Tuning in to nature's song


A couple weeks ago, Jonathan wrote about how health emerges like a symphony when all its possible determinants - physical, emotional, environmental, social, dietary - come together, play the correct tune, and create harmony.


Today, I want to talk about what song they should all be playing. I like to call it Nature's Song. You've heard it. It's been passed down to you through billions of years of evolution, whether you remember it or not.

Nature's song is:

  • The symphony of natural, biological rhythms that occur all around and within us: the daily cycle of light and dark, seasonal shifts, and entire life-cycles from seedling to elder.

  • The environments, foods, activities, and other conditions that, over hundreds of thousands of years of evolution, our species has come to depend on to be healthy.

Nature's song engenders life and health. If we ignore it or create dissonance with it, discomfort and disease occur. If we tune into it and harmonize with it, it keeps disease at bay, rescues us from dysfunction, and brings comfort to our bodies and ease to our minds.

Balance Medicine is a guide to playing nature's tune. But it isn't for everyone. Harnessing nature's power to heal is not a quick process or an easy one. It requires us to break stubborn habits, refuse some modern conveniences, and move through life more slowly than the average, industrialized human.

Here are just a couple specifics:

  1. We can't be healthy if our environment is sick. Just as the moon's light is actually a reflection of the sun's rays, our vitality is a reflection of the health of our surroundings. If we want to thrive, we must take care of them. For many people, this requires a major change to personal habits that have a strong environmental impact, like how we travel, shop, use electricity, and throw away trash.

  2. The best medicine is slow. Many people crave a magic pill, one that will cure their ailment quickly while they proceed with life as usual. If it exists, we haven't found it yet. Every time we try to deliver a quick fix, it fails. Every time we offer a slow cure, something significant happens. It's not magic. It's just good medicine, which takes time to show its potency and rewards those willing to put in the effort -- like slow food.

  3. Some modern conveniences drown out the sound of nature's song. They do so by removing important cues from the natural environment that our bodies use to sequence normal functioning. For example, electric lighting, when used at nighttime, removes the cue of darkness that our body relies on to initiate a sleep cycle essential to the health of every system. Loss of this cue has opened a major door to disease in humans and many animals. Restoring this and other cues requires shedding some modern habits that can be stubborn to leave.

Re-learning to play nature's song takes effort at the best of times and can be downright scary at the worst of times. That's why we must have a community of people working toward the same goal if we are to succeed. We need a tribe.

For these reasons, we made Turtle Tree the way it is. To share in listening to nature, to actually heal our environment, to bring the slow cure to you and your loved ones, and to create a tribe to support and inform a movement toward real change.

Enjoy the music,

Hillary



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