“Touch the earth and let it touch you.” ~ Barefoot Mama
I’ve been quiet because I haven’t felt well lately. And when I don’t feel well, I tend to turn inwards. I put my energy into healing and feeling better.
Somebody mentioned that I must be very in tune with my body.
Well . . . yes. I spend at least a few minutes, every day, stretching and breathing and relaxing my body bit by bit. I get massages when I can. I started lifting weights when I was in my late teens/early twenties so I learned to isolate muscle groups to be able to flex and release them at will.
I remember clearly with my first pregnancy: we were at our childbirth class and the instructor was having us lie on our sides and flex and release different muscle groups to be able to help labor progress more smoothly. We were to practice these exercises in the ensuing weeks. The instructor encouraged us to flex our calf muscle. One of the other expectant mama’s asked, “How do you flex your calf muscle.” I remember thinking to myself, “how do you not know HOW to do that?!?!?!?”
In December of 2018, I wrote a post The Sensual Life. In it I talked about using all the senses to fully adapt to the surroundings. It isn’t difficult – it does take practice. Society has become so dependent on electronic devices that we are losing the ability to connect on a natural level with our surroundings.
This evening as we walked the dog, I noticed several things:
- The scent of rain on the air
- The puddles on the road and sidewalk reflecting the street lights
- the difference in textures between the sidewalk, the gravel and the mud
- the sound of the dog’s nails as she walked
- the lights coming from home windows we walked past
- the sounds of the leaves skipping across the trail as the wind blew
- the coolness of the wind against my skin with a hint of moisture
- her excitement at getting closer to home and subtle pulling at the lead
I have to be in tune with my body. Systemic Lupus flares can come on suddenly, but they can also come on gradually and noticing the changes and catching them before they blossom from flares into fires can be tricky. Because I still have to do the things (after I drink the coffee), prioritizing my activities is absolute. Social media, blogging, renovation activities – anything that expends unnecessary energy is curtailed. The replacement activities are frequent naps, periods of rest and meditation. more stretching than usual, muscle rubs with liniment, warm baths and audible books (becomes sometimes just holding the book is tiring or looking at the screen makes my eyes hurt). I try to get out and walk each day, but then I lay down for a wee bit when we get home.
I do know being barefoot in the grass or having my hands in the dirt or on the plants, does have the effect of making me feel more connected. There’s something calming about being in contact with the earth — a soothing quality of well-being. And here . . . The Benefits of Earthing . . . is an article discussing the benefits of coming into contact with the earth either barefoot or with the use of our hands (such as in gardening).
So, perhaps I’m not crazy that I feel more rested when I spend some of my Quiet Times outside, barefoot, talking to the tomatoes.