By definition, ecology is the “science that has for its object the study of the functions of relationships between humans, plant and animal organisms ( e. plant, e. animal ) and the environment in which they live.” (Oxford Dictionary)
We, as human beings, are a fundamental link in this complex chain of relationships.
Ecology starts from ourselves, from the way we relate to our being, to our body, to what we are.
Love and respect are inseparable in all things.
For more than 20 years, Nia’s practice has been educating me and leading me to ever new, reflections: respect for myself through conscious, spontaneous, heartfelt and pleasurable.
I believe that educating ourselves through movement is a way to expand our consciousness also towards others, nature, the world and beauty.
Movement becomes art when it is felt, natural, spontaneous, but above all clearly pleasurable, joyful.
Then it becomes elegance, fluidity. Just think of the poses of Greek statues like the Nike of Samothrace for example. Paradoxically, even a work as dramatic as the Veiled Christ in Naples astonished me for reflecting the beauty of the body in all its forms.
A few days ago I attended a Nia training in Scotland. One moment of the week’s work remained engraved in my heart. We had been instructed to move on the floor to practice what is called ‘floorplay’, one of the cycles of a Nia class. It was not about stretching or muscle strengthening or lengthening exercises, nor yoga postures, but about letting go of the natural movement following the music. The participants, of very different ages and physical conditions, exhibited their art of movement. Watching them move, I perceived their enjoyment in feeling free to move in their own way and time. Guiding them was the joy of movement, Nia’s basic principle.
I saw the uniqueness and artistry of each person and it moved me.
Watching them, I noticed how each gesture was perfect because it was spontaneous, natural, viscerally connected to their being.
So often we judge, we compare ourselves to models of beauty, we feel ungraceful and we do not remember that what others see in us is how we are in our bodies.
When we live well in our skin, it really doesn’t matter how many kilos we weigh or how many wrinkles we have. What matters is our true nature. Are we who we are or do we have to spend hours putting on make-up before we leave the house? Do we always have to be on top, can we feel good about ourselves or are we gripped by self-judgement? Do we have to conform to models of beauty or behaviour or can we be who we are? au natural?
I firmly believe that people who live connected to their bodies and therefore in the pleasantness of their being are more inclined to respect the bodies of others, thanks to an ‘expanded empathy’ .
That is why I am committed to remembering that everyone can do this. And not only. It would be desirable for each of us to always do it, not out of selfishness, or for the desire to excel, but to apply to others the same empathy we can feel for ourselves.
Perhaps at this moment in history, we should find the ‘right’ love for ourselves first.
If I really accept myself, I also accept others and not only human beings, but also the whole world, animals, plants, nature.
I am convinced that self-awareness is the key to respect for others and for the world we live in.
I therefore believe that ecology starts with ourselves.
We don’t need constant external preaching, we need to listen to ourselves, and when we do, we realise that caring for our internal and external habitat is essential if we want to live in well-being.
We all have a natural desire to breathe in fresh, clean air, to swim in clear, transparent water.
Does self-awareness make us ecologists? Yes, in some ways certainly!
Body care, mindful movement, mindfulness and nature are connected.
Taking care of ourselves implies kindness. And kindness can be translated into all-round sensitivity.
My brother Gianumberto does the same work as me on a very different, but extremely effective level. Gianumberto is an entomologist and eco storyteller. He has published many books that have already been translated into many languages.
By addressing children and young people, he creates deep sensibility for us adults.
Gianumberto does not preach, he tells.
He tells stories of nature that make young and old think.
He tells about the art of nature. He amazes us with exciting connections and in doing so educates us in the awe, beauty, respect and kindness that our habitat demands.
I am organising an event in Rimini together with my brother. It is an invitation to remind us about human ecology. I am curious to see how it will go.
I’ll keep you informed if you want.