For the first time in six months, we here in the mountains are basking in temperatures above 60 degrees. The sun invited a collective breath of joy and gratitude. I put away my down jacket and dusted off my t-shirt and shorts. I walked barefoot in the grass and lay down in a field, looking up at the blue sky.
Despite all the uncertainty and fear from our COVID-19 spring, I allowed myself to melt into nature – into the sounds, the smells and the feel of the soft breeze and the pulse of the earth. These moments were a magical elixir, shifting the patterns in my brain and body to a place of peace and refueling me with new energy to go back into my day.
I encourage you to try this practice known as “earthing” as our unexpected spring opens up to May flowers. Touch the earth with your bare skin and pause for a minute. Close your eyes. Allow spring’s magic to fill your senses. Let the earth hold you and all you carry for a moment or two. Put down your cloaks and your internal armor. Feel the pulses of this deeper knowing. Breathe. Allow the creativity and expansiveness to grow. There is no downside and lots of upside. Feel the ever expanding light each morning.
Researchers say naturally occurring electrons in the earth ground our bodies by neutralizing damaging free radicals, which can cause inflammation and lead to disease. There is evidence that earthing improves our moods, blood flow and heart rate, helps reduce stress and regulate our sleep. And there’s even an Earthing Institute. Who knew?
Our self-care, physically, mentally and emotionally, grows ever more important. And data continues to reinforce this innate power of nature to help us heal (check out Shiftjh.org for even more research based data).
Slowly, our doors will begin to reopen following this pandemic. As we mourn those who passed and hold those who are so very tired and scared, let us also remember our wisdom from this time. What have we learned? How can we grow stronger, brighter, more vibrant, more loving?
Yesterday, my dear friend who was my boss at Harvard Kennedy School sent me the poem below by Kathleen O’Meara. It was written in 1869 in Ireland following a devastating plague. May this time we learn a wee bit more and remember a wee bit longer.
And people stayed home
and read books and listened
and rested and exercised
and made art and played
and learned new ways of being
and were still
and listened more deeply
someone met their own shadow
and people started thinking differently—-
And people healed…
And in the absence of people who lived in ignorant ways
dangerous, mindless, and heartless….
The earth began to heal—
And when the danger ended
and people found themselves…
They grieved for the dead
and they made new choices
and dreamed of new visions
and created new ways to live
and heal the earth fully
just as they had been healed.
Written by an Irish Poet, Kathleen O’Meara, in 1869 after a plague devastated Ireland.