So, that radical “new” thing that everyone’s talking about these days called, “Earthing” isn’t actually new and isn’t actually radical.
Placing one’s bare feet on the Earth is one of the most natural things we can do. Keeping our feet bound up in human-made materials all day and night is unnatural. Many things that we think of as “normal” and “natural” are the product of industrialized civilizations and are new concepts to our kind. These ways of being have severed our connection to the Earth and ultimately the connection to ourselves and our very innate nature. Things like living off processed and fast foods, sitting in a chair all day, staring at screens from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep, living in climate controlled environments, ignoring our circadian rhythms, pushing past our limits, glorifying exhaustion, and going against seasonal needs and flows, etc. have all contributed to the state of our planet, our rapidly declining physical and mental health, and I’d even go so far as to say crime rates, the objectification of women, and more. It’s all connected.
So, how do we reconnect and reclaim an authentic, nourishing way of living in a modern world? It must start with us and it must begin with shifting our mindsets and objectively analyzing the beliefs we’ve been programmed with and the habitual ways we live our lives.
Here are 10 things to consider and ways to get started:
I already mentioned this above, so I won’t repeat myself.
Mindset Shift: Commit to walking outside barefoot daily or at least several days a week. Savor this time, breathe deeply, feel the sun and air on your skin and the Earth below your feet and imagine releasing your burdens down through the soles of your feet and into the Earth. Mmmm…
- Reduce Screen Time
This ties in with number 8 below on a macro-level, however, for your individual health, reducing your exposure to the blue light emissions and electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) from screens can be hugely beneficial! The blue light has been shown to impact our circadian rhythms by reducing the secretion of melatonin (the sleep hormone) from our pineal glands. In simpler terms, it’s screwing with your sleep and smooth hormone function. EMFs have been shown to be responsible for everything from increased anxiety, trouble sleeping, nausea, and more. Walk into a Best Buy and you’ll feel exactly what I am talking about; it’s a highly sensitive person’s nightmare!
Mindset Shift: For many, the screen time is unavoidable due to work (I get it!), however, there are ways that our technology consumption has become addictive and a way to avoid our lives. Challenge yourself to a few days of either a total digital detox OR being very disciplined and using it for work ONLY. Notice what arises for you. Is it anxiety, loneliness, or a feeling of missing something? Get clear on what the actual need is so that you can meet it in more nourishing ways – like perhaps partaking in some Earthing.
- Plant Your Own Food
There’s truly nothing like planting a seed in the soil with your own hands and watching as it goes from a sprout to something you’re able to harvest and eat. This simple act is profound. It’s life sustaining and life affirming. We are dependent on this giant spinning rock in the Universe and She always delivers and nourishes us selflessly. Reconnecting to this most basic act is my favorite way to remind myself of the interconnections of all beings and the dependence I have upon my Earthly home.
Mindset Shift: Plant something! You don’t need a giant plot of land or even to have access to your own land if you live in an apartment, for example. A simple pot with your favorite herb will do. By the way, plants are living, intelligent beings and respond best with lots of love and mindful attention.
- Follow the Sun
With light pollution out the wazoo, a 24/7 news cycle, a society that applauds constant action and encourages wearing exhaustion as a badge of honor, it’s no wonder that many clients come to me suffering from major burnout. What does your sleep/wake schedule look like? Is it different daily? Do you consider yourself a “night owl”? Do you watch screens after sunset and rely on artificial light late into the evening? Do you wake feeling rested? As I explained in number 2, screens and artificial light mess with our hormones and with our sleep. Without healthy melatonin secretion, you’re not going to get that deep, restorative sleep and won’t feel very rested upon waking. Everything in Nature exists in cycles and we are part of Nature – not separate. Honor your body’s needs for rhythms and routines and the fact that we’re designed to slow way down and retreat into restful ease around sunset.
Mindset Shift: No screens after dark. Yes. What?! If you’re like many of my clients, they think this sounds ridiculous. Try it for a few days this week and see how you feel. At least 30 minutes before bed, ideally an hour, shut it all down. Take it further by ensuring a consistent sleep/wake schedule for yourself aiming to gift yourself around eight hours every night. You’ll be amazed how easy this is and how rested you are when you implement the no screens rule!
- Live Seasonally
As I mentioned, Nature exists in cycles and rhythms. The moon waxes and wanes, day turns to night, and winter into spring into summer into fall. Each cycle has its own flavor, energy, and invitation for us and our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health can thrive if we follow along. In a nutshell, the Light Half of the Year can be likened to the waxing moon and runs from the Winter Solstice to the Summer Solstice. From Summer Solstice to Winter Solstice is the Dark Half of the Year or the waning portion. The end of summer and into fall and winter see us reflecting, retreating, harvesting, preparing, slumbering, down shifting, and reaping what we’ve sown since the Winter Solstice (or, if the Celtic Wheel of the Year isn’t jiving with you, think back to those New Year’s Resolutions). From Winter Solstice into Summer Solstice we have the waxing portion of the year where the days grow longer until the longest day at the solstice. These energies are expansive, expressive, playful, social, rebellious, adventurous, etc. In addition, each season has its own foods, colors, and activities for honoring.
