Recently, I have been sharing on Facebook about my feelings of rage and frustration at what is going on in the world. We are headed in the wrong direction on so many issues. It’s heartbreaking and hope-crushing. After one Facebook rant, a woman asked me, “What do you think we should do with our anger?”
In all honesty, I have no idea, other than the obvious: to vote, march, organize. So I did what I have learned over the years: I brought her question to the earth’s landscapes––to the deserts, forests, oceans and rivers, mountains, and grasslands. I have long thought of these landscapes as wise ancestors.
It seems to me that now, more than ever, we need to turn to the earth for answers. Over the many years of writing and teaching about the landscape archetypes, I have experienced and witnessed how they move us out of our immediate, egoic concerns, allowing us tap into an ancient knowing that lives deep in our cells.
The landscapes have always held for me both personal and collective guidance. And so once again, I wanted to hear what they had to say. These are the messages I received.
Deserts—Learn to live in the bone. The more you can take care of your own needs, the less dependent you will be on systems that exploit both you and the planet. Know you are enough, that you matter. Look to the simple things of life for joy. Take less, live from the spirit. Make time to grieve.
Forests—Enter the darkness, for it out of the darkness that new things will be born. Know that the path is never straightforward. Where you stand now is not necessarily indicative of where you will end up. Much is yet unseen and unimagined. Trust your instincts. Whatever you do or don’t, impacts the web of life.
Oceans and Rivers—Just as water has to overcome obstacles to find its way to the ocean, so the power of your longing can help you move through these troubled times. What do you truly long for? This is not the time to hold back. Live from the depths of your wild heart. Become the guardian of your own waters—the purer you flow, the more you will revitalize everything you touch.
Mountains—Mountains were formed by friction or fire. Your job is not always to cool things down. Sometimes we need to erupt. Sometimes anger is the only appropriate response. If you are frightened of upsetting people, nothing will change. Feel into your granite nature. Opposition gives rise to soaring peaks.
Grasslands––Tend to the small patch of earth that is yours to tend and cultivate beauty in everything you do. Stop judging and learn the way of joy. Your gifts are needed. You belong here. Begin the sacred work of healing this broken world. It’s time to reweave community and renew our hope.
Now your turn: In any way that feels right to you, enter one or more of the landscapes and ask for advice. Settle in and get quiet. Listen. Then write down the messages you receive in your journal. Please share your Earth wisdom here. Together, we can turn to the Earth to help us dream The New Story.