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Supported By The Earth

This is the first of a few short reflections on the elements, drawn from my own practice.

How does the Earth element support an embodied mindfulness practice?

Our bodies are always in contact with Earth – standing, sitting, lying. It gives me stability, this vast anchor that we all rest on. When I remember to notice that, my nervous system loves this grounding connection.

A moment of feet-on-the-floor awareness can be just enough to interrupt a juggernaut of catastrophic thinking. A brief connection with Earth can help bring me home to Radical Gratitude.

And so I practice staying in contact with Earth, everywhere I go.

When I’ve got stuck in my head, I find release in ‘walking on the Earth’. I let myself experience the flow of life from my soles upwards, not the top down. And I uncover a different perspective. One that is embodied, and creative. A way of being in the world that is infinitely wiser than the narrow view from inside my own head.

Sometimes, when I need stillness, I turn instead to ‘lying on the Earth’. I receive its support. I let myself rest, held in that solid connection. My recording ‘Supported By The Earth’ emerged from this practice – I’ve added it to the Body Awareness section of the Meditations page.

Developing a relationship with Earth was my first step in working with the elements, and I’m so glad I gave it a chance. It’s woken me up to an experience of being human that is more alive, less ‘separate’, and more at home – in myself and in the wider world.

Next time, I’ll post a reflection on the Water element.

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