Good health is natural and it doesn’t cost the earth. That’s the title of a book I’m working on, bit by bit and step by step. There are multiple meanings in the phrase. It doesn’t have to be costly monetarily to be healthy. Superb health is available to everyone, should they choose for it. Many of us don’t, and that’s OK. But if good health is what you want, it is available through the choices you make—moment to moment and day to day. It is determined by how you breathe, how you eat, what you believe and by what your thoughts and expectations are.

And your good health, determined by your everyday choices, does not have to harm the earth. In fact, I believe the health of each of us is intimately intertwined with the health of the planet as a whole. The cancer many humans experience in their bodies is indicative of the cancer of greed and unsustainable consumption we currently see and experience on a global scale.

Cancer cells run rampant over the delicately balanced cellular systems in the body, just as the greed and lust for power of a few can create havoc for the vast majority of humanity and for the environment in which we live.

So I believe to obtain optimum health we need to find ways to nourish others and the natural world. We need to find a right relationship with life. And then, quite naturally, we will live in radiant health, exude joyful well-being and the earth will be the better for it. Our health and the health of this planet are not mutually exclusive.

The microcosmic frame of the body is a part of the macrocosmic scope of the planet. So I urge each of you to find your unique ways to rebuild an environment we have been taking from for so long. The earth is patient with us, but only so much. Give back to her and she will in turn support you on your journey.

Not long ago I had the privilege of joining a small group of people planting trees on Moturua Island, the second largest and most wooded island in the Bay of Islands. What a stunning, uplifting experience to come away from; feeling your actions made just a little difference. So satisfying! Rod Brown and a dedicated team of volunteers, called the Shade House Volunteers, are responsible for a nursery in Kerikeri that grows upwards of 25,000 native trees each year. They source the seed locally and nurture each seedling until it is transported to one of about 35 community groups restoring habitat in areas of their responsibility. Here’s an example of finding a way to give back to the planet, to be of service to others and in turn do something that nourishes the soul of the servant. As simple as that.


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Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

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“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

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“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101