Written by Brittany Shenk
Ecovillages: Intentional, Conscious Living
Ecovillage. The word itself sounds magical, full of inspiration and hope. Like a giant, sustainable playground for environmentally-conscious adults. I don’t know about you, but I like to imagine pixies dancing in the air, sprinkling fairy dust on the gardens and the residents, spreading happy energy to everything and everyone.
Okay, maybe ecovillages don’t have tiny pixies flying around, but they are communities focused on nurturing, caring for, and giving back to the Earth – and that in itself is magical.
An ecovillage is a sustainable community that strives to be culturally-, spiritually-, and ecologically conscious, living in balance and harmony in all aspects of life. These intentional communities are established to move away from the current Western lifestyle, provide real solutions to serious societal issues, reconnect with spirit, be one with nature, interact with the land on a daily basis, develop deeper, meaningful relationships with other humans, and decrease the ecological footprint of an entire community using self-sustaining practices. They are actively shifting our culture.
It seems as if ecovillages have the answer to the majority of the issues our world is facing today. A close to zero impact on the planet and a space for humans to genuinely reconnect to one another. Our global population is out of control, 7.6 billion people on this planet, and yet, we feel more alone than ever before. Many of us have never interacted with our next door neighbors. We spend more time looking at our phones than looking at the person across the table. We spend hours on the internet, feeling like our lives are smaller than the lives of others as we compare ourselves to the photographs on Instagram, often forgetting these are simply snapshots in time. We feel lonely because we are out of touch with our inner selves and the energy of the natural world.
Fortunately for us, this energy is always there, whether we are conscious of it or not. Mother Earth is always there. She welcomes us, surrounds us, holds us, hugs us, and encourages us to follow our intuitions.
Ecovillages, and the individuals living within them are consciously connected to this energy. They take pause to feel the Earth’s pulse. They recognize the importance of improving Earth’s circulation by respectfully cultivating the land, developing authentic relationships with fellow community members, and living in harmony with nature – all of these actions strengthen Mother Earth’s heartbeat, and helps return her to an optimal state of health.
The ecovillage movement is a response to a global crisis. The powerful, gentle people behind this grassroots movement recognize the impact we’re inflicting on the planet and are serious about dedicating themselves to the solution. They are encouraging the worldwide cultural shift that’s taking place, and though living in an ecovillage may not feel like the right choice for everyone, I strongly believe that we can all gain invaluable knowledge by observing the practices within these communities.
Do you know someone who lives in an ecovillage? Are you aware of any ecovillages near your home? Would you be willing to go explore the ecovillages or intentional communities near you to learn more about the missions, values, and actions these communities are instilling to help heal our planet? What values can you implement into your life that mimic those of an ecovillage?
Let’s all step forward and become apart of the shift.