Climate change. Habitat destruction. Political instability. Pandemic. Wildfires. Hurricanes (five, count them, five of them hit the same stretch of Gulf coastline this year!). Protests. Riots.
Some days, the world feels like it's falling apart. We're definitely experiencing the end of an empire here in the US. Not fun, and pretty hard on the psyche as well as the body.
Within the Pagan community, I hear the constant refrain of "ground and center" as an important part of self-care to help antidote all that's going on right now. It's true, it's a very valuable way to stay on a sort-of-even keel despite the Big World and its abundant dumpster fires.
But how to do it?
There are the usual visualization techniques; I've used them for years, and they work just fine. But there are other ways, too. My favorite: gardening.
Putting my hands directly on Mother Earth. Caressing the soil, tending my plants, pulling weeds. Grounding myself while doing something practical for the health and well-being of my family: growing healthy food.
I realize I'm very privileged in that I have a suburban home with a large yard and plenty of room for a big vegetable garden. Once upon a time, I was the struggling young woman in a cheap apartment, desperately trying to grow a single tomato in a pot. Community gardens still aren't terribly common here, sadly, and years ago they were largely unheard of. Back then, I fulfilled my need for grounding by going to the local park and touching the Earth, caressing the wildflowers and the so-called weeds. (I will fight to the death to educate people about the medicinal and culinary wonders of dandelions and chickweed.)
But now I garden. It soothes me, body and soul. It reassures me that we'll have food no matter what happens to the supply chain. It connects me with my ancestors, who grew their own food for generations beyond generations. And it keeps me in touch with Mother Earth.
So what am I up to lately? Gardening for Armageddon. I'll let you know when the tomatoes are ripe.