Earth day is about more than simply picking up trash or getting outside for a day. To really begin living in honor of our earthly body, we must begin by honoring our own bodies.
A single day set aside to honor this incredible organism that sustains our lives and the lives of approximately 8.7 billion species in total, according to a 2011 count by scientists, facilitates with simplicity and ease a massive scale of complex, interweaved systems and protects us from floating aimlessly out into space, being burned alive or sucked into a black hole seems… well, insufficient to say the least.
Inspired by Earth Day, the Taurus season energy we’re in through May 19, and the principles and practices of Hakomi, the methodology that informs and inspires my coaching and consultation practice, I invite you to take a another look at how you can show up for the earth as a daily practice, or sadhana, each and every day by first showing up for yourself.
Your next steps for honoring the earth by honoring you:
- First, reflect on this profound quote
- Next, notice the daily signs of how you’re disconnected from your body and, as a result, the larger earthly body
- Then practice 4 fulfilling ways to honor your body and the earth
- And finally, reconnect with yourself and the earth
First, reflect on this quote about nature
“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”Albert Einstein
Notice the daily signs of how you’re disconnected from your body and, as a result, the larger earthly body
- Not listening to yourself, your needs, or observing through your felt sense and thoughts what you need to feel seen, heard, understood or loved
- Not trusting yourself to make the right decision for you, not trusting others or the process happening in the present moment
- Taking without giving back to yourself, in your relationships or in your community
- Feeling disconnected from yourself, from those you love or want to love and be loved by, or from your work in the world and your community
“Feel more deeply into your own nature through your needs, and then you will understand everything better.”Conscious Content
Practice: how to honor the earthly body by honoring your own body first
That I’m suggesting to honor the earth by first honoring yourself may sound selfish to some of you. And I invite you to question that assumption.
You see, when you approach your life here on earth from an interconnected, interdependent perspective, and instead of looking for all the ways we’re separate or all the reasons we feel disconnected, you open to what is being offered by your life in each moment. You come to find your human body is simply a reflection of the larger earthly body.
How we choose to meet ourselves in each moment defines how available we are to meet others’ and the earth’s larger needs.
So, let’s look at four incredibly simple and deeply fulfilling ways you can start practicing deepening your connection with the earthly body by deepening your connection with your own body:
1. Start listening to yourself.
Do you listen to yourself?
And I don’t mean with just your ears. I mean, do you turn your own attention toward yourself and notice your thoughts, your sensations, your feelings and actions in a day? In each moment?
Do you observe yourself sometimes as if you’re watching yourself from outside of your body?
And most importantly, what do you do about what you notice? Sense? Feel? Think? Do you respond?
Or do you ignore? Disregard? Make excuses for what’s happening? Focus your attention on something or someone else?
Listening to yourself first is a profound act of building intimacy.
To listen to yourself first, and put yourself first, translates into your ability to listen to others and the larger earthly body, eventually prioritizing the whole in a way that can bring great healing no matter the size of what wants to be included and healed.
When we are listening with our whole selves to the earth, we’ll hear the wisdom it has for us. We’ll observe the ways it gracefully moves and adjusts to life’s challenges, and we’ll be able to learn how to shift and move alongside it rather than forcing our way, our concept or our will onto it.
Listening in more deeply to the very love language of the earth so we can learn to love and care for her as she does for us.
2. Try trusting your own “organicity.”
Organicity is one of my favorite principles in the Hakomi mindfulness somatic psychotherapy that informs my coaching. What it means, by definition given from The Hakomi Institute, is:
Organicity assumes that when all the parts are communicating within the whole, the system is self-directing and self-correcting, and has an inner wisdom of its own. In Hakomi, we support our clients’ organic unfolding toward wholeness, and trust that this is the direction that their system will naturally seek. Rather than imposing their own agenda, the therapist works cooperatively with the client’s system.The Hakomi Institute
Do you trust yourself? Do you trust that what is happening in your life right this very moment is for your own benefit? That you have an innate wisdom that guides you to people, situations and experiences that are there for your learning?
Do you trust others’ wisdom about themselves? Their lives? Their own experiences? (Or are you secretly trying to manage them, correct them or teach them your way or what you believe is a “better” way?)
Do you trust the process? Do you trust where you’re at in your life? Your work? That there’s a larger process at play that you may not quite see all the parts of or how they fit together… but that one is there? And, your job is to allow it to happen?
“Nature is endlessly reinventing itself in a constant flux of movement and diversity. Yet the advancement of modern civilization has engendered extreme inequality, social division, and an imbalance between society and nature. Our technological proficiency has given our species the illusion of omnipotence; in our efforts to build robots more like us, we have not noticed how robotic we ourselves have become. To deal with this profound crisis, we must understand this problem at its roots. Could the origins of social domination and ecological exploitation be related? Is it possible for us to transform these dynamics and design society in a way that is cognizant of, and harmonious with, the Earth?”University of Chicago Press Book Review of “Organicity, Entropy or Evolution” by David Dobereiner
3. Cultivate positively-led reciprocity.
Daily you’re being supported by the earthly body.
So, what are you giving back?
From the ground you walk upon each day (without floating away, mind you!) to the food you eat at every meal — the earthly body has your back. Do you have hers?
And this is in no way meant to guilt you or shame you. Reciprocity and generosity led by obligation don’t come from a place of real love. So, what does?
“As we begin to trust ourselves to make these fine distinctions (between positively-led reciprocity and negatively-induced reciprocity) we become more able to give freely and more open to receive. We learn to refine our sensors around trusting positive reciprocation. In the process, we notice those acts of kindness and true generosity of spirit that set in motion cooperation of the highest order. In so doing, the tendency to control is greatly diminished and is replaced by a growing sense of trust.”“Honoring the Rule of Reciprocation” by Linda and Charlie Bloom
💡 Tip Learn more about cultivating positively-led reciprocity and the questions you can ask yourself to know when you’re giving back from a place of love rather than guilt, obligation or fear of shame.
4. Connect with the earth by connecting with yourself.
Did you ever realize these two acts are one and the same?
I spoke with mindfulness therapist and regenerative permaculture designer, Kevin Brown, about how he looks at being in connection.
“When we’re in connection with, we’re in connection with the available resources, wisdom, vitality and resilience and a greater capacity to contain stress or adversity. There’s a lot more diversity, there’s a lot more stability in the system.
Whereas when we’re disconnected we’re more susceptible to trauma, our immune systems are weaker, we’re more apt to violence or harm in some way or not in touch with our impact.”
So, what does being in connection look like?
“It’s being present with what’s here — our feeling state, our emotional state, the energy, the life force, the organicity. It’s a recognition of what wants to happen and the potential and the resources that are already present. So there’s gratitude in that,” shares Brown.
“That’s the beauty of when we connect with the earth, we connect with our body. When we connect with our body we’re connected with the earth.”Kevin Brown, Permaculture Designer and Therapist at Therapy in Mindfulness
A few simple ways to be in connection with yourself and the earth right now:
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