5 Ways to Connect to the Earth for a Life of True Alignment
Our Disconnect from the Earth
We hardly take the time to connect to the earth anymore. We are so distracted by our phones and TV shows, and the news, and Twitter and Facebook and Youtube. Life is so busy and there is never enough time in the day! I fall into this trap as well!
But the earth is not just an inanimate object upon which we happen to live.
The earth is alive! And breathing.
The earth makes our food for us, provides us with everything we need to survive. And we are so disconnected from that process!
We buy our food from the grocery store, never having seen it growing in the fields or orchards. It’s often wrapped in plastic, or processed in a way that makes it easy to forget that all the ingredients used to make these items were once alive and growing.
A gift from the earth.
We work indoors in an office, a hospital, a school, a mall where we often can’t see the trees or the sky or feel the sunshine caressing our faces. We drive home in our cars and go into our houses without having the time to connect to the earth.
Modern society is so busy doing, doing doing. We have forgotten how to simply be. We are so wrapped up in human doings that we have forgotten how to listen to the quiet whispers.
I forgot too!
Until the earth led me home.
Anxiety and Depression
I lived in New York for four years and during that time I experienced the worst anxiety and depression of my life.
While the city was bustling with life and culture it was also populated with poverty, consumerism and greed. I could feel the great swirl of accumulated stress rolling off the city like a wave. It was living there that I started to understand the extent of the darkness present in the world.
I felt deeply disconnected from some vital part of my humanity. I would look up at the night sky, so bright from light pollution, and I couldn’t see the stars. The skyscrapers felt like the bars of a cage, the concrete dead and unyielding under my feet.
And I felt dead inside.
(Related article: My Life as an Empath – Sensitivity is a Superpower ).
One fall day, my husband (then boyfriend) and I drove an hour outside the city to a beautiful nature preserve called Palisade Park.
The trees were golden in the misty light and the leaves wafted like yellow petals through the still air. The limestone cliffs jutted out over the Hudson and we could just see the spires of the city in the distance. But there the breeze ruffled the water far below and birds dove and dipped in the currents of air, free in the wind.
And I was free with them. I felt my heart leap up and I felt myself drift far away from the city, the busy doings of everyday life. In that moment, I was one with the air and the sky and the water and the trees. I felt an energy connecting the fabric of all things.
It was that moment that I realized how disconnected from the earth I had become.
Everyday since then I have asked myself how I can reconnect. For a long time I didn’t know and that not knowing was the hardest of all. I felt lost.
But as I consciously spent more time in nature, I started to be able to listen to her whispers.
Every time I follow those whispers, my anxiety eases a little more, my depression dispels, leaving me full of vibrant life force energy, in alignment with myself, in alignment with the earth.
This is possible for you, too!
5 Ways to Connect to the Cycles of the Earth
Step 1) Get out into nature
(Of course this is the first step!)
We are busy. We are stressed. We have jobs and kids and a mortgage! I get it!
It doesn’t have to take up your whole life, but bathing yourself, even for a little while, in the quiet and the stillness of nature, away from the hubbub of urban life, will already do so much to mitigate that stress.
Go for a hike in the woods, or on the beach, or even in a park near your house, and just feel the earth underneath your feet. The grass, the soil, the rocks, the sand…
Feel the subtle breeze upon your cheeks and the sunlight warming your shoulders. Can you smell the musky moistness of growing things? Can you hear birds calling to one another, the chitter of a squirrel? Do you see the dappled pattern on the ground of light shining through rustling leaves?
Now just breathe. And realize that you are home.
Step 2) Celebrate the seasons
Seasonal celebration is my favorite way to feel connected to the earth!
The Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Fall Equinox and Winter Solstice are now my High Holy Days. I prepare seasonal foods, light a bonfire – weather permitting – and gather with friends and family to celebrate the gift of being alive and the magnificence of our incredible home!
The seasons also represent the cycle of Life, Death and Rebirth. Every year, the world slowly dies in the fall as winter takes over, only to be reborn in the spring and burst into vibrant aliveness in the summer.
Our internal lives mirror these cycles. Getting in touch with the magic of nature’s never ending renewal helped me to understand this inside of myself. When I was in the midst of my deepest depression and anxiety, I was in the winter of my life.
