Now we’re not sure of you, but if like us you were born in a certain decade in the UK and wore flared jeans and bombed around on a chopper then the “good life” will conjure up images of the famous 1970’s sitcom. To most of us surely the phrase “good living” conjures up a comfortable quality of life where certain luxuries can be easily afforded?
Well both these options are a million miles away from what sumak kawsay means to thousands of indigenous people living in South America.
To these ancient communities’ sumak kawsey is a way of being that is deeply embedded in the ethical values of their indigenous cultures. It is a way of life that recognises the sacred interdependence between the Earth and mankind, it embraces responsibilities and values where co-existing and respecting nature flows hand in hand with life. To these people sumac kawsey is a deeply rooted spiritual and connective ethos that honours community, well-being and harmony. It preserves their unique culture and identity.
In more recent years sumac kawsay has been incorporated by the governments of Bolivia and Ecuador as a means of acknowledging and granting rights to nature. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this spread to a more global influence where the governments’ of the developed worlds protected the rights of the land instead of exploiting it for political or commercial gain.
So we got to thinking how can you take the essence of sumak kawsay into your daily life? If we take the ethos that it honours well being of yourself, your community and the earth here are three ideas you might like to try…
For your own inner well being
- Download an app to help you with breathing, mindfulness or meditation If you already have some kind of practice, then set yourself the intention of undertaking something new to stretch your spiritual horizons and habits.
For the well being of your community
- Spare the time to smile and pass the time of day with those people whose path you cross. Freely share your goodwill and positivity with those around you.
For the benefit the earth
- See if you can shop for locally produced food, buy organic if you can. Spare some time everyday to notice the world in which you live, appreciate its natural beauty and give thanks for it.
Fiona and Gavin