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How Awakening Our Earth Sense Can Transform Our World

How Awakening Our Earth Sense Can Transform Our World
As we celebrate Earth Day this month, let’s deepen our understanding of what the earth means to us. We live in a time where we are called to become explorers of uncharted territories—asking deep questions about our lives and about what it means to be human in our rapidly-changing and suffering world.

If you were to make a list of all the things you “should” do to help the earth—from reducing your consumption to recycling to never wasting water, all the way to devoting your career and all your free time to fighting for the earth and everyone on it—it would get pretty overwhelming and unrealistic. And for some of us, it might also induce a feeling of guilt that we can never do enough to make a difference.

The true pathway to a better life for ourselves and for all beings on earth can’t be built on codes of conduct or intellectual ideas about what to do about this or that. There is a time for the head to get involved, but first we must connect to something more fundamental.

Sensing the Earth

As we’ve grown so accustomed to living indoors with artificial lights and technological gadgets always by our side, we’ve become cut off from our ability to sense the nature within us and around us. When I was younger, if I was deciding what to wear for the day, I’d open a window or step outside and feel the weather. I knew how to “read” the sky if it was going to rain. But I notice that nowadays, I’ve developed a habit of reaching for my cell phone to give me this basic information instead.

Sustainable, healthy living starts with restoring our capacity to sense the earth. Recovering our connection to nature renews our ability to take better care of our bodies and minds, as well as feel empathy with other living beings. Without a connection to the rhythm of life, we don’t have the space to feel or comprehend the suffering of others, let alone the capacity to give real help.

Sensing the earth means recognizing and feeling yourself as part of the natural environment, and offering it tenderness and care just as you would for a member of your family. It means feeling that the condition of the earth is the condition of your own body. You can do it through qigong or other energy practices where you connect to the earth, or by sending it prayers or healing energy. You can use your intention to dedicate any activity you do—eating, walking, cleaning, etc.—to the good of the earth. When you have tapped into your feeling sense, you will find your own ways to enact your love for the earth.

You already know how to love. The task is to expand the circle of who and what you embrace in your loving. Your heart is the largest electromagnetic force in your body, and its effects reach far beyond you. The heart is an access line to information beyond the boundaries of space and time. As more of us direct our heart’s intentions to the greater good, profound energetic shifts can occur across vast distances. Group meditation, prayer, and focused intention have been shown to have measurable positive effects in numerous studies.

Centering the Earth

In Ilchi Lee and Steve Kim’s new book, The Art of Coexistence: How You and I Can Save the World, they emphasize that the earth itself is the central value that could harmonize differing values in the world, and promote mutual understanding and coexistence. Because the earth is the foundation of all of our lives, it is only by placing the earth at the center of our choices that we can bring human consciousness together as one.

We don’t all have to create an earth-centered organization, go door-to-door canvassing for the environment, or devote our careers to saving the earth. It’s enough for each of us to use the talents and inclinations we already have to share the message and the practice of an earth-centered lifestyle in our own authentic way. We follow our earth sense, our feelings, and our earth-centered values to make choices, large and small, that are good for us and good for all.

If we sincerely awaken our hearts to our oneness with all of life, the feeling will guide us to the right action. Today, you woke up with your heart beating the pulse of nature within. You are alive because a vast, complex web of life sustains you in every moment—from the delicate balance of oxygen and exchange of gasses you need to breathe, to the food that gives you fuel, the microorganisms in your gut, the trees that give you shelter, and the force of gravity keeping you close to safe ground. So today, what is your heart telling you? What is one small action you will take for this precious earth we cannot live without?

Written by Kris Washington-Carroll
Kris is a loving, creative soul with a deep personal healing story. Mindbody practices, energy work and meditation changed her life back in 2006, and today, she’s inspired to share these tools with as many people as possible to help them live happier, healthier lives. In addition to writing, teaching, and coaching, Kris is also a visual artist with a passion for using art to uplift, inspire, heal and transform.
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