Nature Park, Weaverville, N. Carolina. Image: By Gaye Abbott
“To find some footing amidst all this instability, I’ve had to dig deep within my heart, body, mind and intuition to identify some anchors, some practices that can stabilize and help me to stay centered to move forward in a good way.” ~Nina Simon,, Co-Founder of Bioneers
Where to place attention when the world seems to have gone crazy…..
I find it is not easy these days to find a space of well being, calm and peace inside amidst all that is going on in our human created world. Even to find solitude that is not cluttered with stimulus.
We each have unique ways and practices to center, increase resilience and stay grounded amidst intense change and uncertain times. Most can be simple, sustainable…… and elemental.
Just a moment ago I was standing on the earth barefoot and closed my eyes. I felt pulses of earth energy move through opening up spaces inside that felt protected and closed off. An energy we cannot directly feel as well if wearing shoes. All of a sudden I felt raindrops softly falling on my upturned face and a huge smile broke out across my face.
My world suddenly became that of a child about 8 years old who with her brother, both wearing bathing suits, scampered about on the sidewalk outside the house laughing at the sun shining and rain falling at the same time – nature’s playful game to delight children. I remember we lived away from the ocean at that time, rare for the 40 years I spent in San Diego in Southern California where I was born and grew up along the coast, beaches and tide pools.
“Anchors” and practices to stay grounded in a time of global instability? So many to choose from. Here are a few that align with our senses and the elements of earth, water, fire and air.
EARTH: The natural world is a definite anchor for me. Purposefully choosing landscapes over the years where I could wander and find solace. Much of that spent barefoot where it was safe to do so. Little did I know back then that “earthing” would scientifically be found to “improve circulation, lower blood pressure, improve digestion, lower inflammation, assist in wound healing, combat jet-lag, and slow free-radical damage associated with aging.” It simply felt right and good as a child. That was enough. As was communing with a tree, riding a wave with my body, or simply being still to listen to birdsong.
FIRE: Though sunlight has gotten a bad rap these days, and my aging skin certainly shows the damaging affects from too much Southern California beach living, experiencing bright, natural, unfiltered sunlight first thing upon waking up is an ideal way to reset your circadian clock. We now know that Vitamin D from direct sunlight exposure plays a critical role in healing, immune function, and overall well being. Another way to positively impact and optimize our brain, mood— even digestion!
WATER: This anchor I have had a love/hate affair with for many years. One of the most compelling links to a “stronger immune system, better sleep quality, improved mental health, and even relief from symptoms of certain autoimmune diseases is either plunging in cold water or 1-3 minutes of “as-cold-as-it-can-go” temperature at full blast at the end of your shower.” While living in Austin, TX for 5 years the 68 degree spring fed pool near downtown was a regular enlivening and “wake-up” practice and though I didn’t always want to jump in invariably I felt renewed, rejuvenated and intensely alive after doing so. Certainly brings attention into the moment….. and your body!
AIR: Down through human history the simple act of breathing in and out has always been a way to ground, come back into the moment and the body, and a means to raise consciousness and increase well being. That hasn’t, and will never, change as long as we have lungs to move air in and out.
Simply stopping what we are “doing” and witnessing the breath move in and out is a simple means of “being” always at out disposal. Instead of “coffee breaks” I wonder what it would feel like to have “breath breaks”?
EARTH/WATER/FIRE/AIR: All of the elements collaborate when we bring nature indoors via potted plants, herbs and other edibles.
Caring for plants/gardens aligns with sustainability, helps cleanse the air of toxins and pollutants, brings us into the moment, and connects to the natural world. Even living in an urban setting, small space or with intense seasons where nothing can grow outside there is a way to grow indoors or on a screened in porch. Make it simple. (see Resources below)
Cherry tomatoes, apple mint, cubano peppers, wild ginger, clary sage.
Perhaps you would like to share your anchors for grounding and centering here. Who knows when it might just be the perfect one for someone who is reading this!
*Here is a tip I just found. Click on this link for an innovative way to grow indoors: https://www.clickandgrow.com/pages/about-us
*Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath by Gaye Abbott: 52 weeks of breathing spaces to delight, rest and reflect in: http://gayeabbott.net/books/
*Earth Runners, Earth-connected sandles created to re-wild our lives and connect with the earth’s energy: https://www.earthrunners.com
*What Is Your Frequency, by Diana Turner-Forte on raising your vibrational frequency: https://dianaturnerforte.substack.com/p/whats-your-frequency-?s=r
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