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Living in harmony with our environment

What does living in harmony with your environment mean? 

Today I got a new inspiration for it, a very obvious one in the end you might think. I went to see a local TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) therapist here on the island where I live, related to some issues I experienced with my skin, with eczema, which has troubled me more than ever since I moved to Tenerife. 

Hot and humid. That’s the climate here that is like fuel for the fire, for the skin rashes, as everyone living in this kind of climate or during hot European summers might be able to relate. 

We started the session calmly, just chatting. He pointed out a few things to me and one that stroke me as too obvious to have missed was the following one:

When we move around to different places, we need to observe how the people from there, the locals, live. How do they move around? What do they eat? At what times? When do they rest? What are their habits? Without the need to copy them all, there is so much to learn to have a smoother and more harmonious experience at the place we are at, more integrated with where we are living or even staying temporarily.

Where I am at the moment, I notice the locals generally seem relaxed, they move relatively slowly (perfect to see especially in traffic), they take long siestas in the afternoon… Following our stereotypical image of the South - and for a reason! 

With so much fire - sun - going on outside, we need to counterbalance the fire, the energy we use, inside. In the north of Europe people tend to work hard, think a lot, and come up with brilliant ideas (not for no reason most ingenious inventions come from there) which makes sense, as the environment is inviting to kindle this inner fire to keep us warm, moving….on the other hand, the people in the south, have barely changed the world with great inventions, yet here another creativity dwells, another flow, which is no less beautiful, just adapted to the environment, the elements. Both in the end bring balance, inside and outside. 

One of the reasons I moved to Tenerife was this wish for a slower pace of life, a more basic way of living, and more simplicity. Maybe I had too much fire inside me for too long (which was part of the diagnosis today) - hence also the skin rashes among others - and my body longed for something opposite…. Nothing happens for no reason and our body often knows what it needs to balance out things… 

For me today was a great reminder to observe even better, to listen (and share) even more to the stories the elderly among us tell about how they live(d) their life, what is natural for them, what part of their regular diet, their medicine, and so on…

Globalisation brings many benefits, yet it homogenises things that cannot be homogenised, as where we live, the climate conditions, and what grows around us, simply differ. Here’s to embracing all local flavours, observing, learning, and bringing back balance inside and outside of us.

What does living in harmony with your environment mean for you?

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