Mindset Shift: How can you honor the seasonal rhythms more in your life? Endeavor to eat as seasonally as possible. Checking websites like Sustainable Table can be helpful and shopping at Farmer’s Markets whenever you’re able is the best. In addition to food, how can you reconnect to the primal energies of the seasons and recognize the rhythms in your own being?
- Follow the Moon
The moon’s cycles impact us even if you are the most anti-astrological, anti-woo person of them all, there’s no denying this fact. It makes me truly sad to hear people ask what a “waning” or “waxing” moon is and which corresponds to which cycle. Many people aren’t even aware of the moon’s current phase. Generally, from the New Moon to the Full Moon (the waxing phase, by the way), there’s more energy available, more clarity, more enthusiasm, more zest. From the Full Moon to the New Moon (the waning phase), energy is lower and there’s more of an introspective, docile, and planning energy.
Mindset Shift: Pay attention to the moon and its impact on your energies and emotions. Dedicate yourself to at least one full moon cycle, from New Moon to New Moon, and keep a journal to jot down any observations.
- Use Reusable Bags
Seriously, people, just buy those lovely reusable grocery bags and freaking use them. The amount of paper and plastic bags used daily is truly sickening and many people don’t seem to give it a second thought. I watch baggers at stores place one measly item in a big ol’ bag and just keep on going, as though the goal were to use more bags, not pack each one efficiently.
Mindset Shift: Buy reusable bags and use them. That simple. A simple Amazon search yields options galore for your purchasing pleasure.
- Reduce Your Usage
The average household has a shit ton of electronics and many are on 24/7. Not only does this produce a ridiculously high amount of electromagnetic frequencies whizzing around your space, but it adds major bucks onto your electricity bill and increases your carbon footprint. Does that television REALLY need to be on 16 hours a day? Does it really take that much effort or would it cause that much discomfort to shut off the wireless router, turn the thermostat up, or unplug other random gadgets when not in use?
Mindset Shift: Do an electronics audit of your home and experiment with using way less with methods like switching all the way off or unplugging. Watch your bill decrease! Woohoo! Even bigger bonus challenge? Consider solar panels! I know that’s our next big endeavor over here!
- Reduce Your Exposure to Chemicals
Chemicals. They’re bad for Earth, which makes them bad for us. We are one in the same, after all. Nature isn’t this abstract concept outside of us. From cosmetics to cleaners to vehicle fluids to pesticides, we’re constantly inundated. So, if much of this is outside of our control, why wouldn’t we reduce what’s in our immediate environments? I find with many clients that this is an area of straight habit. Whatever they had as a child still reigns in their households today. I’m all for family loyalty, however, there are some areas where we should really think for ourselves and break a cycle. Exposing ourselves to endocrine disruptors that are honestly worse than that blue light I talked about earlier sounds like a pretty good cycle to break to me. Nowadays there are many natural options and there are also easy recipes available online to learn to make your own products. I began making my own self care products and many cleaning products years ago and haven’t looked back since.
Mindset Shift: Where can you reduce your exposure to chemicals in your immediate environment? Use air fresheners? Make your own with essential oils. Still using conventional deodorants? Switch to a natural one. Think you need those harsh chemicals to really get surfaces clean and “kill bacteria?” Think again. The plant properties of essential oils are Nature’s ultimate antimicrobials. Experiment with new cleaning products and research natural product substitutes. Dr. Bronner’s, Mrs. Meyer’s and Seventh Generation are all excellent brands.
- Exercise Your Purchasing Power
How you spend your money is your choice and your right. That’s freaking empowering. So, how do you spend it? Do you know where your dollars are going when you buy certain foods, clothing brands, etc.? Do you even stop to think about these things or do you habitually buy the same things all the time on a whim and without a second thought? You worked for that money and it’s important to have it mean something when you are exchanging it for goods and services.
Mindset Shift: Spend your money on things you TRULY need, not want, AND on companies that align with your values. Aren’t clear on your values? Spend some time on that first. Sucker for a “bargain” find at a Target and think you need another five dollar tee-shirt? Buying generic brands of foods, “conventionally grown” food? Spend some time educating yourself on the true cost of these things, like the health impact on the Earth and Her inhabitants, and I bet you’ll find some areas for adjustments.
Visit this list frequently and aim to implement even something small at least once a week. These suggestions and others can quickly become new habits and the benefits in your life will speak for themselves. Want some suggestions on making new habits stick? Read this. Having difficulty incorporating these into your life or desire additional information? Just reach out to me!
I’m Devon Battaglia, MS, NC, RYT and I am Holistic Life Coach + Catalyst + Intuitive + Writer on a mission to identify and transmute the roots of the shame story that’s running your life so you can live your fullest, most authentic incarnation in accordance with your soul’s sacred purpose. If you feel called to work together, please schedule a complimentary, magical Core Wound Alchemy Session.