Before I knew that Earth was my mother…
Before I knew that I belonged…
I lived on a tiny island.
I saw seals and turtles entangled in fishing nets…
caught and trapped in a situation they moved into innocently
I knew the binding in my own life
And I felt their struggle to breathe against the compression
I was able to cut some of them lose.
There were thousands of birds
With every voice you could imagine.
The albatross danced and mated and fed their young plastic
Because they didn’t understand the world man had made.
I felt the pain in their bellies
I too had been fed things that did not nourish me
…and I did not fully understand the world I lived in.
I watched the seals give birth
Nurse their babies laying belly to the sky on the beach
I felt the possibility course through my veins
And I wondered at it… because in my mind
Possibility was bound tight… but... I also found it wasn’t
I learned on that island that I am a wild being
Often caught up in things I do not understand.
I learned on that island, of compassion, of wildness constricted,
Of the truth that some things must die
And some must persist to bring new life into the world
I began to feel the mother earth, and the warm salty waters
I began to feel my own life force… and to feed it.
I learned to forage for nourishment rather than emptiness
And I learned that life and death are all part of the mother.
One of the first things we often learn when we are beginning to become aware of our own own life force energy, is "grounding". This is about bringing our energy fully into our bodies so that we can think more clearly, respond appropriately to a stimulus, and to be able to be present with ourselves. In short, it helps us think, to know ourselves, and to simply be.
There are many ways of grounding... the most common seem to be along the lines of imagining dropping some kind of energetic line from your body into the earth. Sometimes the visualization is being like a tree, growing your energetic roots down into the earth. Either way... it's you... sending your energy downward.
This is fine, but it's only half the equation. And for people who have a lot of earth energy, it can evoke their shadow side of being overly anchored, finding it difficult to create the desired change in their lives, and to thinking ahead, or reflecting back on their lives.
There is a principle in physics that I think applies here: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. That is, sending your energy into earth is only one half of being grounded. Bringing earth energy up into your body is the other half.
Here's an exercise for you to play with:
Take a nice deep belly breath in... release slowly. Become aware of your body. Notice that your body has an experience of weight. This is about the principle of gravity. You are exerting pressure on the surface of the earth.
Physics says that since the ground isn't crumbling away beneath your feet with each step, earth is also exerting a force upward on you.
Let your attention sink toward your spine. Can you move slightly back and forth until you find where you feel that energetic balance between you pushing down on earth and earth sending lifting energy back up through you?
Earth is actually offering you energy to align with. It is lifting you up. Earth is supporting your presence. Simply because you are embodied. That is enough to make you worthy of a relationship with earth.
You can further engage this energy by considering the traditional grounding vision of growing your roots into earth. This is yang (masculine) Earth energy. Now tap into the yin (feminine) Earth energy... which is the energy rising. You can invite it through the soles of your feet... up your inner legs... to the base of your spine... and all the way to the crown.
Cultivating this balanced relationship with earth is important because it means that the stability and support is always available to you from a safe source. I've found that healing my sense of trust, and for clients who find it difficult to trust, having a relationship with the earth and with spirit (which I'll talk about another time) are invaluable resources.
We did this exercise, and many more, on our Body Wisdom Healing Circle call the first weekend in January. If you'd like to join us, there is still time, we are just beginning our Hero(ine)'s Journey for 2016. It's free. If you can't make the live call, there are recordings.
My blogging has never been consistent... that's ok. But lately it's been bothering me and I've been thinking about what consistency brings us. What do we get for making ourselves show up even when resistance pops up?
Well, I guess first and foremost, I know what a lack of consistency does. When it's important stuff that we want to be consistent... it's about reliability and trustworthiness. I know that as a child, the sporadic nature of my connection with my parents was traumatic. It left a lasting sense that it was hard to trust people. Not that I expected them to be mean or neglectful... but that I just couldn't rely on them.
The place my lack of consistency shows up these days is in my own self-care. I tend to sign up for online courses that make my heart shine initially, but when the time for the course starts competing with time for other things... I often end up letting the course go. I don't finish them. Or... I commit to some daily practice of caring for my own soul, and within days I'm not doing it anymore.
And then later I regret it. Then I feel like I didn't follow through... and I feel like I can't always trust me to follow through for myself. I'm a die hard loyal for others... but not so much for me. Why should I get less of myself than others do?
Honestly, it's habit. And it's one that needs my attention to break it. It means that I do need to make myself do things even when I don't think I want to, just because I know they're good for me. This is backward to what I learned as a kid... that things should be easy... so always go the easy way.
This pattern... the one where I abandon myself and my intentions when my resistance comes up... that needs to change. The pattern I long for is that I can trust me to always be there... always showing up for what I need and want, even when the going gets tough.
I'm beginning again. Today. Literally.
I'm noticing the sacred in the every day... it's part of a 31 day course with Nissa Howard called #messageseverywhere. It's a bit like my sporadic nature practice (#naturemessages)... but... ya know... consistent and reliable.
What are you beginning again today? It's the full moon... what brings you such a sense of fulfillment that you're willing to do it for you... over and over again.
There's been a lot going on lately, though it's not really my story to tell. I'll just say that it's been ups and downs, and a lot of feeling like things aren't going quite right. And then, in one moment, I realized that sometimes the extra space that happens when things don't go as planned... is so perfect I couldn't have planned it... it was only my job to recognize it.
I went to see a friend that is having a hard time. I thought we were meeting at 7:30. Lots of twists and turns meant that we didn't connect until 10:30. At first I was sad, then angry... and I was sitting in my car trying to figure out what I was going to do while waiting... and the whole world changed.
Dramatic, I know. But really.
I was sitting there staring at a fence, when something dropped down in front of my eyes... from my hair. Normally I would have freaked out and swiped at it, but the instant I saw it I knew. It was a sign.
It was also a very tiny spider.
The biologist in me is particularly aware of messages from nature. It's how I recognize the divine moments in the ordinary... because nature shows up. Even if it is a spider.
So I let her crawl on my hands... and I thought of webs, and connection, and the people who were holding me and my friend in their hearts, and I felt myself relax. I felt how the connections, not the timing, were what mattered. I recognized my gift of persistence... that no matter what obstacles get thrown in front of me, if it's something that's important to me, then I will be there.
And I knew that I could show up at 10:30 strong and grounded, that I could be 100% present for whatever was needed. I did. And I know it meant a lot to my friend, and it meant a lot for me to be there for her... and I know it makes us stronger because of it.
Spider reminded me who I am, how I could show up powerfully for us both... how there is beauty in the discomfort. And I'm ever so grateful.
I'm an explorer of inner realms, a pattern observer, and an invitation maker. I believe that healing the world starts within.
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