The Big Chill: What We Can Learn from Herbs & COVID-19

by Jun 4, 2020Smoke Signals0 comments

The Big Chill: What We Can Learn from Herbs & COVID-19

by Jun 4, 2020Smoke Signals0 comments

COVID-19 is an unprecedented crisis, but it’s also an incredible opportunity. How herbs can help us reconnect, and remember who we are, what’s really important.

Humanity’s slowing down.

The clouds have parted. Can you see yourself yet?

I’m starting to. The other day, I was strolling through suburbia, and a deer asked me what time it was — sitting on a lawn, enjoying clover weather like a neighbor sipping beer.

Anthony Bear, Founder and CEO of Bear Blend, recently witnessed a mountain lion howling in a canyon in the middle of San Diego.

Humans aren’t so alone as we think: There’s a whole natural world everywhere, pulsing on the rhythms of circular circulation. And it’s slowly returning. All we have to do is let it.

Breath taking. We’re all doing it — slowing down: remembering who we are, what’s really important.

And it feels so good.

A Blue Renewal

What a wonderful world when we step back into the periphery — allow Mother Nature some space and peace.

Live in the city of Jalandhar, in the northern Indian state of Punjab, and witness the Himalayas from your back porch — for the first time in decades.

Venice canals are crystal blue for the first time in memory; swans are now their tourists. Dolphins have returned to Southern Italian seas. Coyotes have been spotted jogging on the Golden Gate Bridge.

The air over China is so clear you can literally observe clean air from space.

The numbers are inspiring. At the peak of COVID-19 shut downs, daily carbon emissions decreased by 17% — or 17 million tonnes of carbon dioxide — a drop down to 2006 levels, according to Forbes. In Europe, the effects were even more profound: 27%, the largest single annual decrease in absolute emissions since the end of World War II.

A peer reviewed analysis of COVID-19 emissions published in the journal Nature Climate Change tested for three potential scenarios of easing out of lockdown later this year. The scientists predicted a 4 to 7% drop in emissions, depending on how soon pre-pandemic conditions of mobility and economic activity return.

I, for one, am in no hurry. I’m kicking back under trees and sunshine air, rolling herbs, enjoying a smoke, meditatively mindfully re-tuning.

This is an opportunity: I’m not going to miss it.

Herbal Revolution:  Back to the Garden

As a society, we’re reconnecting with nature. We’ve heard nature’s wake up call. We’re listening. 

We’re bringing the garden back to us. People are planting Victory Gardens in an effort to fuel food supplies, reconnect with nature and manage stress, get their hands earthy and dirty.

Interest in herbs is through the roof: The herbal extract market is expected to rise at an exponential rate over the next five years. We have a lot to learn from herbs — both in reconnecting to the natural world as well learning to live in sync with its healing rhythms.

In the face of COVID-19, people are starting to grapple with the realities of climate change. In a report on a recent national survey, “Climate Change in the American Mind,” researchers from Yale University and George Mason University noted 73% of Americans accept climate change as a reality — the highest level of acknowledgement so far.

And the planet’s healing, slowly. 

But it’s still not enough. Even in the best case scenario — if social distancing remains and people hunker down for the foreseeable future — we can only expect a 7% drop in emissions this year. That’s less than the 7.6% drop the United Nations says is necessary every year over the next decade to avoid catastrophic global temperature increases of more than 1.5oC by 2050.

But it’s a start, a beginning. We’re learning that cutting back on fossil fuels is not only possible — it’s absolutely necessary.

The good news is we don’t have to shut our economy down for the earth to heal. In fact, sustainability and healthy economics can go hand in hand — like a sappy couple running over the hills in love to the “Sound of Music” soundtrack.

A study by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) found that 10 million additional jobs could be created worldwide if 50% of all vehicles manufactured were electric. This can be fueled by increased spending on goods and services resulting from a reduction in spending on oil, and measures related to the production and use of energy.

At least through this crisis, we’ve learned how to work together. And that can be promising as our global society strives to tackle climate change and reconnect to a healthy natural balance.

“We can recover from an existential, complex threat and emerge much stronger and more resilient,” Prof. Gail Whiteman from Lancaster University, UK told the BBC. “Which strengthens the idea that we can do things differently on climate, that we can tackle this one. I think it gives us huge energy.”

Escape from Pocket-Watch Prisons

How did we get so far off nature’s sync? We’re monkeys with laptops and Buck Rogers’ pocket computers. Where’d our jungle go?

For many of us, it’s a pure concrete one as far as the eye can see.

For so long, we’ve been running on all eight cylinders. No, it’s not your imagination: Work’s killing you.

A Columbia University study analyzed nearly 8,000 workers over four years. During the research, 345 of those studied died — and those who worked in sedentary positions for 13 hours were twice as likely to die as those who sat for 11.3 hours. And the number of hours most employees sit in a day? 12.3.

How long have you sat on your ass today?

Chill the F-Out

So take a stroll. Lean on a tree: Breathe and just be. Meditate with some herbs and rediscover who you truly are.

No one’s going to freak out if you don’t answer that text. Your boss can wait on his own damn dime. That deadline will only kill you if you let it. Time is infinite; our container is not.

COVID-19 is an unprecedented crisis — but it’s also an amazing opportunity. Nature’s calling us all back to the garden. Forget the tick of that tock. Listen to your heartbeat instead.

Time to re-sync: We’ve finally got a chance to step back and rediscover our rhythms and the natural world. Herbs can be a gateway to amazing dreams, a reconnection to the heartbeat of our own thoughts.

Mystic mist whispers visions of periphery — intuition you know but can’t conceptualize until it’s staring you blue in the face.

What are you going to do today?

Mathew Gallagher

Mathew Gallagher

Wordsmith Specialist

A freelance writer for hire, Matt Gallagher is the face and voice behind Web Copy Magician. He enjoys Bear Blend as a tea to spiritually reconnect with nature and the therapeutic wonders of chlorophyll.



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