As Above, So Below In any treatment of Earth healing, I feel it's important to mention that the whole can only be as healthy as its parts. Indeed, the more energy and care that we put into our own health - physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual - the more we contribute to the health of the whole.

One area I'm exploring is healthier ways of eating. The more I read about what some of the large food producers are doing to improve yields and "quality," the more I find myself attracted to organic produce and naturally raised poultry. I have a mild penicillin allergy, and almost all mass produced meat is fed antibiotics as a matter of course. Analysis of vegetables and fruit raised using organic fertilisers almost invariably show they have higher content of many minerals and vitamins.

Interestingly, the farmers who raise organic produce and free-range poultry also tend to use methods that are gentler on the Earth...natural fertilisers rather than chemicals, occasional fallow periods, free cross-pollination rather than genetic here is a way where by doing ourselves good, we also do good for the Earth. We can also hope that as more people buy products raised in Earth-friendly ways, the larger producers will become aware that there is a market for such products and adjust their methods accordingly.

I also believe that the energy foods pick up in their handling can make them more or less nourishing on the emotional and spiritual levels. Meat from animals that are allowed to graze freely must have more vital energy and carry a happier emotional energy than meat from animals kept in pens and fed chemical mush...

blue footprints

Over the years, I have found myself less and less interested in watching and reading news. While it's important to know what's going on in general, so often TV news and even papers seem to be interested in presenting violence, greed, political intrigue and tragedy. On some level, we seem as a society to have become so distanced from simple pleasures and sources of excitement that we need to see crime, cruelty, and tragedy to feel alive. I don't like encouraging such reporting and I don't like the energy I get into when I'm immersed in it. I've taken to listening to the newscasts on the radio in between the good music....and asking my husband for details if they're missing...

In his wonderful book, "Eight Weeks to Optimum Health," Dr Andrew Weil suggests taking regular "news fasts:" days when one doesn't watch or listen to the news. For many years I've taken this idea a step further, and had stretches of up to a couple of weeks without TV, radio, email, newspapers or novels. It can be emotionally draining, because I find myself listening to myself instead of to my favourite distractions; but as with all types of fasting, this cleansing of my mental and emotional bodies makes me healthier and clearer in the long-run.

Think how much less negative emotional energy we as a race would be pouring into the world if we ignored the newscasts for a day at a time. Give it a try if you're interested.

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I believe gardening is one of the healthiest activities we can possibly engage in. It's good for the body: we get out in the fresh air and have some exercise, and eating products we've grown ourselves means we know precisely what has gone into them. It's good for the mind: many people are able to get into a light trance when they garden, leaving behind the worries and irritations they have at work or elsewhere. It's good for the heart: coaxing life and health into little beings we've sprouted or things of beauty we've nurtured allows us to feel a very uncomplicated sort of love. And it's good for the spirit: it helps us participate in the mysteries of life and death and the wheel of the year, and it helps us get back in touch with our connection to all living things.

Gardening makes more plants available in the system to filter out carbon dioxide. It provides food and shelter for birds and insects. It also contributes to the beauty of our surroundings, even in the most developed urban areas, in a way that we and other people can enjoy.

I've had more than one friend confide that s/he has pulled out of a major depressive episode through becoming immersed in the grounding, soul-feeding activity of gardening.

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Breathing is one of those things we can take completely for granted, because we do it whether we think about it or not. But making a point of working with our breathing can be healthy on a number of levels. First, while we can get by with shallow breathing, making more oxygen available to our cells can increase our perceived energy levels: note how we take a deep breath and yawn when we are feeling sleepy. Breathing deeply keeps the lungs and the muscles that support respiration healthy and flexible. Many people whose respirations are shallow seldom use the lower parts of their lungs; consciously breathing deeply helps clean these areas out.

The full gamut of ways that breathing is used in spiritual disciplines is a topic beyond this page, but breath can be used to calm the mind and emotions, to induce trance and magical focus, to ground, to center, to raise energy, to cleanse the energy system, and to strengthen any and all of the energy centers.

It also reminds us yet again of our connection to all living things. I find it a wonderfully refreshing exercise to focus on my breathing and to remember the miracle of the way that I take in what I need to live and breathe out what I don't need...and my cousins the plants take what I surrender and use it to capture the energy of the sunlight in food...and breathe out what I need to live. It is an infinite cycle of receiving and surrendering which sustains life. This exercise puts me into a state of of the healthiest emotions I know.

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Regular walking is a wonderful way to keep one's heart in shape...physically and emotionally. It is a repetitive form of exercise that works the lungs, legs, and heart, but lets the mind roam free...into the realms where creativity flourishes. We are always closest to our Creator when we are emulating Her in our thinking or actions.

Most importantly, walking can take us out into nature. If we allow ourselves to leave our concerns behind and truly see/hear/feel the world around us, once again we are closer to our Source. And knowing how good we feel when others show us love and appreciation, it's reasonable to assume other living things thrive on such acknowledgement, too. Take some time while you are out walking to notice the beautiful shape of a leaf, or the clean, uplifting scent of a flower...and if it feels right, send a thought of appreciation to the living being that supplied this pleasure. It's good for your heart, and it's good for theirs...whether they have a physical organ that corresponds or not...

brown footprints

There are many books about ecology that may make us feel guilty...or angry. If the anger prompts us to positive action, then it has done its job. If the guilt prompts us to change some of our behaviours, that's wonderful. But holding on to guilt, anger, fear, or any emotion that is hard on our bodies, both energetic and physical, only adds to the problem. I frankly feel that the emotional pollution in our cities and towns has become at least as life threatening as the physical pollution. The violence we are seeing, especially among young people, is a direct result of unresolved anger and fear.

This is why, as a parting word, I'd suggest that whatever options you decide to explore in your ongoing process of learning to be a gentle and harmonious presence on this planet....try to do it with joy. Spewing out language that turns the air as blue as the exhaust from the cars around you in the ferry lineup isn't going to make a positive difference...taking the kids out for ice-cream after they help you take a load to the recycling center will. Rewarding yourself for walking rather than taking the car for short trips by taping some music that makes you feel good will help the planet more than rushing home so you can catch some show on TV.

And be aware that anything positive you do for your world is an example of your ability to think for yourself, make a decision, and then act on your will. It is an act that gives you power. It is a considered response rather than a reaction or an enforced obligation. So it is an act that increases your personal power. It sets an example of independent, empowered action that will help others see they have power to make a difference in their lives, their world, and them-selves. Acknowledge the strength this gives you and the way that the world can be changed if you help others recognise this same strength in themselves.

Blessed Be

brown footprints

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