Happy Earth Day!

Good Planets are Hard to Find, Don't Blow It

Today is Earth Day, 2015.

You will be inundated, today, with posts and emails urging you to hug a tree, plant a tree, sign this or that petition to save the planet, protest fracking and pollution, and probably buy some fancy, earth-friendly product that is on-sale today, because what’s a holiday without a sale, at least in North America?

I’ve decided to join the inundation of Earth Day posts, but in a slightly different direction.  Today, I want to remind you that you have a piece of the planet that is your very own.  A portable piece of Gaia; a little slice of Shakti, as my teacher’s teacher would say.

You have a body, and it is distinct from the planet, but not separate from the planet, just as you are distinct from your body, but not separate from it.

My invitation to you today is to celebrate Earth day, and to include as part of that celebration an outpouring of love to your own skin and bones, whatever that looks like for you.  Maybe it’s about preparing a delicious, wholesome meal for yourself.  Maybe it’s about letting your body move freely through space – dancing or walking.  Maybe it’s reminding your body of its connection to the Larger Body of the Earth; lying on the grass; walking in bare feet.  Maybe your relationship to your body needs some tending; you might consider asking a friend to give you a hug or a massage; you might give yourself a foot rub.  Or make a gratitude list of all the things you’ve never thanked your body for. Or write a letter to one specific part of your body.  The possibilities are endless.

Whatever you do, the invitation is to make it a Love-Fest; a Celebration.  Your body is what sustains your aliveness as an incarnate being, just as the planet is what sustains our aliveness as manifest reality.  So on at least this one day, let’s remember that through our bodies we are directly connected to the planet, and that is so, so amazing.  Let’s remember that having a body is a gift; that the intricacy and complexity of the human form is mind-blowing.  Let’s remember all the pleasure and wisdom that our bodies offer us, and let’s celebrate not only the earth, but also our own embodiment, which is our connection to the earth.

Happy Earth Day.  We inhabit one planet; let’s love it.  We each get one body; how will you choose to love yours today?  Let me know in the comments below!

Crying for Challah

I make a lot of challah.  The retreat center I live at often engages in a specific process involving challah, and I’m lucky enough to sometimes get to be the chef for the weekend, which means I’m the one responsible for making said challah.

I could probably write a whole book about challah, and maybe someday I will.  It’s a truly magical bread, and the making of it is a potent process.

Sometimes I cook with friends; sometimes they make the challah; sometimes I do…sometimes we create it together.  Sometimes the kitchen is full of chaos and noise while I’m kneading the dough and braiding it.  Sometimes I’m happy; sometimes I’m sad.  Every challah is perfect, even the imperfect ones, and every challah-making experience is a ritual in its own right and comes with its own challenges and lessons.

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