Daily Pauses for Dear Earth
What is a Daily Pause for Dear Earth?
A Daily Pause is a ritual or a creative practice which gives us a chance to pause from our daily routine and to come into relationship with dear Earth. They don’t necessarily need to connect us with wild or green spaces – even our concrete cities are built using raw materials from the Earth – but they are designed to connect us back into the living spirit of the Earth, and to open us to contrition, gratitude and awe.
Daily Pauses can be practised as an ongoing habit, and they are also a central pillar of my free For Dear Earth e-course.
Which Daily Pauses can I choose from?
Here are some suggestions, either alone or in combination:
- Write a love letter to the Earth and/or read one of my Dear Earth letters.
- Light a candle and spend ten quiet minutes reflecting on what you have received from dear Earth in the previous twenty four hours.
- Take a photograph or make a quick sketch or painting of dear Earth.
- Sit in meditation for half an hour and at the end dedicate your practice to Mother Earth.
- Pause for five minutes, outside if possible (or looking out of a window), and pay attention – stand quietly and open your eyes, ears and nose. (Use your fingers and taste buds too if appropriate!)
- Write an evening gratitude list of at least ten things you’ve received from sweet Earth that day.
- Connect every day with a wild or green space that has meaning for you – ideally by visiting it, but you could also use a photo/a found object/visualisation. Book a trip to visit it as often as is possible.
- If you have a spiritual tradition, choose one of your usual practices and afterwards dedicate it to beloved Earth.
- Pay close attention to something around you and write a few sentences to describe what you have observed – enjoy playing with language.
- Go on a daily walk, in nature if possible, but through the city is also good.
- Read from a book about the Earth – one about our current climate and ecological emergency (here are some examples), and/or one praising nature (some examples).
Why should we pause every day for our dear Earth?
When we take time out of our usual routine to connect with the Earth, we are committing to a sacred ritual. When we create rituals with the intention of connecting and we repeat them daily, regardless of what else is happening, they take on a special magic. They will be the yeast in the dough of your life. They will give you a space to breathe and reflect. They will help you to pay attention. They will bring you towards contrition and gratitude. They will steady you when all else is wobbling. They will bring you joy!
How should I choose my pause?
Follow your heart. It doesn’t matter which you pick, but when you’ve picked one, stick to it. Be realistic about what you will stick to – choose one simple thing rather than making it too complicated, and then you can always supplement it with other daily pauses when you have the time.
Does journalling count as a Daily Pause?
Yes. And, if you are taking the e-course, you might want to keep a journal in addition to committing to a Daily Pause to accompany you over the four weeks of the course.
What happens if I miss my Daily Pause?
Don’t worry – most of us struggle to do something every single day. The most important bit is to get straight back on the wagon and begin again.
What if I feel resistant to doing my Daily Pause?
This is a good sign – it may be that something is happening! Bring gentle curiosity to your resistance. Ask the different parts of yourself, ‘what are you afraid might happen if I continue?’. Listen to the answers. Empathise with the different parts of you. Maybe your pauses are taking you towards vulnerable parts of yourself. Maybe defences are being triggered – they may have different voices (‘this is a stupid waste of time’ ‘you’re too busy for this’ ‘it isn’t helping’ etc.) and they will all be trying to keep you safe from going into tender places. Listen to your protective parts and respect them. It’s never helpful to shove these parts aside – they will relax on their when they have been heard, understood and reassured. Do some journal writing or speak to a friend. If you need to, pause your Daily Pauses for a while!
Do I need to share the results of my Daily Pause?
The most important part of the creative Daily Pauses is in creating them. The results will already be visible to others – you’ll be a little steadier after your meditation, or a little more awake after your daily photo. Trust that these effects will be radiating out of you and helping others as well as dear Earth. If you’d like to share your results, be careful that you don’t get too caught up in self-criticism, or on hoping other people will like them/seeking praise. We all benefit from praise, but when it becomes your only motivator then this will take the magic away from your ritual. If you do share them, you could share them with friends and family – they may be an excellent way of introducing the topic of the climate & ecological crisis to others! You could also share them on your social media accounts, leave your love letters to the Earth on park benches, or get creative… There’s also a special private Facebook group where people can share their pauses, here.
What if I’m not creative?
Firstly, it’s only a part of you that believes you’re not creative – there are many other parts of you that are happily being creative already! Listen to the part that’s afraid you’re not creative, and get to know it a bit. Where did it first hear that? What might happen if you did experiment more with creativity? Secondly, remember that it’s not about creating something aesthetically pleasing, it’s about enjoying the process – playing, mucking about, exploring, paying attention. Give yourself permission to write or draw something terrible, and enjoy!
If you’ve got any other questions about the Daily Pauses I’d love to hear them so I can add them here. I’d also love to hear how you get on. Email me!