It’s Earth Day! We’re stoked that you’re here.
In the 21 days leading up to today, we’ve been on an insane adventure to raise hope by interviewing and sharing the journeys of everyday earth healers taking action for a better world.
In our exploration of the peaks and valleys and twists and turns of how everyday earth-healing changes us, there is just one thread that weaves together these 21 very different stories (23 if you count Léandre’s and my own):
When you commit to making the world a better place in the way you can, your life gets better in the process.
If you decide to make today the day that you start your adventure to build a better future on a thriving earth, your adventure through life might sound something like ours:
You were just an everyday person.
Your day-to-day was full of doing everything you could to live your best life within the lottery of your birth and the legacy of your decisions.
It’s possible you grew up with earth-minded parents in the country, and it’s equally as likely that you grew up in a city, suburb, or slum with no significant connection to nature at all.
There was nothing particularly extraordinary about you or your life, until one day, your eyes opened to the way human actions and systems impact our planet.
Maybe at the time you were a teenager or a parent or at the height of your career or already dozens of seasons into your life’s journey.
Perhaps, your awareness came through pain or through shocking moments.
Like when you first learned about the inequities and awful working conditions that are the foundation of modern commerce. Or when you were climbing through piles of trash on what should’ve been a beautiful beach. Or when you realized that technology does not solve society’s insatiable hunger for more. Or when you understood that your diet destroys ecosystems and the animals that rely on them. Or when you witnessed your retail job return unopened products to the manufacturer who just … threw them away. Or maybe it was something as small as eating an avocado from thousands of miles away and realizing how disgusting it was and how disconnected you felt from it.
Maybe someone else opened your eyes to how humans impact our earth.
Like when a coworker made one comment about the waste at your work. Or when your older brother or your teacher or your friend gave you a book to read or a documentary to watch that changed your perspective on the way you lived your life. Or when you joined someone else already cleaning up a beach. Or you had a teacher who was passionate about helping our earth to thrive. Maybe your parent or grandparent or family member was on their own journey of earth-healing, and you learned by participating in their adventure. Maybe you read a story of someone else taking action, and you realized that if they could do it … so could you.
Once open, your eyes never shut again. Whether it took you moments or years following your new awareness, you had an internal shift where your personal narrative changed from powerlessness to power, and you moved from inaction to action.
You said to yourself, “I’m the one I’ve been waiting for this whole time.”
When you look back on the very first thing you did when you started your adventure, it was really tiny. Almost insignificant.
You picked up five pieces of trash. You did some research on what environmental actions you could take. You connected with your community. You decided to care. You became an activist for our earth in your home. You took a class. You posted one eco-tip on instagram. You reduced how much fast fashion you bought. You got your home community to compost. You decided to research vegetarian cuisine. You volunteered with an earth-healing project. You flipped meatless Mondays on its head, and made every day but Monday meatless. You came up with one way you could take action for our earth and your best life.
Once you started doing the right thing for our earth, you didn’t want to stop. Small step by small step, the adventure transformed your whole world.
Your local business transformed into an engine to heal our earth and uplift your community. You spent your entire career healing inequity and our earth across cultures and continents. You became a part of a team who transformed the entire food system for the better. Your travel business turned into an engine for plastic-free products and global cleanups. You created a multi-modality platform to heal our earth and save some sharks. You created a community based on values of inclusion, sharing, peace, and abundance. You opened an organic, fair-trade fashion store that empowers women. You dedicated your engineering expertise to river and estuary restoration and conservation. You leveraged the power of social media for the greater good.
You grew and cultivated a backyard garden that fed you and connected your children to the cycles of the earth. You rented out eco-accommodations inspired by poetry. You lived in deep alignment with your values, built with eco-construction techniques, and accepted all that happened to you with grace. You got closer and closer to your food, and used your love of cooking to invite others to come with you. You found yourself fully immersed in the science of soil and the supportive community that came with it. Your sense of self moved from being externalized to internalized, and you became more confident. You fulfilled your personal artistic vision using upcycled and recycled materials. You used your free time to raise awareness, created tools that made a difference for our climate, and empowered youth.
