August 9, 2021
Connecting With Madre Tierra
Madre Tierra, or Mother Earth is a common name we use for our home planet in which we were born, grow, eat and play. Earth is the mother of all living organisms who provides for us all that we need, and in collaboration, Father Sky provides the sun, moon, and rain allowing all living organisms to grow and thrive.
It is a surprise to no one that over the past century our planet has been mistreated and abused. We see signs of this daily in our soil from over-farming, in our oceans from increased pollution, overfishing, and rising sea levels, as well as in the sky with poorer air quality. Recognizing that there is a problem is the first step in making a positive change, and great communication is at the foundation of any and every loving relationship, whether with your partner, family, friends, or the earth.
I have recently been making more of a conscious effort to be in communication with the earth and all of her children, from trees to animals and everything in between and beyond. By quieting my mind and listening deeply, I have been practicing being in better communication with these five steps:
1. The Greeting. A polite word or sign of welcome or recognition. When you meet someone for the first time, or hundredth time, the polite thing to do is greet the other person as a sign of recognition and, ‘I see you.’ You wouldn’t just walk into someone’s home or space of work without greeting them, right?
How to put this into practice: the next time you go out into nature, when you arrive on the land and new terrain, place a hand or two on the earth or soil and greet her as a sign of recognition. You might even say out loud or in your head, “Hello mother earth, thank you for welcoming me onto your land, I will respect you.”
2. Acknowledgment + Honor. We all like to be seen, acknowledged, and recognized, and the earth is no different. When taking that first step of greeting the land, take a moment to then acknowledge and honor the vastness of the earth and all of the miracles she has given life to in order to allow us to be living and breathing. Without trees we could not breathe. Without water we could not exist. Without food we could not have made it this far, and without animals we would not be able to thrive. We are literally living on a planet that is floating in the sky surrounded by an abundance of miracles. Taking a few breaths to acknowledge and honor all of those truths is the next step in being in impeccable communication with Madre Tierra.
3. Ask for Permission. In the same way that it is not polite to grab and play with objects in someone else’s home or workspace without asking for permission, that is true with Mother Earth as well. Growing up there were many instances where I pulled flowers or leaves, or grabbed rocks to take home, but never did I think that perhaps that rock or flower has relatives in that area and may not want to leave. Some may think that is an odd concept but those who know that everything is alive, connected, and that we are all related will understand. If you take something from the earth (rock, plant, feather, etc.) leave a piece of yourself as an offering and token of respect. A strand of hair, saliva, or ceremonial tobacco. Ask for permission first and pray for abundance and protection for that element/kingdom. There are many stories of people who have taken sacred artifacts from indigenous peoples lands without permission and have been followed by bad luck until they were returned. Respect is a key to a good life.
4. Give Thanks, Give Thanks, Give Thanks. Something that everyone of us has been taught since a very young age. Who else remembers as a child your parents bending down towards you and gently saying, “now what do you say?”… “Thank you!” You see examples of this daily. It is at the foundation of giving and receiving. It is heartwarming when someone tells us ‘thank you’ after an act of giving, and once again Madre Tierra can relate. Give thanks to her daily for the plethora of blessings we receive from her each moment of our existence.
5. Listen. The best communicators I know are those who know how to deeply listen. To deeply listen, one is not thinking of what he or she is going to say as soon as the other stops talking. To deeply listen, one is not letting their mind wander in different directions, one is solely focused on hearing the words being spoken by the other. Listening takes a certain level of focus and concentration. Can you remember a time when you felt like someone was really hearing you and listening to you? It feels so darn good, and as a result you feel a deeper connection with that person immediately. After practicing steps 1-4, take a few moments in silence to simply listen. Let Mother Earth know that you are listening to her and she will speak to you, it may be subtle, it may not be.
These five steps have helped me connect deeper not only with the land but also with myself. Being in solitude with nature, whether in a seated meditation or hiking up a mountain, can be one of the most healing practices there is. The more time we spend in nature, the more we can nurture and heal her and ourselves. Communication is the key to any loving relationship. I hope these practices inspire you to be in better communication with our planet.
As always, below are some recommended practices to foster communication and connection: