An Ecosystem is an environment where interactions occur – where a change in one part influences and impacts all other parts. All We-Spaces are ecosystems including homes, families, circles, community centers, businesses, cities, states, nations, and the planet.

  • When we view our life as taking place in overlapping ecosystems, we know that who we are and what we do does make a difference.
  • Even our body is an ecosystem, with what we eat, how we rest, how we stress, and how we move (or don’t) influencing our electrical system, cellular regeneration, biochemistry, and emotional energy.
  • Ecosystem thinking brings more nuance and awareness to our agreements and intentions. We know we cannot unleash pollution into an ecology without having to cope with toxicity downstream. It’s the same for emotional pollution, too.

Emotional World Environmentalism

There is an “emotional world” we share. It includes all the emotional energy – expressed and unexpressed. Some people are as unaware of their impact on the emotional world as they are on the physical world when they toss their trash out the car window.

Big “polluters” in the emotional world amplify conflict and fear. Others scam, pillage, and steal what might bring joy to many through their “I only care about me” attitude.

We’ve seen this in the physical world, of course: companies that do not care about pollution impacts on their employees or community, governments that use eminent domain to confiscate property (often from those less powerful), and worse. We’re grateful to those who have raised awareness and sought different ways that impact less and replenish more.

The ecosystem of our emotional world is crying out for similar awareness. Yes, we all have emotions! But we learned that tossing our humanure into the street where people walk and kids play was not, uhh, sanitary.

With skill, we can come up with more and more ways to process stresses, frustrations, and even rage without burning down our relationships. We can figure out ways that grief and loss can lead to a renewed desire to live, laugh, and love. We can allow time and space for our profound needs without forcing them to be suppressed through guilting and shaming.

Yes, all that is possible. A thriving ecosystem (however small) tends to its balance, needs, clearing and processing, and replenishment. Being an emotional world environmentalist at heart means we see our role in all that differently – as a co-creator and influencer.

How Much Sun and Water Do You Need?

Sun is essential for plants to thrive. Yet, too much sun can kill.

Water is essential to life. Yet, too much water can kill.

When it comes to the emotional world, there are vital energies. Some we individually may need a lot of. Some we may need only sparingly.

  • Love
  • Connection
  • Recognition and Appreciation
  • Touch
  • Support
  • Safety
  • …and many, many others.

Alas, we humans do not come with tags that say “keep in full sunlight” or “best in shady, damp soil.” Yet, our needs vary across a broad spectrum.

It’s a magical misconception to believe that all humans have identical emotional needs. Some flourish in solitude with rare touch. Others cannot thrive without daily co-creating in person, snuggles, and sex.

The concept that we exist in a human ecosystem acknowledges we vary from one another… even as we share the same sun and drink water from the same planet. Our diversity is indeed a strength, especially when seen through the eyes of an emotional ecologist who understands that synergies are everywhere – if we look for them.

Virtuous Cycles

In Nature we find a multitude of virtuous cycles. Flowers provide nectar and the birds and bees pollinate for them. This makes for more flowers, supporting more birds and bees. It’s a positive influence on the whole ecosystem, including making the world more beautiful.

Monkeys and bats eat fruit and then poop seeds far from the original tree – with fertilizer to support the seeds growth into a tree!

Fungi work in harmony with soil and trees to nourish and support one another.

It’s also true that humans are both part of a broader natural world and also co-create ecosystems themselves. Of course, some human ecosystems are exploitive, taking from weaker and building the stronger. We see that in nature, too. Survival of the Fittest.

When we view our we-spaces as ecosystems and make the flows and synergies conscious, it makes it easier to be generous. Even though our gift to the community may not come back to us directly (tit-for-tat), we see that one kindness means that person has more resource for others, and those people have more resource for us.

We can point this out to those we share space with. Children get to see how being patient or quick means that later on there is more time and energy for their needs.

Those working on a project need to hear how their efforts benefitted people later. It helps them replenish. Recognition matters to our thriving.

Look for the virtuous cycles that exist in your world already, particularly emotional ones. Make them conscious and give recognition to the space-tenders… and watch your world flourish.

Useful Questions

  • What synergies are here that I might be overlooking?
  • How can I leave this ecosystem better than I found it?
  • Who is joining me in tending to this emotional ecosystem we share? How might we make that cooperation more intentional?
  • Where there is toxicity, how might we help process that in ways that do not cause destruction or disease for ourselves and others?


Related Concepts

We-Space, Co-Creating

Contributors: @Rick

We invite you to share your experiences and wisdom:

  • Life examples where this concept has played a role
  • Other useful questions
  • Links to audios, videos, books, and courses that add to our shared understanding of this concept.
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Added Virtuous Cycles