I sit on my screened-in porch in the company of the trees and birds, especially enjoying the sound and sight of a female cardinal in the tree. I savor the contrast of her orange and browns and marvel in her subtle beauty. She visits often and this time, chirps to me softly.  

As I watch, a strong and familiar feeling comes over me. This time, a feeling of unease and sadness.

I feel more deeply into it. Earth Mother, sharing her grief and physical discomfort.

As I write this, I can barely recognize my current self. My spiritual journey has been so deep and wide, I’m in territory that I can barely comprehend. But that’s kind of the point, isn’t it?

I spent virtually my entire adult life in academia, first as a student, then as a professor of a laboratory bench science in a large state university. I prided myself on my objectivity and even my atheism, and believed strongly that everything could eventually be known and proven, with the right detection mechanism. I did not give a thought to God or Spirit; they just didn’t exist.

When I met my late husband Christopher in 2010, he told me that spirituality just means accepting that there are things we may never understand. Ah, that means I’m spiritual, I thought. But that was the end of it until 2018, when we learned of Chris’ metastatic cancer upon the heels of my beloved sister Sabina passing from cancer.

I knew reality as I knew it had come to an end, and that my life would forever be changed. I also knew that my only path through this was through Spirit and post-traumatic growth.

I was an old friend to post-traumatic growth, the idea that one can flourish in response to tragedy. I felt I blossomed after my divorce, when I freed myself of the self-and-familial-limiting beliefs and constraints of my domestic situation. I’d been there and done that, and I knew I could do it again.

But Spirit was only something I heard discussed around the dinner table, not something I had participated in. But shortly after the time Christopher passed away 7 months later, I had received and accepted my mission from Spirit and agreed to quit my 26-year career in higher education to start a nonprofit dedicated to helping us all learn to care for ourselves, each other, and Earth. 

Earth can heal herself, but she wants humanity, her children, to help her heal. She wants you to tell the world. 

I was never one to gather mushrooms in the woods or go backpacking into the wild. I was raised in the suburbs, and I’m a bit prissy when it comes to getting sweaty, dirty, or cold. But this invitation to care for Earth in this way made perfect sense because Earth is the one that held me through Chris’ convalescence, death, and the grief period. My screened-in porch (in Athens, GA at the time) was the forest, the creek, the sky, the stars, the insects, and the woodland creatures that served as my sanctuary. Earth is the one that mediated my introduction to Spirit, though I didn’t realize it at the time.

Earth Mother came to me in those early days and explained to me that she will decide whether to heal, based on whether humanity will take responsibility for our actions and care for her as we once had. 

Two years later, the message has progressed. Earth Mother will heal herself; she has made the decision. Furthermore, she is evolving to become the brightest star in the galaxy. She’s a leader among planets, and revered for her beauty and brilliance. 

Humanity has an opportunity to evolve to the next level with her. She wants all her children with her for she wants to leave no one behind. 

But it is our choice. Though we are influenced by Spirit in innumerable and in often unconscious ways, we still have free will. It is our choice, individually and collectively, to decide whether to participate.

I settle deeper into my reclining chair on my porch and feel into her sadness and discomfort. I am present with her feelings and resist the impulse to talk it out with her. That’s a human way to process, and I’ve made my living off talking, then inquiring and supporting what emerges. Earth just wants me to be present with her and witness her feelings. 

I feel the urge to do some energy work. 

The second time I received energy work was during Chris’ illness in early 2018. I was told then that an ancestor, who said I could call her grandmother, was a medicine woman, and she would teach me her craft.

But she’s in the spirit realm right?  How will she teach me?

Meditate, Susanna.

I have been learning Grandmother’s medicine, especially in recent days, with the main subject of my healing efforts being Earth Mother. From the healers I spoke with, energy work benefits everyone and everything, including Earth. But (in my limited perspective) usually healing is focused on a person, or maybe a part of nature. Rarely, if ever, do I hear of healers focusing on healing Earth, Gaia, as a whole.

She has her own consciousness, and her needs as a holistic evolving organism differ from what a person, tree, or forest might need. Just as modern medicine’s main shortcoming is a reductionist approach to healing, I believe a 100,000-foot view of Earth care can also benefit our ability to find solutions for all parts of Earth, including ourselves. I don’t mean as an either/or approach. I mean as a both/and strategy.

I ground myself, protect the space, and ask for help from the Archangels, the reiki guides, the ancestors, and the elementals. I let Spirit guide the session… it’s a 100% intuitive process that’s co-created with Spirit. 

I feel Earth Mother relax and lighten. She gives me a big smile and there’s a sense of buoyancy that was previously absent. 

I ask her if she wants me to do anything else and she says no.

I know our economy and jobs are important, and people are suffering everywhere right now, physically, financially, emotionally, socially, relationally, and psychologically. And I also know that if Earth is unwell, so are we. Once Earth is once again thriving, this will give humanity and all species and elementals the best chance to thrive too. Therefore, Earth is at the apex of my attention and service. I’ll meditate with her all day if she needs me to.

It is for her, because she deserves it. She provides for all of us, and for past and future generations (I hope), and it is her turn. She should be our highest priority. It’s for our own benefit, but more importantly, it’s because it’s what we’re born to do. It’s our responsibility. We’ve lived in harmony and care for Earth throughout the history of humanity… until recently. We’ve, in essence, forgotten what it means to be human. 

And yet she still provides for us because her love for us is unconditional.

I can’t hold this space and energy by myself. Nor should I. This is the responsibility of the collective, and I’m asking all healers to join us at the Foundation for Family and Community Healing to commit to a regular practice of Earth care and healing.  

We healers can’t do it by ourselves either. Eventually, the collective must learn that Earth care should be our first priority, or we may lose all of our Earthly privileges. Not out of punishment, but out of necessity. And because it’s the right thing.

How will we convince the collective? What is it that we’d ask them to do?

I don’t know yet. Spirit will guide us. It will happen, and we will evolve with Earth and stand proudly with her in her triumph. We will all enjoy the fruits of her and our collective labor as we birth the new Earth and new humanity.

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