Awakening to my Body as the Earth

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I spent most of my last days of this year sitting by a creek or at the feet of giants in silence…
letting the land strip away my human story and remembering my life as dragonfly kissing the water…
as echidna moving through the underbrush, nose in the fragrant loamy soil…
as cicada, old skin still attached to the bark of my transformational perch- chorusing the sunset…
as lyrebird warbling and dancing in the undergrowth…
as Mountain Ash, straight and silver barked with feet in the earth and crown in the heavens…

Reawakening to my larger Earth body and feeling pins and needles in the benumbed limbs of my larger existence…

There is quiet rejoicing, a homecoming that happens whenever I remember these parts that are so easily forgotten in the haze of human exceptionalism and the hypnotic tales of separation we have so artfully crafted into the fabric of our culture…

Stories that reaffirm this illusory boundary between our human bodies and our larger Earth body so subtly that we barely notice the shutter that falls over our awareness despite our best intentions to keep it open… enclosing us in a bubble of hopeless individualism and impossible separation.

I celebrate the remembrances of my wider Self, however brief- they are true nourishment- coming into contact with my body as moist earth, as decaying leaf, as the short burst of a butterfly’s life is a kind of soul food that will never be found in the dissected plastic-wrapped watermelon of Coles…
There is a feeling of fullness, aliveness, joy and connection that sugar, caffeine and Facebook comments/likes can never touch.

But hand and hand with this joyous reunion with my wild, pulsating, breathing biospheric body is irrepressible grief and despair that bubbles like a spring from the centre of my being…

As I regain feeling awareness of these sleeping limbs, I also awaken to the pain of what we have done/are doing… as the anaesthetic wears off, the consequences of our insanely cannibalistic- abstract, disembodied, individualistic actions and the havoc it’s wreaking on the biosphere flows through me unimpeded…

The climate derangement that once felt like a relatively far off possibility now feels like a reality for many, as fires rage across Australia and heat records are made and broken within days of each other.
Ancient forests that have stood since the times of Gondwanaland are now burning or threatened and whole species are being wiped off the map…

We are living in wild times- the polarised response seems only to be getting stronger and politicians are disappointing so spectacularly that it would be a true comedy if it wasn’t already a tragedy.

I believe that coming back into a felt relationship with our larger Earth body is essential if we want the deep Earth intelligence to help us create a regenerative life-sustaining culture that is in a coherent relationship with the rest of the web of life…
But connection is not a joke right now.
It fucking hurts.

It means we have to learn to be with the immense heartache of what is being lost on a daily basis. It means we have to be present at a time of devastating damage, loss and uncertainty.

It means we have to live every day with the awareness that the system we are participating in is chipping away at our own life support systems- because alternatives are being seeded but have yet to take root…

Being an embodied being is exquisitely vulnerable at the best of times. There is no controlling this wild, unpredictable life… But now more than ever, it means learning to sit with the near-endless stream of collective grief and abide in the heart of uncertainty.

It’s not a small ask.

But it’s also not meant to be done alone.
It is my experience that collective grief requires a collective container in order to be metabolized.
We need community ritual and the safety of the ‘extended nervous system’ it offers in order to feel what needs to be felt, to open the channels for the healing impulses of Earth to then flow through our collective and collaborative responses.

We cannot heal this crisis alone. This is not the job of the lone hero.

The time of separation and hyper-individualism is reaching its end… We need each other to get through what’s coming and we need each other in order to fully awaken to the fullness of our selves.
We belong to each other, human and other-than-human… and it’s only through holding each other in this remembrance, and creating a corresponding culture of connection- that we can hope to stave off the inevitable fog of forgetting and the damage that is done in the name of that forgetting.

In this spirit, it is my prayer for the year ahead that enough of us find the courage to turn towards our world with tender hearts open and aching…

That we come into the felt experience of ourselves as cells in the body of Earth… That we can make space for the Earths own response to this crisis to flow through us…
That we come together with the many others who are ready to create a culture rooted in the recognition of our utterly, inextricably vulnerable interconnection with the rest of life…
That our separate visions and versions of a healthy, vibrant and thriving world can find ways to meet and feed one another…
That we learn to offer up our gifts to the larger patterns unfolding without attachment or expectation… That we all find our way back to belonging to the earth again… And that we can lean into the roiling uncertainty of this precious and precarious moment in time and show up fully for our world as it is despite the outcome.