What Taking Care of My Soul taught me About Taking Care of the Planet (and vice versa)

By Sarah Tapel

Being in HR and a Psych graduate at that, Carl Jung was no stranger to me. Last month though, I was re-introduced to a different Carl Jung through the Carl Jung Circle Center or CJCC’s annual conference with the theme, “Earth is our Kapwa – Caring for the Planet, Caring for the Soul”. Speakers from the different but interconnected fields of psychology, TV, environmental law and medicine, gathered in celebration of the Filipino Soul and of Planet Earth. Here are the coolest snippets from the talks and thought I should share them with you:

1. In the Philippines, depression is becoming a widespread serious mental health condition with 3.3M Filipinos having a depressive disorder according to the Department of Health. Heal the soul by observing mindfulness and connecting with nature: live in small communities, cultivate a piece of land, look deeply into the eyes of an animal and commune with the trees, rivers and mountains.

2. Go the mountains and absorb nature’s energy. Listen to the birds sing. Live in the here-and-now. And when Mother Nature begs – plant trees, buy from local produce, and use less plastic. Go to https://www.facebook.com/MarikinaWatershedInitiative/ and see what you could do. Baby steps go a long way.

3. Reflect on your soul. Mirror your experiences and reflect on being good regardless of whether you are a “woman”, “man”, “wife”, “husband”, “son” or “daughter”. Traditional definitions of being good in these social categories are already outdated – and that’s totally ok! Why don’t we work on being good “humans” instead? To start, when was the last time you became polite by saying “Please?”, “Excuse me?”, or “Thank you” to another person?

4. Speaking of being a good human, violence against women is a men’s concern too. Be kind, and have zero tolerance for violence, whether towards women, men or animals. Yes, animals are beings too.

5. Practice GRIT. In stressful times, have Guts, be Resilient, take Initiative and be Tenacious. In Pinoy terms, ipakita ang abilidad na dumiskarte nang tama sa iyong pakikipagsapalaran.

6. Start a soul conversation and define your own soul metric. Ask yourself, how often do you take time to relax and slow down? Choose quality over quantity – both of the food you eat and the friends you make. Learn to say no, even to yourself. When did you last say no to a plastic cup of Frappuccino blended bev?

7. Lastly, give back to the soil. Share your time and resources to local communities. “Human” and “humus” share the same root anyway, and because of that, we will always go back to the soil. Check out Green Releaf Initiative (https://www.greenreleaf.org/) and who knows, you could just be the next superhero of Planet C-53? (Hello, Marvel fans!)

I particularly love the second item as this month marks my first year of going #ZeroPlastic. In the year that has passed, I have felt more connected with my soul and how its decisions, specifically on using plastic, affect our planet in small but destructible ways.

What about you? Can I dare you to pick one from the items above and actually start acting on it? (Chill, just one!)

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