World Mental Health Day

    By KCI Ambassador Chris Grady

In a world that is quickly warming yet still feels bitterly cold, where most people spend the prime of their lives surviving, where family and friends are reduced to numbers on a screen, and where we confuse our true feelings with those fueled by fear… don’t forget to love yourself. Many people have forgotten who they are. But what if we take a moment to go all the way back to the beginning. At one point in all our lives we had innocent and sincere intentions towards the world, but as we age, we tend to distance ourselves from them. Is this innocence and sincerity only present in people, in animals, or does it exist in all living things? I don’t have the answer to that, but what’s the harm in assuming it does?

Seeing yourself in other people, and even other life helps everyone and everything. Our collective suffering will continue to worsen as long as we choose to see the boundaries that separate life instead of the life that bounds us together. My secret suspicion is that we all see and know this but depending on our ability to express this through words and action while maintaining safety and security, we choose to do so or repress it. This collective awareness can only wait so long before erupting, and we are currently experiencing this in regard to our feelings towards the environment and how we are treating it. All we are told is how massive the climate problem is, and how many years behind we are in solving it. People tend to give up on problems when they are told that it’s impossible to solve, and it is especially easy to give up on issues that don’t affect you. This is the core of why we need to see ourselves in everyone, and everything.

What kind of message do you think we are sending to the Earth when we pollute its air, waters, and soil? And in turn, what kind of message do you think we are sending to our bodies when we breathe polluted air, drink polluted water, and eat polluted food? What is terribly unjust is that many, many people do not have a choice in the matter. Our connectedness is truly more than a belief, it is something that affects everything constantly. That is why I believe it to be a human right that everyone has access to clean air, clean water, and clean food. But that isn’t happening right now, and it won’t be achievable for a long time. And as for those who haven’t given up on the environment yet are still faced with the painfully sobering reality we are incessantly reminded of, there isn’t blissful ignorance but a new phenomenon called “climate depression.” A type of depression that was catalyzed by feelings of impending doom and hopelessness as an effect of studying climate change.

My dream is that we find a way to make an undivided effort towards reversing climate change and restoring the natural balance we’ve deviated from. But it’s incredibly daunting, and even terrifying. So in hopes to make it feel more attainable, I want to offer a bit of advice inspired by a study that everyone can easily integrate into their lives. Dr. Masaru Emoto studied the effect of thought and intention on the molecular structure of water and published his findings in 2008. When the water is exposed to thoughts of love and gratitude the crystalline structures of the water form beautiful geometric patterns, but when exposed to thoughts of hate and disgust, they devolve into incoherence (see images below). And that’s what it’s truly all about. Coherence in love, or rather, love coherence. Did you know that in some cultures, “nature bathing” is prescribed as medicine for depression and anxiety? Think of what isn’t around when you are in nature: negativity. I think we all can relate to how apparent nature makes it for us to realize that the only thing that separates you from love are your own thoughts. How often do you ask yourself “did they take that the right way” or “do they actually like me” in nature? How can anyone feel angry about a flower, or disrespected by a tree? Sounds pretty ridiculous, right? So I challenge you to accept the feelings of frustration, disgust, and hopelessness, but nevertheless choose to see what you are grateful for and what you love, and project those feelings as they will always protect and guide you to the justice you seek.