Slow down…take your time… savour the experience you’re having right now. Savour the moments as they pass and the words as they land softly within you. Breathe…drink it in, soak your soul with the nourishment of a full, wide, life-giving breath. Accept the invitation of the space that holds you, to surrender your weight, soften your gaze, release the shoulders, and be cleansed by life as it lives and breathes you. Stillness, as we drop into it, as we allow ourselves to surrender to it, becomes rich and dynamic. Stillness can be deeply nourishing.
As earth rises up to hold us, she meets our weight with gladness and her strength shapes the sinews of our bodies. More subtly, earth invites us to put down our mental and emotional baggage, to relieve ourselves through surrender. Her ancient power holds us so softly and so gracefully that we become like water upon her, pouring our weight and our tears as an offering to her.
Her power to raise mountains, to spew new life from the core of her being…to give yield to corn and squash, to giant redwoods and mighty oaks, to give yield to lush green forests, to grasslands and mighty monoliths. Earth’s power demands our deep and total respect. But without making a connection with earth, how do we remember her? When did we stop giving thanks for the food that we eat? For the fabric of our homes? For the beauty of flowers? When did adventure become a distant, faraway place and falling in love become a fairy tale? When did we become so detached from the earth below our feet that we forgot it’s all right here, within us and around us in any given moment that we choose to drop in.
We miss so much in our frenetic, fast-paced, tyres-on-tarmac world. From there, we only glance a two-dimensional view of the passing postcard of life on our way from A to B. Snapshots of beauty, a week in a wild place, immersion in the natural world is the exception for most of us, not the norm. We believe in getting there, getting it done, starting and finishing… and we become so conditioned to ‘doing’, that we develop amnesia for and even fear of ‘being’. But ‘being’ is where life is most nourishing; in being, we immerse ourselves in the complexities of our own humanity and face with awe, wonder and delight, that which is most rich and creative within us and around us. In being, we find commune and the reciprocal relationship of giving and receiving that keeps us connected, attuned to, and nourished by the rhythm and pulse of the Earth.
Walk, don’t run Slowing down requires a new type of attunement, one where we’re prepared to walk not run. One where we begin to feel with our hearts and souls, one where wisdom envelops knowledge, immersion in nature and pausing to process becomes essential to our daily lives. Where we allow a slower pace to strip us of our harsh edges, our grasping natures, and the accumulation of distractions around us. Those distractions only serve the amnesia and fear of being… slowing down is a courageous choice to make.
“Slowing down requires a new type of attunement, one where we’re prepared to walk not run. One where we begin to feel with our hearts and souls, where we allow a slower pace to strip us of the distractions around us. Those distractions only serve the amnesia and fear of being... slowing down is a courageous choice to make.”
With feet upon the Earth and skin exposed to the elements we can begin our pilgrimage home. Because Earth is home, and she calls us close to her, just like a caring mother who sees her lost children searching for her. She calls in our mother tongue, but we’re so lost we no longer understand…until one day our curiosity turns inwards, and we begin the journey towards her. Our broken souls are restored as we rest against her grassy banks, our backs nestled against the trunk of a tree and the language of connection reinstates itself. No longer elusive, we realise it was there all along; it was our outward journey that led us away, that broke our spirit and awoke our fear, that tempted us with far-flung places and shiny new toys. We followed our temptation to breaking point before we returned home. Each of us is heading home; every one of us Earth’s child, we all speak the same language and are nourished by the same earth, we’re all just at different stages of remembering.
A daily meditation
Take a moment to connect with Earth, to remember her slow pace and rich nourishment, to remember with thanks that we are her children. As seeds climb out of the black soil, reaching for the stars, we too look up, look ahead, and reach for heaven, but our journey must be rooted to be reciprocal and sustainable. Allow these words to stir your soul, allow these words to be pathways to a sense of deep, rooted connection.
May stillness be my guide towards deep and nourishing connections.
May the kiss of bare feet against sand and soil be my daily communion with Earth.
May I give thanks for Earth’s bounty that nourishes and grows the very skin and bones of my body. May I choose food that is grown with care for the mother and with love for its lifegiving nourishment.
May I move in communion with the earth, allowing her to speak to my soul so that I may never become lost again.
May I remember that a gentle brush of a hand across the bark of a tree, a deep breath with my face turned towards the sun, the joy of immersing myself in bodies of natural water… bare feet on the beach… muddy potatoes, home grown carrots, are all Earth’s love notes to me.
May I remember and give deep thanks so that I may be nourished again and again.
Join Lauren Bloxham on retreat, ‘The Wild Medicine, Awakening & Embodying The Wisdom Within’ at Bala Brook, Dartmoor on 16-19 May, 2024.