Leaning into Pain, Aligning with the Earth's Wisdom
I've been mourning a lot over the past couple weeks for the changing climate, the extreme weather, record breaking heat here in Portland, the ocean on fire, and how this all impacts not only us, but the plants and animals who depend on the very specific niches they've come to inhabit.
I believe it is important to name, feel and grieve these changes, even if it's painful. When we numb ourselves, when we try to only focus on positivity, when we turn away from painful experiences, we sever an incredibly important part of ourselves. The part that inherently knows itself in relationship with all of life. The part of our soul that contains vast wisdom and medicine for the collective.
I don't believe it is healthy to wallow in emotion, or to stay in these places of depression, grief, or pain. I think it's important for us to titrate how we receive information so we're not overwhelmed and blasted. I also believe in the power of keeping our mind clear, healthy, and positive.
AND the more we try to ignore or suppress certain painful feelings, the more we cut deeper into the divide within our psyche, perpetuating polarity and duality. The more these emotions are ignored, demonized, or considered ones to avoid, the more they remain in the body, festering and growing beneath the surface of the conscious mind.
When we truly feel, we integrate into wholeness. We become stronger, and more able to live fully in our bodies and in our power. We can then stand with others in suffering without needing to immediately fix or solve the pain. We can then not be afraid of pain. We let the pain be a sincere and trustworthy teacher, we can let it be the healing force that it is.
We are a part of a larger wholeness at work on this Earth that is wise beyond anything we could fully understand. When we mess with one part, we mess with it all. Humans have been on an increasingly harmful and hazardous trajectory, both to ourselves and to the Earth at large.
But I don't live in a state of fear. I feel hope every day as I tune into the vast connectivity of all of life here on this Earth and the vast expanse of the energetic and spiritual realms.
Sometimes it takes drastic measures to encourage change. It catalyzes us to wake up out of our capitalistic, individualistic, and hierarchal way of viewing our existence. It prompts us to really consider how we've been living, and the programming we've been raised with. It helps us feel our humility amongst both our human and non-human kin.
I define humility here as being of the Earth (same root word as humus), and knowing deeply our place: not having aggrandized or false views about our dominance over or being better than other humans or other life.
When we let any painful reckoning inform us, work us, teach us, we become more integrated into the fabric of belonging. We become more human, more real, more raw, more trustworthy. We become more of ourselves. And we align more wholly with our purpose, our medicine, for the Earth and humanity.
It is with this mindset shift into humility that that we can truly make decisions that help us all heal (all including plants, animals, etc). Making decisions not just from our limited human views, but by also listening to the needs and asks of the wise land itself.
As Albert Einstein said, you can’t solve a problem with the same thinking you used when creating it.
This passion is what drives my work: shifting the paradigm of our thinking into one that’s more reverent, grateful, and reciprocal in regards to both our own bodies and how we relate to the Earth at large.
A simple way to begin to shift this paradigm of thinking is by sitting with the land you live on. Start to build a relationship here. Feel its history, its heartbreak or its elation. Acknowledge the plants, animals, Indigenous humans who may have called that same piece of land home long before you arrived.
Feel your place here now, and ask how you can bring yourself into right relationship with where you live. You may already be. And there may be something surprising that arises when you sit and listen.
Try to listen with your body and your heart. Your mind will jump in and try to intercede, but there's a deeper, more felt wisdom that is present if you attune yourself to it.
Leave an offering for the land. It may be something you heard or felt while listening. Give something back to this land that holds you. Practice being in reciprocity, in relationship, in reverence.
The more we all get out of our human-centric mentality, the more we can be open to learning from our non-human kin and from the Earth herself.