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The Beat Blog: Earth Day – Loving the Planet Earth

April 22 is Earth Day. If you’re reading this blog, you share a passion for healing the planet. If you’re reading this blog, chances are you are challenged by the complexity of health care and pushing for positive change. On this Earth Day, 2016, let’s share an experience where we feel connected and calmed by the beauty of the planet earth. When do you slow down, unplug, power down and take in the sites, sounds and spirit of your surroundings?

Okay, I’ll go first.

In the summer, I go to Maine, off the coast to a little island where my family has a cabin. For the ten days or so that I’m there, I start each morning very early and paddle in a red kayak in the quiet sea, around the circumference of the island. I’m close to the water surface. I’m quiet. Each day is unique, depending on tide, weather and energy in the water. I witness birds, seaweed moving, a cormorant trying to transition from water to air (wow it’s a bit like starting a green team!), a splash of a seal in the distance. In the foggy mornings, all is gray. The only color is the red of the kayak. In the sunshine, with some wind, the surface of the water looks like a frosted cake. Some mornings are wind-free and calm. A ripple in the water is like velvet—a gift—only for me and then it’s gone.

When do you feel most connected to the planet earth? Where do you find your time to slow down, pause and witness its beauty? As a gift to ourselves, to each other and to our beloved habitat and to honor all the work we do individually and together to change the world – please share your love for the planet. Take the time to reflect and nourish ourselves and maintain our collective strength as we push together for healthier health care - For Earth Day 2016 - post comments here or on twitter @pracgreenhealth #earthday.

By Janet Howard, Director, Member Engagement, Healthier Hospitals


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Beautiful blog
Submitted by on April 7, 2016 - 11:23 am

Well said, Janet. I felt like I was there with you on the water, in that red kayak.

I feel most connected when I go home to my parent's house, which is situated on 40+ acres of beautiful Ohio trees and farm land. It's the place I fell in love with nature, where I spent many afternoons under the trees, my nose in a book. It's the place I also learned to care for it through gardening, composting, recycling. While I seek out places on vacation for beautiful nature - whether beaches, mountains, or hiking - I am most connected just when I go home to the place where I fell for nature initially.

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The joy of connecting and collecting
Submitted by on April 12, 2016 - 4:00 pm

I find reflection and solace whenever I head out into nature. Whether it is in my neighborhood or out of town does not matter; the connection to the planet is the same. Each time I check my supplies: sunscreen? check, sunglasses? check, water? check, appropriate footware? check, garbage bag? check.... I make it a habit to bring a trash collection bag when I head out the door to enjoy all that a beautiful day has to offer. The simple act of an informal clean up helps me connect with nature through interaction and stewardship, examine what manmade objects and packaging find their way into our natural spaces, and hopefully, inspires those I meet to reflect on the impact that each of us has as an individual. Committing myself to the symbiotic relationship that all animals share helps me to unplug and at the same time reconnect in surprising and wonderful ways. Happy Earth Day, today and everyday!

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Earth day ideas from Practice Greenhealth
Submitted by on April 18, 2016 - 6:59 am

Looking for #EmployeeEngagement ideas for #EarthDay? Get inspired with @pracgreenhealth Earth Day

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Nature Untapped
Submitted by on April 19, 2016 - 7:47 am

Thanks for the terrific reminder Janet that we live IN nature - versus with. Your photo is very powerful (also love the equally red shoes). Earth Day to me is a chance to take time for humility and reconnect. Here in Wisconsin, I live on Lake Winnebago. There are beautiful trails where I go mountain biking. With the scent of forest trees, the wide tires picking up dirt and the wind gliding past me, my mind starts letting go of the mechanical world and my senses start syncing with nature. Turtles, fish, snakes, eagles; it doesn't matter if you are looking horizontally on land, vertically in the air or down towards the water, I'm reminded I am IN nature by the sight of life. Now that the weather is swinging back quick into favorable riding conditions, I'm eagerly planning to catch the sunrise on my next ride this Earth Week! Happy Earth Day!

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A breath of fresh air
Submitted by on April 21, 2016 - 11:59 am

Beautiful photo and piece on your connection with our beautiful planet.

For me, there are those extraordinary moments that stick out because they just took my breath away and made my heart sing and my eyes well with tears of pure happiness and awe -- like coming across a field filled with gorgeous yellow flowers, overlooking the Haro Strait, with mountains in the background and fresh air and sunshine on my face.

But there's also beauty in the 'ordinary' moments. Taking my dog out on a trail in the park by the river, enjoying the dirt and breeze and leaves. The pent-up stress and frustrations of all the petty and maybe not-so-petty issues seem to melt away after just a few minutes outside, putting things in perspective. We need those healing powers, that breath of fresh air from our planet as much as our planet needs our help healing.

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The pulse of life
Submitted by on April 21, 2016 - 5:05 pm

If the human heart were equal to a calendar year, the Spring would be equal to the systolic contraction of the left ventricle; that period of time when the life blood of our bodies and the mountain rivers and streams of our planet surge forth with life-sustaining nutrients.

Happy Earth Day, All!!

Anonymous Photo
Submitted by on February 15, 2019 - 12:07 pm

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