Our relationship with the Earth radically changes the moment we realize that we’re not separate from nature. Rather, we are nature.
In the same way that plants and animals play a role in the ecology, so do human beings. Over the past century with the modernization of everyday life, nature has been ‘othered’ and made separate from our human experience. As a result, time spent in nature has become novelty for many–something that is done out of hobby or pastime. It’s challenging to protect or extend consideration for a natural world we feel so estranged from. And it’s no coincidence that people only get more sick the further away they stray from the Earth’s humble offerings.
Our health as human beings is directly linked to connecting with the planet we call home. By carving out time every day to sync up with the Earth, we drastically impact our potential for well-being.
Here are a few tips on how to start rebuilding your relationship with the land you stand on.
We know it sounds hippy dippy. But, there is something unquestionably powerful about placing one’s bare feet to the ground. Everything on the Earth (including you) is electromagnetically charged. Essentially this is how systems communicate with one another. Unfortunately the rubber soles commonly found on the bottoms of our shoes break that connection, and we never receive the medicinal waves sent from the earth into the body (or vice versa).
This practice is grounding in the most literal sense of the word. Scientific studies have provided ample evidence suggesting that just a few minutes of bare feet to the ground a day greatly impacts both physical and psychological circumstances. Find yourself a park, a backyard, a trail, or any patch of dirt and give this a try.
Catch some sun.
In the day and age of extraordinarily high SPF’s and general ‘sun fear’, we suggest mindfully receiving some vitamin sunlight. Lack of sun during colder months is infamous for affecting the moods and health of many. Yet it’s become common practice for people to live and work and exist while sheltered inside — to the point where the essential nutrients unique to sunlight can lack year round.
When available, a few minutes of early morning or late afternoon sunlight truly does wonders for our health and vitality. Responsible sunning sets the tone for a wide array of functions and hormones to be efficiently delivered throughout the body at different times in a most organic way.
Eat wholesome foods.
The earth has provided us with some spectacular choices in terms of foods that grow straight from the soil, and foods that graze from the land. Convenience and fast foods have made it desirably easy to forget where our food comes , let alone consider how it’s prepared. We can instead see food as an opportunity to connect to the natural world just a little more. With items elaborately packaged in stores, it’s hard to remember that the meat you invested in came from a living breathing animal, or that the vegetable you just sliced into was not long ago being pulled out of soil or picked off a tree somewhere near or far away.
Simple recognition helps cultivate reverence and appreciation for these earth based foods, providing a kind of gratitude rich nutrient that money cannot buy.
Breathe in your environment.
Breathing in a diversity of natural environments is a path towards building a robust immune system and a felt-sense of connection. Do this by getting familiar with your landscape and your own backyard. Get curious about the native plants in your region and get to know the aromas and characteristics. When possible drive to the outskirts of town to take a walk and reconnect with the land you call home. Pick up trash when you see it littering the landscape and watch your care grow.
Relationships are not limited to only people, when a relationship grows between a person and a place it opens potential for a kind of care-taking so needed in the preservation of the natural world — the natural world ultimately being an extension of ourselves.
As a part of nature, isn’t it time to connect to the Earth to connect to yourself?
We invite you to discover inspiring and effective ways to care for yourself and to serve others. Now more than ever, caring is what we all need most. Caring for our self. Caring for others around us. Life now demands caring, resilience and compassion like never before. So, become a Custodian of the Caring Movement and help create the world we need right now, the world we want for our future generations.
UCA resources available to help include the Turbulent Times Resources Center, Virtual Volunteering, radio show, publications and online store offering members huge discounts and always free shipping.