, people you love, nourishing food, clean water and air, and a comfortable home. Feel the power of your gratitude to amplify the love radiating from your heart, eventually encompassing the entire planet.

Now, shift your focus to the Earth. Consider that everything that you experience, love, and feel grateful for is made possible by the incredible planet that sustains you. The air you breathe, the water you drink, the food you eat, and the materials that build your home and clothing all come from the life-giving planet you call home.

Take this moment to silently thank the Earth for all that you appreciate in your life. Expand your appreciation to all that exists simultaneously and harmoniously on the planet.

Close with the mantra, “Healing the Earth begins with my own healing. Love on the planet begins with the love in my own heart.”

Originally published at www.mindbodygreen.com.

Originally published at medium.com