Bonjour !

A sweltering day here in Paris, and without air conditioning quickly one perceives that the "normal" way of being simply will not do.

No oatmeal!

A breakfast standard, oatmeal is great except when the night was already hot and sticky and the morning finds us seeking more water than food, a natural reaction to the heat.

It is interesting to note that (even though it may seem like I am complaining), this is all quite normal.

In line with our nature, in winter we are drawn to hot foods, to nourishing our bodies with rich, warm food and drink, while in the summer, the fresh greens of salads and the light refreshment of water or iced tea seem more appealing.

Of course, this is less evident in places where so much air conditioning abounds that the natural order if obfuscated: where one needs to carry a sweater even in the extreme heat of summer as we go from home to car to work or even for eventual forays into stores to pick up dinner. (No wonder, is it, that stores understand the link between heat and no-hunger, and keep supermarkets at a frigid temperature. We would come away with much less in the cart otherwise...)

but I digress. As usual! ha!

The title is cultivate your garden, a phrase well-known here in France as it is the theme of Voltaire's famous book CANDIDE, "Il faut cultiver son jardin.", an invitation basically to take care of the inner life to lead more fully our outer life.

This morning, in the heat that sticks to the body, I was reminded of that phrase as in this season (beginning way too early, but never mind that - there is no global warming HA!), in places like Europe where we are actually feel the seasons pass, our BODIES lead us to the choices that are right for us in the moment in alignment with Nature, like eating less, hydrating more, rising early and avoiding the midday sun...

You get the idea.

There is a natural rhythm to life that often the craziness of the modern world sometimes erases for us.

In addition to obvious aspects like what we eat and when, there is of course the frenetic pace of a world which has only one speed: go-go-GO... and never a slow-slow-SLOW.

That frantic pace leads many to burnout or -if we don't succeed in maintaining the pace which was never meant to e - sometimes a judgment that we are somehow LESS, somehow not up to snuff.

But we can see, can't we, where all this modernity has brought us? Out of contact with the natural rhythm of the body, whole countries are becoming obese. Out of contact with our natural need to slow down in cycles, whole people are suffering from depression and burnout.

Maybe it's time to try something else?

And if not for us, maybe we can do it for our beloved planet, the Earth?

There is an eco-slogan I love that encapsulates what I am getting at: "We are not defending the Earth; we are the Earth defending herself."

WE ARE PART OF THE EARTH. The planet includes everything on it, everything in its ecosystem and atmosphere... which includes US.

As such, it is not a great leap to understand that how we treat ourselves - starting with our bodies and moving outward from there - is perhaps a key to shifting how we treat the earth (and each other.)

Cultivating our garden, our bodies on every level - physical, but also mental emotional and spiritual - can be a key to open the door to more balance and harmony in our relationship with Nature.

The more we honor the Temple that holds our sacred essence ("this little light of mine"), the more we honor Life, and the context of Life here, the earth.

People who are more in balance are connected to the Heart even more than to the Head, a balance which needs to shift if we are to arrive at changing the world.

So yes, to my beloved eco-friends I say yes to raising awareness and yes to going out into the streets if that is where your heart calls you...

But I would argue that as powerful a movement is the internal one of shifting our own consciousness to maybe showing ourSELVES a little more love. A little more balance. A little more peace.

Because as we go, so goes the Earth. To cultivate a conscious that recognizes the sacred in the Earth, perhaps a necessary first step is to recognize the sacredness in ourselves. Perhaps change will happen, too, one Heart at a time.

So just for today, maybe, what can YOU do to be extra good to your body? need more rest? More music? more healthy foods? Maybe a fast? Or dancing, singing... what is YOUR way to honor your temple today? In short...

How does your garden grown? from Paris...