We are inextricably interconnected with the world around us, embedded in a living web. Through the mysterious force of gravity we are held in the embrace of the earth, through the air we breathe and the water we drink we are nourished.
Throughout history humans have sought to understand the mystery of our place within the world. Anne Baring writes: ‘The Great Mother in ancient civilisations represented the great web of life – not just the life of the earth but the life of the stars, galaxies and planets, the vast, mysterious, invisible life of the cosmos. The thread of the idea of cosmic soul runs from the Great Mother or Great Goddess of the Bronze Age, through the anima-mundi of Plato and Plotinus, to the sixteenth century images of Robert Fludd and the work of kabbalists and alchemists, Jewish, Arabic and Christian. Plotinus speaks of a universe that is alive, ensouled, where not only the stars are alive, but the earth also is a “living part of the living All.” “We are,” he said, “within a reality which is also within us.” He gives us an image of the structure of life that is like a many-levelled organism, each level interwoven and interacting with all the others.” http://www.annebaring.com/anbar12_lect04_dreamofwtr.htm
When we feel into the levels of connection within us and around us, we feel peaceful, relaxed and rejuvenated. Here are four ways to begin to consciously feel our connection to the elements and the living world:
Earth: Walking barefoot on the earth or spreading out on a sandy beach has a tangible affect on your body.
Air: Relax, close your eyes, and listen to the sounds of nature all around you, the wind, the birds, the rustling of the trees.
Water: Swimming in a natural body of water, a river, a lake an ocean or bay, allow yourself to feel the support of the water.
Fire: Lying in the warmth of the sun for a short period of time, receive the sun into your organs and blood.
I have included a link to a video explaining how connecting to the earth nourishes us physically. In this video, Dr Stephen Sinatra explains why touching the earth physically affects our sense of well-being and health: “The Earth’s surface contains an almost limitless number of free electrons that are continually replenished through solar radiation and lightning strikes. These particles interact with your body when you make physical contact with the ground. In your body, these electrons have an anti-inflammatory effect, helping to reduce inflammation and chronic pain. The energy also helps keep your body’s natural electrical circuitry properly balanced.”