Or…. How to Wirelessly Sync to Mother Nature
Yesterday I got a smart phone. Not because I wanted to, per se, but because it was necessary. I had a flip phone that was probably four years old and worked great! As a matter of fact, I only charged it about twice a week and it took about twenty minutes to fully charge. It didn’t take pictures or go on the internet, but I didn’t mind. That’s what my lap top is for, right? Well, to my dismay, I have noticed that people don’t really talk on phones anymore – they mostly send texts. (I would call and leave a message, and minutes later I’d get a text. I’d call right back and leave another message. Why can’t you just press TALK?!) And it was getting to a point where I couldn’t read texts I was getting from friends because the technology on my phone was behind the times. But the main reason I got the smart phone was for work, since I don’t have internet access in my office. I’ll stop troubling you with all the details of this wifi puzzle.
Many of the people I work with struggle with a variety of stressors and anxieties in their life. They say their mind spins out of control, their body tenses up with pain in the back, neck and shoulders, or clenching their jaw. And they forget about self care and other supportive plans we have come up with. They ask how to stop or slow this down, and I offer ideas about diet and exercise. But I think one of the best things is to reduce consumption of media and technology. I suggest that people turn off their computers, phones, tablets and TV’s, and get out of the house.
Right now I’m remembering my mom’s voice from when I was a kid, saying, “Why don’t you go outside and play? Go ride your bike and get some fresh air.” I’m sure she wanted some space in the house, but she also knew that moving my body, breathing in fresh oxygen and playing in the dirt was good for me. Which it is!
A new term by Richard Louv, has been coined Nature Deficit Disorder. Essentially saying that as our relationship to nature has dwindled, so has our health and well-being. Hmmm… There is also a new practice/movement called Earthing, which posits that by having direct, physical contact with the Earth we are able to discharge and rebalance the electromagnetic stress we carry in our body. (I imagine the charge increases as we engage more and more with computers and cell phones.) Our bodies, especially our brains, have electrical impulses constantly running through them. Is it a stretch to think that exposure to more electricity affects the electrical current in our bodies? And what is it doing to our brains, thoughts and emotions?
Two weeks ago I attended the Applied EcoPsychology Conference put on by Holos Institute, in Berkeley. The keynote speaker was cultural anthropologist and award-winning author, Angeles Arrien. She spoke about the wisdom of the earth and the people of the lands: the solid and grounded Mountain People; the quiet and introspective Desert People; the flexible and creative Bamboo People, etc. She also spoke of a counsel of tribal elders from around the world, who gathered at the turn of the century to discuss what was most important for our planet to focus on in the next fifty years. They noticed the common message they had all been receiving was this: “When the wisdom of the Sky merges with the wisdom of the Earth, and they are braided together through the Human Heart, we will have a Rainbow People.” Arrien proposed that this translated to the weaving together of technology (wisdom of the Sky) with the wisdom of nature in a harmonious way to cultivate the heart of humanity. I can see how this is starting to happen slowly, and I look forward to more. But until that time, I think I’ll take off my shoes and make some mud pies.