There is no greatness or power that does not emulate those of the earth… Walt Whitman

As we enter summer, and the outdoor beckons, a look at what the earth contributes to our lives – and how we can use its power and inspiration to heal us body and soul….



Summer – and  there’s no better time to reconnect with the earth in ways that are not only liberating, but also healing. A suggestion: Take off your shoes and walk barefoot (but safely) over grass, sand, or soft, dark, warm earth or, if it suits, sit in the garden under the shade of a tree, feet bare, pressed firmly against the earth, and through this connection of body to earth think about the difference you feel. Free, liberated?  Now think of your feet as roots to your body, the conduit through which you can connect with the earth’s natural frequencies.   Chances are, something will strike you that “this feels good”. And there may be reasons for that – and those reasons provide the rationale for the growing interest in “grounding” or “earthing” as a healing therapy.

Essentially grounding means connecting the body to the (negative) electrical charges that emanate naturally from the earth. This connection, best sustained over a period of time helps align our immune system with the earth and in doing so creates the anti-oxidant effect that can help relieve chronic pain and inflammation. In other words, the natural defenses of the body are restored – naturally.  Lying on the earth or sitting and planting bare feet on the ground for an hour every day might have some impact (and even if it doesn’t you may feel pretty relaxed) but to dedicate yourself to an earthing practice (and to do it in Canada year-round)  you need to go full-on and invest in grounding apparatus – the  patches and other commercially available devices (mattress, mats, etc.) that bring you back to earth.

While grounding or earthing may look at the physical, that sense of being “grounded” – firm and immovable - can also help with stressful moments.  One method  - commonly known as the 5-4-3-2-1 method – grounds you by shifting your focus away from the stressor.  To do: Take a deep breath and name five things that you can see, then four things you can touch and feel, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and finally, one thing that you can ( or would like to) taste.

Earth has long been a metaphor. Being described as “down to earth” should be a feather in your cap.  It means you live life devoid of too much fluff. Your pleasures may be earthly too – gardening, swimming, hiking the forest – everything that brings you closer to earth.  Earth was also the inspiration of one fashionable “earth shoes” – so named as their design emulated the feeling of walking barefoot in sand.


The aftermath of that summer rain is as good a time as any to dash outdoors and inhale. Smell it? Musty, earthy, deliciously evocative of nature that scent – commonly and poetically called petrichor - describes the unique, earthy smell associated with the aftermath of rain.  The actual scent is caused when the rainwater activates other compounds like ozone, geosmin, and plant oils. Why we enjoy and appreciate this scent so much may be primal. - our affinity for the smell of rain rooted in our ancestors who relied on rainfall to nourish and sustain crops.


If reading is your pleasure, then this summer might be the time to “ground” yourself by reading a book that ,set in land, and nature, inspires us to think more about the planet we live on and the gifts it give to us.  Some suggestions: North Wood by Daniel Mason, Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver, Where The Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens, Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Wall Kimmerer, The Seed Keeper, Diane Wilson.

This is the season. Time refresh, restore, our bodies and spirit, Barefoot, or plugged in, or grab that book, get down to earth.

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