Flinch, But Not For Too Long

Why It Is Essential For Women Changemakers to Know Themselves as Part of the Earth...

 Global climate change is always in the back of your mind, a distressing static of sorts. You consider yourself an environmentalist and you make good choices when you can, cutting back your meat consumption and using energy-efficient light bulbs. 

 You can feel that the planet is changing rapidly and the truth of this acts as a burr, irritable and barbed in its embedded home in your heart. But the intensity of this reality gets pushed down to some abyss inside of you; just like so many other modern psychological burdens, it is hard to sit openly with this searing truth.

 There is a certain innocent complacency that acts as a cunning cloak in matters that overwhelm us. Perhaps this is an unconscious act of self-preservation. The subtle art of keeping our hearts safe. But there is a price to pay for this false safety, a chill that sets in from the deep freeze that this disassociation brings.

 Some amalgam of cognitive dissonance and easy ignorance prevails when our immediate world is not directly impacted. Yes, the summers may be a little hotter, the winters a little cooler, more storms and strange weather, but for the most part the comforts of our everyday lives may carry on as usual. Lightning has not struck close enough to home for us to be shocked, illuminated out of our habitual patterns and ways of living. And when we feel like we have no immediate control over the situation, overwhelm and a certain emotional murkiness clouds any impulse towards change. 

All the while, there is this roaring that continues inside her, inside us. A strong knowing that to ignore and deny the importance of the natural world and our connection to it, is to cut off some essential part of ourselves. 

Every breath we take, every swallow of water, everything we eat, comes from the Earth. We travel through her atmosphere like whales through the ocean. We live IN her body, not just on her body. We are made up of the same elements: fire, earth, water, and air. We mimic and reflect her. 

 We express the element of fire with all of its brilliant animations through our heartbeat and metabolism. 

We actively engage with the element of earth through the food we eat, the plants and other medicines that buoy our life force. 

 We fill our lungs with her air, sharing in an intimate exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. 

 And just like the body of the great Mother, our human bodies awash in pools of moisture, reservoirs of water nourishing and lubricating us.

 When we reawaken a respect and reverence for the Earth again, we begin to revive something powerful within ourselves. For as author Sharon Blackie implores, “There comes a point in each of our lives when we face a choice. Will we stay as we are, embracing the pale shadow of womanhood permitted us by the patriarchy? Or will we sink deep into the heart of the bog, and find out what it is to reclaim our creative power as women?” 

 

 Women changemakers need to know and remember themselves as made from this earth. Because the mirror is being held higher now; the earth is an on-going reflection of our own psychological state. Our reticence to care for her is mirrored in our inability to lovingly care for ourselves. We have stopped feeling nurtured by the earth because we no longer belong to her. And if we no longer belong to her, then we no longer feel responsible for her. 

 

 The inextricable force that bonds women and the natural world is the very keystone of my work. We must now face the way we have become alienated, a sickness of separation taken hold within our systems. All along we have been believing that the earth is this silent, inanimate thing we walk upon, instead of knowing ourselves to be walked and worked upon by her. This is to understand ourselves as enmeshed within the world soul, and to believe that the wisdom of our exterior environment constantly shapes and interacts with the murky depths of our inner landscape. 

 Perhaps you have spent many years, even decades, in the process of doing your own inner work, all the while still feeling like something was missing? 

 It is time for us to return ourselves to the breathing, pulsing, vibrantly living world.  How would our experience be different if we took our cues from the Earth?

  • What would happen if we all chose to take the natural world as our example for confidence instead of some antiquated model of aggression and dominance? 
  • What would happen if we stopped assuming that qualities like love, compassion, and vulnerability are weak, feeble, unable to take the heat of the “real world” and realized instead that they are the most courageous, fierce ways we could possibly live? 
  • What would happen if we knew ourselves to be the animals that we really are, and more freely allowed ourselves to feel our natural instincts and desires? Allowed ourselves to know that our desires are what is most true about ourselves?

 

We are acculturated into a paradigm of separation and insensitivity, growing up within plasticised borders of split, all of the way down to the very deepest caverns of our psyche. We get no training from our families or society in how to connect with the land beneath our feet and this unconscious barrenness, a subtle emptiness wears away at us over time.

 If we do not have a heart connection, if we do not feel an interdependence and love for the natural world, it makes it entirely impossible to feel motivated to change the way we are interacting with the planet. It is our birthright to know ourselves as beautifully entangled with all of life, to feel into the fabric of “we” instead of just “I.” To commune instead of just consume.

 This is to take our fixation on self and move a vast ripple of impact into a greater realm of service. Acting as a connector, Kendra is an earth bridge to modern women wanting to shift their perspective and mend their relationship with the living world. Awakening to this remembering and learning how to feel yourself interwoven into the matrix of all creation is to put a salve on all of places you have lived cut off, disembodied within yourself.

 Because finally attuning yourself to the wholeness of the natural world is what you have been truly longing for. It is what you have been seeking, but forgetting all along. When you return yourself to the earth, you are at last returning to her model, returning to knowing yourself as also essentially, intrinsically whole.



“This earth is how we admire this strength in each other, all that we have lost, all that we have suffered, all that we know: we are stunned by this beauty, and I do not forget: what she is to me, what I am to her.”  -Susan Griffin, Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her

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