Earth Day April 22, 2020: Self Care Post 4

When I was living in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, deep in the heart of Canadian First-Nations, Indian Country, I did some volunteering for the Native Centre by supporting their Traditional Pow Wows for a couple of years. I learned a lot from First Nations organizers and volunteers, loved the slow pace and long silences of meetings, and felt blessed by the irrepressible joy of a people who identified as Earthlings. My experiences confirmed what I’d known for some time: our first allegiance is to Mother Earth.

Our sole provider, without Her gracious bounty, we die.

This Earth Day, as we see the fragility of our food systems through the COVID-19 lens, let us walk upon our patch of ground with reverence and thanksgiving. Before this crisis, it was easy to forget our Earthling dependencies. Now, we are more aware than ever before of our interdependence upon the greater-than-human contributions to our human lives.

Take the time to thank a tree for this life form’s many gifts. Hold soil in your hands. Think of worms, those tireless workers who aid all farmers and growers. Drink water with awareness of its rare and vital gifts to all of life on our home planet. Listen for birds. Call out thanks to the sun.

Delight is one of the most accessible supports for our personal health and well being. May we delight in what our First Nations Brothers and Sisters call All Our Relations as we express our gratitude for what is offered to us daily by our benevolent Earth Home.

For more about this year’s Earth Day, spend some time with

With Love , Sunshine, and Worm Power, Jane

Stories that Heal: Self Care Post 3

Recently, Netflix brought the film version of Richard Wagamese’s healing story, Indian Horse, to the small screen. As a Canadian living in Vermont, I was excited to find a story from home offered to the world of viewers able to luxuriate in small-screen viewing during these traumatizing times. Richard Wagamese is a man for these times, and Indian Horse, in print and on screen, reminds us that we are ever on a healing journey.

Story, as powerfully as dance and song, helps us to find and to move the hurt nesting in our bodies and psyches from its hidden places in our viscera and our embedded beliefs. Story loves us into wholeness by showing us that others too have suffered unspeakably and somehow find the grace to speak, to sing, to dance. Story, more than any of the arts, allows us to acknowledge and witness our pain and to claim our ability to move through the worst of what has happened to us to a place where healing can seep in, through images, through kind eyes, through a fellow being’s courage to tell and to heal.

I posted Indian Horse on my Resources / Books and DVDs for Inspiration page because of its timeless ability to help us to remember we are ever in flow and flux and not stuck in the worst of what has happened, even when this sense of being stuck in the worst feels permanent. Richard Wagamese tells a story about the worst that has happened, and also about the way through the worst. This is why he is a teacher for all of us, for all time.

To learn more about the remarkable storyteller of Indian Horse and so many more wisdom stories, you can read his own words about his personal healing journey at:

During this time of collective trauma, of growing compassion and empathy, of restrictive movements and expansive imaginative leaps, may you find the stories that nourish all your broken places, to make you sing, and dance, and tell stories for yourself and others. We are all needed to help us move along our healing path together. Never forget this: Your story is the medicine that will always support your healing journey.

Stay Safe, Everyone. Love, Jane