If you've spent more than thirty minutes with me, you've probably been asked, "what's your ecosystem?" It's my favorite question and it all originated from a conversation I had with my friend, Molly. Molly is an ethnobotanist, which means she studies the relationship between humans and plants. Fascinating, right? So how did this "ecosystem" stuff come up?
We were standing around in her kitchen in Malibu and we were chatting about about how we feel connected to some places rather than others. Malibu is high on a lot of lists, but not mine. Why?
"Well you know how cactuses thrive in the desert and a poppy blooms in the chaparral?" She started explaining that like plants and animals, humans also have an ecosystem – we've just evolved past the need to rely solely on it for survival (grocery stores, technology, shelter, etc.).
"So basically, our personal ecosystem is just where we feel the most peace." She stated.
What's even more interesting is that nothing yet points to a strong correlation between our ethnicity, where we grew up, where we live now, or anything in our ancestry. It's random. Maybe this is because we've evolved (or detached) so far from our connection to the land.
So simple, yet it entirely blew up my brain. Everything made sense. This is why I feel so, unexplainably connected to the jungle! To islands! To tropical island jungles! So specific, but this is where I feel the most peace. It's the place I recharge, unwind, surrender and find pure inspiration. It's the place that feels like home.
How does knowing your ecosystem serve in any way? Your ecosystem is just the scientific version of your "happy place." You know, the place they tell you to go in stressful times. So how does your happy place serve in your life? I believe that tuning into your body and listening to when and where it feels at ease is invaluable information. All we have to do is listen. There are micro-climates and ecosystems all around us. For starters, take a hike. Pay attention to the trail. Notice how it evolves and how you evolve. You might find yourself feeling your best in some pretty surprising spaces... or you might find out you're a succulent living in the tundra.
What's your ecosystem? Tell me in the comments!