By Peggie Arvidson
How to Have a Reunion with Mother Earth this Spring
No matter your spiritual beliefs, it’s hard to argue with the miracle of new life that is reflected in the buds on the trees, the sound of the peepers and the baby birds making their way from their shells to the nest. It’s a great time to reconnect with the Earth.
As the sun begins to hang in the sky a little longer each day I’m willing to come out of the self-imposed hibernation that takes precedence in the winter. As humans in the modern world we’re blessed and cursed with modern inventions like lights that illuminate our homes and lives no matter the time of day or season, as well as electronic devices like phones, tablets, laptops, television and even “Alexa” that provide us information and entertainment at all hours and in all seasons. These are wonderful inventions but they also distract us from the natural ebb and flow of the life of the planet we call our home.
There are obvious smarter minds than mine working on issues of global warming and carbon footprints and I’m not here to preach to you about recycling or hugging trees (although both can feel really good). Nope, I’m hear to invite you to use Spring as the time to imagine how you want to relate to the Earth this year. Rather than worrying about the big things (like those Artic Circle icebergs that are melting), start where you are, right now and dig in.
This doesn’t have to be hard, in fact it’s the most natural thing in the world! Listening to the Earth and your innate rhythms is the key to your happiness and to the loving symbiotic relationship with your home, Mother Earth.
Recently I watched a brilliant scientist talking about taking care of Earth and all our worries about pollution, fires, earthquakes and tsunamis. She emphasized that while there is a great deal of hand-wringing and finger-pointing the bottom line is that Mother Earth will take care of herself, as she has for millennia. The challenge is that WE wish to inhabit this planet and we’re making it more and more inhospitable in both little and big ways. So instead of worrying about what THEY are doing, find ways to align yourself to the pulse of the planet.
What does this look like in practical terms? I thought you’d never ask! Here are some suggestions for aligning with and healing your relationships with Earth:
- • It’s not about anyone else but you, so don’t worry about what your neighbor or the business up the street is doing, focus on your interactions for this exercise. Getting boiled over something which you have no control isn’t going to help you or Earth.
- • Identify one practice you can undertake each month and then stick to it. Make it small enough that you don’t feel overwhelmed but significant enough that you feel a personal impact. You could commit to a 10-minute walk, sans phone or headphones, outside in the fresh air; or even a commitment to bring those canvas bags with you every time you grocery shop. You choose. After 30 days pick another practice and go from there.
- • Pay attention. Seriously, simply paying attention to the way your feet feel when they hit the ground as you walk is a deeply moving practice. We’re so distracted from what our bodies are doing most of the time, it’s no wonder that we’re distanced from the energy of the Earth. Leave earlier if you have to, just so you don’t have to rush to every single meeting and appointment. Give yourself time to breathe deeply as you move from the car to the restaurant. Notice what’s around you, is there a tiny flower growing out of the sidewalk? Take note and ask yourself what that noticing does for you, day in and day out.
- • Consume consciously. This is not about giving up what you enjoy or depriving yourself at all. Rather it’s a practice that myself and many of my clients have chosen to stay present in this highly consumable world. In short, before you purchase anything, take a deep breath and really look at it. Is it something that will bring joy, peace, even love to your life? Or is it something to simply fill an emptiness. Yes! You can do this with food too. As a nation we’re suffering dramatically with issues around weight and digestion and getting in touch with our feelings about our food before we consume it can help us begin to heal.
- • Listen to nature. This will require you to turn off the phone, take out the earbuds and stop the incessant mind-chatter. Yet the more time you spend listening to the birds the frogs and the wind, the easier it will get to check out of the chaos of your life and into the peace of nature, even if just for 5 minutes.
These are a few ideas for you to use as you begin to embrace Spring and move into your own personal reunion with Mother Earth.