Global Earth Exchange: Honoring Our Love and Pain For the World

As part of Radical Joy for Hard Times’ Global Earth Exchange, we will gather to Honor Our Love and Pain for the World. This will be equal parts sharing in circle, solo time on land/with the river, a simple grief ritual, and creating ecoart together.

Date: June 25
Time: 10am-12pm
Where: Mad River Hatchery, Blue Lake

We are in a collective initiatory moment. The old forms are dying away, and the new is emerging simultaneously, though it may often feel like the new is not emerging fast enough and we feel overwhelmed by the state of things.

Because we love and care for the world, we feel grief and other emotions when we see the harm being done. Because we are NOT separate from nature and others, we cannot help but be impacted on many levels. We are often not able or willing to fully feel or express these emotions for a variety of reasons. The idea here is that by allowing the space to feel, to witness and be witnessed with these energies, we are honoring nature’s feedback loop and can become unstuck. . 

By sharing grief and other emotions, and moving through them, we can step into new ways of seeing and reconnect to each other and nature, and thereby become even better stewards of the world and the work that needs to be done to heal. And by giving gifts of beauty, love and gratitude for all the more-than-human world has given to us, we renew and deepen our relationship with the world and each other.

This is a FREE simple earth-based gathering and everyone is welcome.

What to bring:
Just your self, Water and a snack. If you’d like, bring an item you’d like to temporary place on the centerpience. Perhaps an item that symbolizes a loss or gratitude or something you are feeling about what is happening in the world and our relationship to Mother/Lover Earth.

What Emerges Amidst the Ashes

Many of you may know Trebbe Johnson & her offering in the world, Radical Joy for Hard Times. I had the pleasure of spending time with her at the Global Wilderness Guides Council gathering. A group of us created guerrilla beauty & sharing among the sequoia, sugar & ponderosa pine, some 100,000 acres of which burned last year.

Sitting among the ashes together, listening to the land while sierra wildflowers emerged, songbirds sang, & stones spoke deep time, was a healing moment of holding it all from a place of heart-centered compassion that doesn’t deny the grief, the hard stuff, and also doesn’t deny the joy & beauty that has a way of also emerging in the most unexpected ways.

I expected to go to my usual place of deep grief being with the charred remains of the landscape. Yes it was there; Yet it was one among many energies percolating in me, & found myself no longer afraid to be with it all. My first impulse was to pour some of my water into the ground. I was moved to want to be intimate with the ashes—smell it, taste it, FEEL IT. I rubbed soot over my arms, legs, and face. And I knew: I am the burnt forest. I am the spring penstemon & pussy paws poking through. I am the discarded trash. I am the wind playing the harp of the dry ponderosa needles.

As we were closing sharing of our experiences being with the landscape, two red foxes came up the hill, curious about what these two-leggeds were up to. It was a moment of wonder, laughter & possibility.

We then co-created beauty in the form of a bird just from elements from the landscape, from pinecones to manzanita to rusted beer cans. To me it had the appearance of a gorgeous phoenix rising from the ashes.

The piece I added was glass from a bottle. It had one word: “Contents”. I couldn’t help but be struck by the playful juxtaposition of ‘contents’, and ‘conTENT’—one a filling up with things out of a sense of emptiness, the other being at peace.

I placed it on the heart of the bird.

The annual Global Earth Exchange is coming up June 25, a day to give simple gifts of gratitude/beauty to places we love that are wounded. You can find out more at @radicaljoyforhardtimes.


🌏Anchor in an unshakable ecospirituality (deep time, reciprocity, gratitude, humility, animism, sacred pause, honoring the season)
🌏Chip away at inherited maps & stories, Dismantle supremist scripts, Divest from Empire (the most ecological thing we can do is compost white modernity)
🌏Befriend your watershed, get to know your plant kin, praise the soil, listen to the river
🌏Build your capacity for discomfort (and discern the difference between danger and discomfort)
🌏Slow down. Practice skills for building spaciousness and grit within (regulating your nervous system)
🌏Support indigenous sovereignty, frontline water and earth protectors, and #Landback campaigns.
🌏Listen deeply for your particular callings and follow them with the commitment of a monarch butterfly’s pilgrimage, ridiculously, beautifully, and like a sacred fool (what is yours to do and discerning when and how you get pulled off center)
🌏Celebrate your senses, revel in ecosensual pleasure, embrace your shadow, and tend your grief and that of others.
🌏For the love of Gaia, give up on hope and hopelessness. Rather, become intimate with butterflies and the seasons, the pace of the moon, the sacred wounds, the parts of you that you’ve neglected still flitting about inside your Meadow. Let even the most disturbing questions and daring dreams drip down the canyons of you. Then, you’ll let go of bringing your silly little head to the game of hope and despair, But will be Life living through you and from there, the Wild and Wingéd Way will emerge like the butterfly from the cocoon, which not even the mightiest empire can withstand.

