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This Friday Challenge was inspired by my friend Anna Swisher. I have done it for the last 2 days and it is magical. Can't believe I ever stopped doing this.
Here are her words to explain...
"My heart is full. Full of pain, and full of love. I am struggling to hold it all, to have it be held, not to mention expressed. I have felt alone, helpless and scared, as well as passionate, empowered, devoted and inspired.
I do not believe I am alone. We need to give, we need to love, and we need to receive and be held.
And the Earth....she is also crying out, in pain, and in love. She needs us, and we need her. How are we showing up for her, for ourselves, for each other? What are we prioritizing? Where does our time, and our love, go?
I know many of you offer yourself in service to this beautiful Earth in many ways already. Thank you. You inspire me.
Two nights ago, I laid in the darkness of the night, heart wrenching and pounding. How can I be with this?? I surrendered to my body, and my body took me to the Earth. I laid down on my belly, arms wide open, heart on the ground, pounding. My own personal pain and suffering, heartbreak and fear, layers of grief, exploding amidst the terror and uncertainty of how to solve all of the world's problems, how to participate in a good way and make a difference in this epic ecological and social moment of crisis. How can I possibly do this?!? How can I hold this?? How can I show up to this fight, and be an activist for love and healing, when I am struggling just to be present with my own heart and body? How can I help heal the Earth when my own heart feels so broken? How can I bring myself fully to this fight when I don't feel like I have it in me to fight at all?
And the Earth spoke to me. She said, just come. Lay your heart on the Earth. You are safe here. I will hold you. I will give you strength. Here, your emotions are your strength. I will always respond with love. And then you will know what to do.
And she said, Don't do it alone. Gather. Invite them all to lay their hearts down on the Earth. Every day. It will change everything.
So... I listened. At the risk of sounding and feeling crazy...This is my invitation. Come lay your heart on the Earth with me, every day. Let's see what happens.
This is my commitment: at 10:15 a.m., every morning, I will lay down with my heart on the Earth for five minutes. And breathe. And feel. And release. And listen. Will you join me?
I want to see what will happen when I prioritize my own heart and it's yearning to be on the Earth. I want to see what will happen when I put myself in direct contact with the heart of the Earth every day. I want to see what will happen when I allow my body to merge and be held by the Earth body every day. I want to see what will happen when I choose to make time for the Earth every day, and receive her nurturance and wisdom. I yearn to lay my body down, to be held, to let the pain and the love in my heart be received without judgment or fear or rejection. What might happen if I let my emotions be felt fully? What might happen if I take 5 minutes every morning to feel what is most important, what is moving through me, regardless of what the rest of the world might be expecting of me? What will happen when I take 5 minutes to check in with the Earth, to feel what she is feeling, and to feel myself not separate? What will happen if I let my tears fall and nourish the soil beneath me?
And what might happen if we all lay down together? What will happen if, as I lay on the Earth, I know that dozens, if not hundreds, of other women are also laying down with their hearts on the Earth at this very moment? Can you imagine it?? It gives me chills of inspiration... beautiful bodies, their beautiful and longing hearts, laid down, in surrender, in devotion, to give and receive Earth medicine, in the midst of this chaotic world? It feels like radical revolution to me.
What if, instead of scheduling our "nature time" around our chaotic schedules, we instead choose to prioritize the Earth for five minutes every day? What would we be taking a stand for if we choose to organize our lives around our time with the Earth? If we choose to welcome our emotional bodies into our every day, to say to the people in our lives, "I love this Earth and myself so fiercely that I am going to step out of this meeting or this phone call for 5 minutes"? What will we be inspired to do?? Who will we inspire?? What will shift?? Maybe we just walk through our days a little more grounded, feeling a little more supported, a little more connected to our hearts.
The invitation is to find a place on the ground; maybe it's your backyard, maybe it's the courtyard at your office, maybe it's a random field, maybe it's private, maybe it's public. Maybe, if you can't get outside, maybe it's the floor of your office or classroom. Maybe it's pulling over on the side of the road and finding a spot. Maybe it's even a child's pose in the waiting room, or in the back of the whole foods parking lot.
This is an invitation to be courageous. I recognize fully that this invitation does not cater to busy schedules, important meetings, driving, phone calls, office buildings, and all the other things that we "have to do." I'm asking you anyway.
If you'd like to join me, I will be laying my heart on the Earth for 5 minutes every morning at 10:15 a.m. (PST). Adjust this to your time zone, so we can be together. The time is not up for debate; the point is to arrange our lives around our time with the Earth and our hearts, not to try to fit the Earth and our hearts into our schedules when it's convenient. Maybe you forget some days; maybe you're a little scared to leave your meeting; No worries. Maybe we grow in our courage as the days pass, and start to think about how to find our voice and choose the Earth, when others don't agree or understand, and want us to be doing something else. Maybe we bring our children, and let them learn how it feels to be supported and loved unconditionally, and what it feels like to take a stand (or lay down) for what you love even when other people don't get it and judge you for being "weird."
Maybe some days you forget, or something demands your attention, and you lay down at some other time. No worries. Lay down anyway, any time. Any time laying on the Earth is better than none. And, I sure love the idea of doing it together, as much as possible. Maybe, as 10:15 approaches, the idea that there are women of all sorts all over the world finding the strength to spend time with their hearts on the land at the same time, will lend us strength to do the same.
If you would not like to join me, my only ask is that you seriously ask yourself why. What is more important? What stands in the way of bringing ourselves together in humble devotion and heartfelt connection? To being closer to the land that feeds and supports us, and will only be here to support our future generations if we devote ourselves to defending it? To finding the place of truth in our hearts, acknowledging our feelings, yearnings, and limitations, honoring our bodies and the Earth body, laying down our "weapons," and asking for help? Are we embarrassed to show our capacity for devotion to love and care? Do we feel hopeless, or trapped, or....? This, to me, is the most important inquiry.
This is my invitation. This is my vision. And I want to hear your voices, to hear what happens when we start to do this together. I would also like to create a googlegroup for anyone who wants to do this together, and hear the voices, challenges, and inspirations from each other, but I do not want to impose that on anyone. My invitation is this:
-If you are IN, please reply to me and let me know either: "I'm in! I will lay down with you, but I'm not into the googlegroup," or "I'm in! I will lay down with you, and I want to hear other women's voices, add me to the group." If you want to know how many other women are in, let me know that too.
-if you're not in, no reply needed. Unless you'd like to share an earnest reflection on why this isn't something you're inclined to do. I'd be very interested to hear that, as I'm sure it will speak to something very important in this time.
And please, please please please, share this far and wide, if you feel at all inclined. Invite women to lay their hearts on the earth with us. Invite them to respond to me to join the group if they'd like.
I look forward to laying on the Earth with you. Thank you for bringing your hearts to your lives in all the ways you do.
With love, humility, and devotion,
To join the googlegroup, please email Anna with your response @ firstname.lastname@example.org
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