Love from the Earth
I had just finished a large year-long project for my workplace and was struggling with my energy after having many long nights and days of stress and ‘full speed ahead’ momentum.
In walking towards my car to return home, the message clearly came that I needed ‘to plug in.’ immediately. No, not to electronics, but to the earth physically. To really feel her energy, her love, her soil, fresh air, sunshine and more.
It was a gorgeous warm winter day, a respite from the deep cold that Mother Earth usually shows us this time of year, and perfect for this experience.
Where was I to go? I knew just the place, a small White Pine (Pinus strobus; tree of peace) grove on the property of my research center. I often visit this area when it’s warm, and today was the perfect day to just be me, with the earth and these trees. Almost immediately in seeing the forest, I teared up and started viscerally releasing the stress and the overwhelm. All that my body was holding from a very long time was ready for me to let go. This was something my soul, heart, mind, and body needed in order to recalibrate and continue.
As I collapsed onto the soft bed of rust-colored pine needles, the fragrant smell of the trees filled my lungs with a nourishing force. The sunshine covered my body in warmth and it just felt so good. As I lay there, my fingers immediately navigated their way through the pine needles, then into the top layer of cool soil until they hit the frozen layer. All five of my fingers were feeling this coolness and earth force through my body…I was plugged in. I rested here, let my body melt into the earth as long as I needed. I looked up into the canopy, again resting here and letting the earth, the Source, fill my body. With the sun’s warmth coming from above, I felt rejuvenated and back to my center, and this didn’t take long, maybe 20 minutes. The key to this was that I welcomed and allowed the healing, the support, and love of the earth to come deeper into every part of my being.
This was not the first time I had connected to the earth for help. Often, if ever I felt anxiety, I take to the woods or visualize growing a root from my lower abdomen, down through the many layers of the earth into her core. I’ll feel calming energy, a warmness, seep into my extremities and displace the anxiety so I can regain my foundation. This is critical for all of us to do and oftentimes, we just need this restorative time to flourish again.
Benefits of a Connection
Research by institutions around the world has shown the multiple benefits to your body and mind of being connected with the Earth. For example, time in the forest has shown to significantly improve mood, mental performance, and creativity, boost the immune system and energy levels, improve blood pressure and reduce stress. The benefits are really endless, all around you, and as in my case with the pine grove, right at our fingertips.
As you are a living part of the earth (Mother Earth= ME!), brought to life from her life, inherently we are meant to have a connection and in a way, need this in order to thrive here. But, as I mentioned below, you need to make time for this and allow for it to happen. And, as I’ll explain further, the earth needs you too.
Before I share a practice to facilitate an earth connection, let me ask you a question…how do you connect with the Earth in your every day? Even though you interact with the earth everywhere as she’s in everything from cell phones, computers, cars, clothing, food, air, water, pens, books, and you, I mean a heart to heart connection. This can look like taking a walk in your favorite forest, visiting a river and seeing it flow, watching or listening to birds and other wildlife, or resting with your feet bare on the ground. This heartfelt connection can also appear through lessening your footprint on the earth’s resources such as using less water, plastic or paper, or telling the earth you sincerely love and appreciate her. As I have taught classes over the years on connecting with the earth, many people do not know where or how to begin. So let’s go through some examples of how this can start for you or your clients, and I promise, as you become more aware and appreciative of the earth, you will start to feel stronger, more expansive, and lighter and brighter. And in this shift, you will see a reflection of this in Mother Earth as we are one.
So let us do a meditation from Master Sha’s book Power Healing (p.129; Ginseng Tree Growing on the Chong Meridian) where we grow a root like a tree, receiving the earth’s nourishment. Ginseng nourishes chi and blood, and in this practice, you will feel the strength, vitality, and healing properties of the tree running through your veins and organs. You may want to voice record the mind power so you can listen and do the practice easier, and here is a recording of me doing this if you want to listen!
BODY POWER: Standing comfortably outdoors (or indoors) shoulder width apart, relax your body, ground your feet to the earth (perhaps barefoot), and let your arms hand by your side, palms open to the sun.
MIND POWER: Visualize a Ginseng tree seedling in your lower abdomen. Its tender shoots reach up. A trunk grows in your spine. Young roots spread down to your feed. Your arms are branches, your legs are main roots, standing sturdy, strong, rooted on the fertile Earth.
The trees branches grow and fill your head, reaching to the sun with warm, golden, healing light.
You bask in the radiance as the sun nourishes your leaves. The leaves rustle music above your head, winking gold in the sun. Your many fruits feel light and rich in the breeze.
Take energy from the Earth!Take energy from the Sun!Make life force energy!
Send glowing energy to all parts of your Ginseng tree and feel the strength, the vitality, the life in your veins. Feel energy glowing, flowing all through your body as it nourishes all parts from smallest root to topmost branch.
All your organs are healthy, strong, and vibrant!
Your roots are bright, shiny, and clean. Your trunk is a glowing silk stalk. Your branches are golden vibrant limbs. Your leaves shine gold and are blinding in the Sun. Your fruits are heavenly golden orbs of energy.