We are earth.

Healing Work IS Antiracist IS Ecotherapeutic IS Decolonial IS Sacred Grief IS Rewilding

Healing work IS Anti-racist work IS Decolonial work IS Ecotherapeutic work IS Sacred Grief work IS Rewilding work.

These are not and cannot be seperate if we are to dream and enact ourselves into regenerative, cooperative, co-liberatory, earth-honoring habits of being and doing.

We know the dominant/dominator system is sick and dying. Perhaps it’s already dead and we haven’t quite accepted it? Perhaps we’re living in its corpse and like butterflies from a messy cocoon we must sprout out?
How do we respond?

Yet, like a mosquito at the river’s edge, I’m troubled by incessant questions: If white supremacy was dismantled, if capitalism completely collapsed and transmuted into something that worked for all, if the patriarchy and heteronormavity imploded, if empire was composted, we are still left with root questions:

How will we relate to each other and our earth home?
How will we belong ourselves in a reciprocal, mutually honoring and life-enhancing way?
Will we know how to say hello and goodbye to one another?
How can we hold our monumental griefs together?
How will we compost the emperor and police within us?
How will we ask “What serves creativity and Life?” as our basic operating premise?
What alternative slower and local ways will we cultivate to meet basic hominid needs?
How will we imagine new ways of loving ourselves, each other and the world?

It’s a tall order. It fact it’s too damn tall, as all sacred journeys are. Yet…I feel we’re up to the task. Not as a to-do list or a smart strategy, but as a way of walking in the world. Minute to minute practice full of failure and learning. Not to be completed in one lifetime, but steps on the journey.

My third stomach knows. The ancient river in my bones know.

I feel it’s why we’re here now. Doing this. Beingness. Together.

As earth elder Joanna Macy says, “What a gift to be alive right now.”

10 spring Poppies for Approaching Ecotherapy

When invited to teach an upcoming Ecotherapy course, I realized that something beyond more knowledge or even skills, as commonly understood, is required. Something in me balked at overly-academicizing it, and felt that all-too-familiar intellect taking over, alienating my body, heart, and soul. So these are some spring wild poppies and prickly cacti that emerged through the soil:

1)Deepen your own soul and intimacy with wild nature. Carve sacred pauses in order to practice deep listening and cultivate wholeness.

2)Practice presence.

3)Hone your skills of belonging. Finding that belonging is not only a place but a skill honed with a fierce heart. It is as much a ‘How’ as a ‘Where’, steeped in relationality and stalked by the sacred.

4)Shape your sacred why and wild purpose. Your truth is a medicine for a world that needs it. Your gifts are both a belonging and a deep responsibility. Trust. Trust what you hear when you practice 1-3. Let what needs to be visible become visible, what needs to become invisible become invisible. The joyful gravity of you enacting you ripples out infinitely.

5)Locate and inhabit your niche in the ecosystem of healing. )Locate and inhabit your niche in the ecosystem of healing. “Where your soul’s gift and your positionality (dynamic social location of power + privilege) meet is your ecological niche for a hungry world.” (This beautiful & dangerous framing is from Pinar Sinopoulus-Lloyd (@queerquechua) of @queernature)

Use your privilege towards co-liberation. Become comfortable with uncomfortability. Relinquish power-over. Examine Extractivism in all its forms. Embark on the pilgrimage of Decolonization.

6)Experiment and dance on your growing edge. Shapeshifting is not only allowed, but a basic operating instructions of the cosmos.

7)Live the cycles. Become an apprentice to moon and sun and with river take your counsel. Hitch a ride with a wild wind and honor the seasons, internal and external.

8)Let your animal body be pulled by the scents, shapes, and tastes of the world. Resurrect pleasure, flow grief, surrender to awe. Embody your values. Align thought-feel-flow-movement. Calibrate your body to your heart.

9)Become defeated by the other-than-human.

10)Let all the lies die.