Let's say you have a tree - that's a weirdly awesome way to start this off “hey, here's a tree” lol anyway - and you had the option of planting it in barren, sterile and infertile soil, or soil rich with nutrients, vitamins and all the other kai (food) that plants thrive on; where would you want to plant your tree?
Kia whakatangata koe i te rākau, now personify the tree - where would you prefer to grow? You'd want access to all the kai you could, so you could grow beautiful, big and strong, right?
Why is what's in Papatuanuku important?
Papa is the nurturer, the sustainer of life.. the mother. But how effectively can she nurture if she's sick? As a result of generations of fast-growing, pesticide-resistant kai, erosion and pollution, over 1/3 of Papatuanuku has been stripped of her mauri and life-giving properties. And you bet we're still living and growing our kai on that land..
So as rākau (trees) growing in the forest... or let's get real, it's an analogy, we are the trees! #whakapapainaction. The real trees are important too, but when you make it personal and not something you can pretend to ignore because 'it doesn't affect you', like: climate change, poverty and domestic violence.. ain't nowhere to hide. But this is a safe space, I got you. Where were we....
For us as individuals growing within our local and global communities; what are we doing to ensure that we're in a nurturing, life-giving and meaningful environment? Not just our physical environments like the people we surround ourselves by and the activities we partake in; but also,
the environment in our mind with our thoughts, perceptions and 'truths' about ourselves and the world,
the environment we probably spend way too much unproductive time in - online and on social media. Are we exposing ourselves to negativity, hate and triggers to destroy our self-confidence and self-worth (a polluted, sterile environment)? Or are we subscribing to thought provoking, interesting and meaningful kaupapa and people (positive, life-enhancing environment)?
There's also the work environment where some people die when they take their last breath, while others die when they say no to pursuing their passions..
With the Whiro (new moon) phases of the moon in effect, this would be an opportune time to audit yourself (rākau) and how you're growing.. is your environment (soil, earth) sick? Or is it thriving? Then you'll become more self-aware of why things are the way they are in your life and how everything's connected..
And since we're a product of and we whakapapa (descend) from our environment - if Papatuanuku is sick, we want to focus on healing her to back health in order to give ourselves the best shot too.