Everything radiates light and energy. You shake with this energy! Vibration!
You feel STRONG as the Sun smiles on you. Bend and sway in the Wind. Rejoice in your strength.
Relax. Feel appreciation.
Awareness, Appreciation, and Action “I’m not asking you to think like I do, I’m just asking you to think” was a phrase my high school history teacher would say right after we learned about a significant event from the past and the awareness and lessons from that event. As you read the following words, I will also ask you to do the same!
Once you have knowledge or awareness about something, it’s hard to turn back. A simple way to begin to connect and care for the earth is simply becoming aware of where she is present in your life and then make choices that reflect love, kindness, and compassion towards her. For instance, notice the water you use and consume throughout your day. The water to brush your teeth, wash your dishes, the water used to make your clothing, or to grow the trees used to make the paper you use. Feel the water in your own body. Our planet is largely covered with water and for us, is a source of our existence. So taking the time to see where this beautiful natural resource exists in your life is an incredible first step to developing a connection with the earth.
A natural progression with this created awareness is then to feel and express appreciation, again, sincerely. You may not feel anything at first, but gradually over time, something will again shift in your heart. I remember, about five years ago I was watching the water go down a drain and suddenly felt deep gratitude in my heart and teared up in thinking about where this water may have come from to get here, how old it might be, how fortunate I was to have clean healthy water in my existence. The appreciation poured out of my heart and I now see water in a different light wherever I am and in the choices I make. Try this experience with your children, clients or yourself when teaching about gratitude. The earth does not judge us, so express what is in your heart and soul, she will love you and give her appreciation in return.
One of the highest levels of care for the earth is to take actions that uplift her, that create a happier and healthier planet. Below are some small suggestions to lighten your ‘earth print’ and that could benefit your community, clients, and families:
1. REDUCE & REUSE: The resources of the earth are not infinite and are being used at an unsustainable rate. I remember when the phrase ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ came about, with an emphasis on recycling. But recycling is not the answer and we are now in a state where recycling is not sustainable. Reducing can be as simple as not purchasing multiples of the same item, carpooling to an event or buying foods without packaging. Reusing is also a powerful action to take, rather than purchasing new or disposable items, and can often be less expensive. Reusable cutlery, coffee/tea mugs, straws, bags, etc. I’ve got a travel kit of reusable items to take so that I don’t create more waste.
2. CHOICES MATTER: Each choice you make carries a vibration for the planet and sends out a message, a statement. As I became more aware of the water pollution associated with the clothing industry, I started shifting in a big way (e.g. buying organic or materials with non-toxic dyes). Research your options. Did, for example, your food travel 1000s of miles to get to your plate? Or was grown in a desert where there really isn’t much water, to begin with? How were the land, animals, and water treated in making the product? Was it with respect and compassion? Sometimes it’s hard to find these answers and if I cannot find the information on the product, I will look to another source for my needs. It’s worth taking the time to make a healthier decision, which again, is a healthy choice for us all.
3. GO GREEN: Participate in the Love, Peace, Harmony Foundation’s initiative to plant 1 million trees and other plants across the planet to improve the well-being of all life. It’s an easy initiative to start with and any amount planted will raise the vibration, plus there are benefits of getting your hands into the soil and receiving the ions and nourishment within the pure earth.
4. LOVE LETTER TO THE EARTH: I love Thich Nhat Hahn’s book called ‘love letter to the Earth’ in which he reflects on the earth’s wisdom and love. After reading this book, I was inspired to write my own letters to her, and have several times. I found these very healing in my relationship with her and myself. Sit under a favorite tree and pour out your heart to her.
5. SPEAK AND THINK WITH LOVE: We know that our thoughts and feelings carry a vibration, so why not make it one of upliftment for the planet? In my work, I have heard many people call rivers negative names as they are full of chemical and waste pollution. This act of dislike is affecting the frequency and vibration of that water and all life within it. See the water as healthy and beautiful, full of light, and express your appreciation and see what happens. Upgrade your choices so that perhaps you aren’t contributing to the pollution. Same goes for the refuse we create. We throw it away but really there is no ‘throw away,’- it has to go somewhere on the planet. So send it too light and your love, and again, reduce what you consume that isn’t sustainable.
In loving the planet for all she is, a quote comes to mind from Aldo Leopold (1966; Conservation ecologist, writer) Conservation is a state of harmony between people and the land. By land is meant all of the things on, over, or in the earth. Harmony with land is like harmony with a friend; you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left. This is to say, you cannot love game and hate predators; you cannot conserve the waters and waste the ranges; you cannot build the forest and mine the farm. The land is one organism.
So in essence, we are one with her. We cannot only accept or love certain parts of her that we find favorable; we need to love her in her entirety, just as we do each other.
As you progress with your earth awareness and appreciation or take some action to uplift her frequency, your heart will start to expand, and you will notice a positive shift in your interactions with the planet and a connectedness you’ve never felt before. It really is like establishing a friendship. Friends nurture and care for each other, confide in one another, grow together, experience joy and love and each other’s high and low points. So plug-in to the earth and you (and she) will live a richer and healthier life.
With one earth heart,