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When Did You Last Have the Kind of Hug that Allows that Giant Ahhhhhh?

I’m reluctant to even count the months and weeks since I had the kind of human to human hugs I used to take for granted before Lockdown.

I know I miss them.

I’m lucky to have Rainbow MagnifiCat leaping onto my lap, onto my belly or shoulder or into the crook of my elbow several times a day.

I also have 21 trees I’ve planted in the front garden and back field. I routinely pat them on the equivalent of their shoulders as I congratulate them for growing. Am in utter awe of them.

But in both cases, I’m holding them very very gently. I’m not letting go myself.

5 Ways to Let the Earth Support You Through This (or ANYthing)

The earth needs our care and for humans to learn to walk more gently on it. Having said that, we can still accept the kind of support it feels good to accept.

Here are some suggestions:

1) Floating in the sea

Last week’s sea swim – my first since the two teeny ones I had in March before Lockdown – was beyond what I’d even hoped for. I was in the water for 12 minutes and swam for 10. I lost feeling in my left hand from the cold so got out but not before I did my usual post swim floating.

Face down in what a friend and I call Disturbing Position and then, on my back, looking up at Croagh Patrick mountain (aka the Reek).

Hundreds of years ago, when I felt broken beyond repair, the only Safe Place (a trauma therapy resourcing tool) I could imagine was being face down in the sea. Since then, I’ve done an enormous amount of work on myself and have had more healing than I could have imagined. I have many not only safe places but HAPPY places, irl as well as in my imagination.

Still, normally after my hour long pool swims or any time I get into the sea, as I mentioned in the book, I love to float face down and just exhale EVERTYHING. Releasing any and all stresses, woes, strains, pains, aches, angst… letting it ALL go, knowing the earth can transmute it all for the benefit of the planet.

And then I float face up, opening up to guidance around each next best step, feeling that inspiring, expansive energy and awe.

Not everyone finds being underwater one of the most relaxing things on the planet but, if restrictions have been lifted enough where you are for safe social distancing at the sea, how might you surrender some of what you’ve been weighed down by and let it go?

Does the ocean help you exhale more deeply?

2) Hug a tree

I have imaginary tree hugs with many of the trees in the fields I see from my home and on my walks but, unlike when I lived in London and Cardiff (specific Street Trees are springing to mind here), they’re not huggable.

As in they’re behind fences and I wouldn’t want to be trespassing!

TBH, even though I’ve been a bit of a tree hugger since I was a kid, when I talk about hugging trees, I mean leaning my back against the trunk, reconnecting with my breath and the support that tree seems happy to offer as well as potential guidance.

I was going to say I rarely actually hug trees but then I remembered the tree planting party

Do you hug trees?

3) Hug the earth

Lying belly down on the grass has long been one of my favourite things to do when my chronic pain condition flares up and I’m on the ground in pain (if the ground outside is dry enough).

When I realised how much I was missing human hugs and how it will be a few days before I get back to the sea and probably years before my trees are strong enough to take my weight, I decided to lie face down on a mowed bit of the field by the start of my crystal gratitude grid

Allowing my full weight – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual – to be held by this patch of earth.

It felt so good, after my walk, I went back for another earth hug. I wanted my heart centre to be as supported as possible and visualise letting go of as much as possible.

How does it feel for you?

4) Bhu Mudra

This is my favourite and one of the few I included in 365 Ways to Feel Better: Self-care Ideas for Embodied Wellbeing

Being able to do it now at the edge of the gratitude grid, overlooking the Reek as, energetically, the crown of my head and finger tips echo the triangle of mountains feels magical.

Mudras are yogic hand gestures which subtly shift our energy and Bhu is a gloriously grounding way to plug ourselves into the giant recharging station the earth offers us 24/7 when we simply remember to avail ourselves of this healing, grounding energy.

The video above shows you how.

And if you don’t have time / want to watch, simply sit cross legged on the ground if comfortable. If not, legs outstretched is fine. If on a chair, have chairs next to you or use a sofa so your arms reach their recharge points.

Once comfortable, connect with the breath

Raise both hands and make the Peace sign with both of them.

Keeping those Peace signs, lower the hands until the index and middle finger tips of both hands connect with the earth.

Imagine your roots going deep into the heart of the earth as you connect with it’s awesome, nourishing, healing, grounded energy.

Sit with spine as straight as feels comfortable to allow for that triangle shape created from the finger tips up to the crown of the head.

How do you feel after this?

5) Walking barefoot

The upright nature of this one means we’re more active than fully letting go and releasing but barefoot walks and meditations on grass, sand, mud or whatever feels good for you can be a wonderful way to connect with the grounding energy.

The health benefits have long been recognised. A study by James L Oschman,1Gaétan Chevalier,2 and Richard Brown3 published in March 2015 by the Journal of Inflammation Research concluded that:

The living matrix (or ground regulation or tissue tensegrity-matrix system), the very fabric of the body, appears to serve as one of our primary antioxidant defense systems. As this report explains, it is a system requiring occasional recharging by conductive contact with the Earth’s surface – the “battery” for all planetary life – to be optimally effective.

READ MORE

I’ve shared other grounding ideas and ways to handle loneliness in Lockdown in the past.

Today’s are specifically around allowing ourselves to fully accept the support that’s available to us from the planet.

What’s your favourite way to let go?

Email me – or if you’re on social media, you can comment on the post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn (see the social media icons at the top of the page).

With love,

Eve Menezes Cunningham self care coach therapist supervisor

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