The struggles you faced were many and never ending, but your connection to the bigger picture of building a better future on an earth where the air is clean, the water is drinkable, and food is healthy pushed you to find solutions that ultimately made you stronger, more adaptive, and more capable.
When you struggled with work/life balance, you found ways to take breaks and let the earth heal herself for a while. When people stopped believing in you or left your project behind, you gathered those who still believed, improved the way you did things, and you kept going, When the work was physically grueling, you learned how to pace yourself. When you couldn’t figure something out, you took a break and came back to it later. When people questioned your masculinity, your life’s choices, the value of your physical labor job, or the direction of your project, you learned how to generate value from inside yourself instead of from outside approval.
When you failed and made mistakes, you figured out how to learn from failure, how to apologize, how to ask for help, how to take criticism with a growth mindset, and how to extend compassion to yourself and to others. When you realized there wasn’t enough time in the day to do everything you dreamed, you learned how to reject false urgency, slow down, prioritize, accept limitations, rely on your support network, and live life from your strengths. With every two steps you took forward, you took one step back, but because you were doing something that felt so meaningful, you were able to find silver linings and remind yourself that setbacks are temporary.
Throughout the entire adventure from your first step to your final step, you experienced joy, accomplishment, pride, and connection.
When you finally decided to act, having something tangible that you could do was really exciting. When you realized how easy it was to take action, you felt resolved never to fall back into complacency. When you started using what was right next to you to build, you felt creative and like you were a part of your local ecosystem. When you put your time, effort, energy, heart and soul into researching and sharing information other people could use to heal our earth, any appreciation big or small brought you joy. When you left a life of consumerism and career-chasing behind in order to live by your deep inner values, you felt free.
When you planted food successfully, it was a joy to share your abundance. When you thought about being a part of a larger community doing what was right for our earth, you felt calm, proud, and supported. When you took the action that connected young people to our earth and to their power, you felt deep satisfaction. When you invited other people to take a look at earth-healing by piquing their natural curiosity, you felt connected and alive. When you participated in group activities to heal our earth, you were swept up into positive spirals of hope and more action. When you put everything you had into doing what you could, you felt fully powerful.
Each small action you took brought you hope, and hope brought you optimism. Optimism and effort brought you achievement, and with achievement came a sense that you were changing as much of the world as you were meant to.
As your adventure into everyday earth-healing deepened, your eyes opened to the millions of other people all across the planet with your same story. You would come to experience awe at the limitless ways in which people were imagining and building a better future that you just had no idea existed before you started your own journey. With so many people at work changing things, you realized that someone else out there was doing any work you couldn’t, making changes you had no passion for, and doing dope things outside the scope of your imagination.
Any time you started to worry that what you were doing wasn’t enough, you remembered all those other people out there working for the same beautiful future in their own unique way. You let your worries pass, focused on your power, and kept taking small steps forward on the paths available to you. When you could, you even invited a couple people to join you along the way.
You know that you didn’t change the whole world, but you’re proud that when the opportunity came for you to take action, you did.
At the end of this, you were still an everyday person.
Your day-to-day was still full of doing everything you could to live your best life within the lottery of your birth and the legacy of your decisions.
Not sure where to start your adventure?
Across all 21 stories of hope, our everyday earth-healers repeated this one piece of advice most often: Whatever action you’re thinking about taking? Start taking it.
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You can read stories of people who went through Just Act! by clicking here.
It has been a deep honor to do this work with you. Thank you for taking the time to sit down and converse with me, thank you for bringing me so intimately into your lives, and thank you for working with me to create stories that felt authentic to you in such a short timeline. Thank you for taking action and sharing the impact of that action with others. I hope that when you look at your voice intertwined with the voices of this microcosm of the earth-healing community, you feel as deeply hopeful, powerful, and connected as I do. Thank you for everything you do, and everything you are! With love, -BB