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How Hugging a Tree Changed my Life

During a particularly tough season in my life, when it felt as if the very foundation around me was crumbling, I found solace where I least expected it—in the heart of nature. One afternoon, as I sat journaling and meditating in the park, something profound shifted within me. Surrounded by towering trees, with the sun warming my skin and the ground supporting me, I felt an overwhelming sense of connection. Breathing in the oxygen the trees offered, I felt called to embrace one of them. Yes, I hugged a tree, and though it might have looked odd to some, that simple act was a powerful moment of release. It shook me loose from the myth of disconnection and nudged me closer to a fundamental truth—the omnipresent connection around us. This experience deepened my gratitude and fueled my desire to live in harmony with the physical world, recognizing our mutual interdependence.

Understanding “Right Relationship”

Being in “Right Relationship” with the earth is about recognizing and nurturing the connections that sustain us. This concept, rooted in various Indigenous and spiritual teachings, underscores a way of living that honors and respects all life. It involves understanding that our actions have a profound impact on the natural world and that our well-being is deeply intertwined with the health of our environment.

The Significance of Land Acknowledgment

Land acknowledgments are a vital step in honoring the Indigenous peoples who have lived in harmony with the land for generations. These acknowledgments are more than mere formalities; they are profound expressions of respect and gratitude. They remind us of our responsibilities and the role we play in the history and continuation of these lands. To begin your journey of acknowledgment, visit to learn the original stewards of the land you occupy.

Practical Ways to Cultivate a Right Relationship with Earth

  1. Mindful Daily Actions: Reflect on how your everyday choices—like conserving water, reducing waste, or choosing sustainable products—affect the environment. Small changes in daily habits can have a big impact.
  2. Engage in Land Acknowledgments: Regularly recognizing the Indigenous land you live on at gatherings and in daily life can foster a deeper respect for its historical significance.
  3. Support Local and Indigenous Businesses: Boost local economies and reduce environmental impacts by choosing local and Indigenous products.
  4. Participate in Community Environmental Efforts: Whether it’s a local clean-up or a community garden, actively caring for your environment strengthens your connection to the earth.
  5. Educate Yourself and Others: Learn about the history of the land and its peoples. Understanding the past helps us make more informed and respectful decisions.

By embracing these practices, we reinforce our commitment to a healthier, more sustainable relationship with our planet. Just as healthy human relationships thrive on balance and mutual respect, so too does our relationship with the natural world benefit from these principles.

In every interaction with nature, whether it’s a walk in the park or planting a garden, we have the opportunity to contribute to this harmony. Let’s step forward with intention and respect, deepening our connections with the world around us and nurturing our holistic health along the way.