But just as spring is being born deep inside the earth, even in the darkest cold of winter, so too was the spring of my life coming into shape in the midst of my darkness.
I learned to trust this process by trusting nature.
Step 3) Pay attention to the cycles of the moon
My husband recently watched a documentary about how the moon is actually vital to life on earth. Without the moon, the ocean tides would vary widely, the earth’s axis would shift over time, causing extreme weather changes. Scientists posit whether life could have evolved on earth without the moon at all!
As a woman, I feel a deep connection to the moon. The energy of the moon is feminine and the cycles of the moon not only affect my mood, but also my body.
For the longest time I didn’t even think about it. Like the rest of nature, I took the moon for granted.
But last year, I decided to start celebrating the New Moon and the Full Moon. So I started setting an intention on the New Moon, actively manifesting it during the two weeks until the Full Moon, and then actively releasing the energy of that intention to the universe.
And something amazing happened! My monthly cycle literally synced up with the full moon! I kid you not! As soon as I started paying attention to the cycles of the moon, my whole body listened. The moon literally dictates my internal hormonal cycles! Every month when I start bleeding on the full moon it’s like a little miracle to me!
And it has happened every month for many months now.
It makes me feel a personal connection to the moon! Every time I see it in the sky, it’s a reminder of my personal power and that I am allowed to flow with the rhythms of my own body, and that those internal rhythms are connected to the whole universe! It makes me feel loved deeply from within and feel my connection to the source of unconditional love present in all things.
It is a reminder that I am not separate but part of the fabric of the universe.
And so are you. And so are we all. Interwoven. Interconnected. One.
Step 4) Spend time consciously being present in your body
Our modern business drives us straight out of our bodies! I have experienced it. It was like I forgot I even had a body for a long time.
Actively seeking to be present in my body was the first step on my healing journey, and while it brought up a lot of difficult emotions for me, sitting with those emotions without judgement or fear and trusting that they would pass, helped me to connect even more deeply to my body.
Paying attention to my breath is one way that I actively become grounded in my body.
I also practice yoga, which goes hand in hand with breathing and also marries intentional movement with breath, an incredibly powerful way to build body awareness.
Intuitive dance forms such as 5Rhythms and ecstatic dance are also ways of being deeply present in your body.
What I’ve learned is that all of these ways of connecting to the body are really just different forms of meditation. And as we are able to slow our minds through meditation we are better able to hear the whispers of the earth.
At least that’s what happened for me.
(Related article: Meditations on Self Love – Exploring the Shadow)
Step 5) Practice Circular Living
I got the phrase ‘Circular Living’ from the blog Kind Planet and immediately fell in love with it. I have never liked the term ‘Zero Waste’, but love the ideology of the movement. For me, Circular Living marries the term with the actions behind it. It is also clearer in my mind, circular representing nature’s cycles of renewal.
Circular Living is all about ensuring that every action you take supports nature’s ability to renew itself. It honors the delicate balance of nature that modern industrialism ignores. It calls for conscious consumerism, mindfulness, simplicity and minimalism, all ideas that resonate with me!
But it’s not so easy to live this way. It calls us to eliminate our plastic consumption, it calls for us to stop sending waste to landfills by composting and recycling everything we can, it calls for us to eat organically grown foods, it calls for us to curtail our personal use of fossil fuels, and to examine every facet of our lives and habits to make sure they are supporting a sustainable, renewable lifestyle.
When I listen to the whispers of the earth, this is how I feel I should live: in alignment with the cycles of nature and in alignment with myself. They are one and the same.
I have already written a few articles about simple ways to make this transition feasible. If any of these principles resonates with you, I suggest you check them out!
Reconnecting to the earth was the first step in reconnecting with myself. I awakened to the fact that the earth is alive and breathing and that every action I take is intimately interconnected to everything else.
This helped me to learn how to live in a way that doesn’t negatively impact nature’s ability to renew itself, and what I ultimately found was that the cycles of nature are not separate from the cycles of my own, internal life. This has brought me into deep alignment with myself and the earth simultaneously.
We all have the ability to connect with the earth and forge a life of alignment for ourselves.
What does that look like for you? Do any of these steps resonate with you? Tell me in the comments below!