In the Belly of the Beast – My ‘city dieta’ and Earth body relationship as a practice

I had a beautiful day letting myself sink into the land yesterday… To literally put belly to earth and feel myself being tuned and regulated by its slow pulse and rhythms after an intense, fast paced week of work and city living.

I have spent most of my life living in or near epic wild places, so the last two years in the city have been an initiation on many levels.
I’ve had to learn to cultivate the space and atmosphere for relationship and re-enchantment with my Earth body that usually comes quite easily to me in wilder settings.

In many ways its felt like I’ve been on a ‘city dieta‘ – where I’ve been forced (and yet also somehow chosen) to become much better acquainted with the mindset that is driving the Anthropocene in a way I never have before… I am seeing the schism of separation with a clarity I didn’t realise I needed and I am being forced to get to know its characteristics- even though I would much rather be studying the bum of a blue banded bee… but here I am, looking intently into the face of this beast that is cannibalising our last remaining old-growth forests as I write these words- I am seeing how I am in complicit in this and I am feeling the fire to change this story! of course city living isn’t all industrial growth driven apocalypse, I actually love having access to the melting pot of influences and creativity that City’s have- And Melbourne is home to some incredible beings doing amazing things that have deeply inspired me in my short time here- its something I really desired when I was based in my remote jungle home.

But I cannot tell you how much time I’ve spent longing to ‘go bush’ since arriving here in Australia or to escape to a little paradise eco-community- how hard I’ve pushed against this lifestyle at times… And we probably will move further out sometime soon, but for now I’m appreciating how this time is forcing me to cultivate Earth body relationship/connection as an actual skill-set that can be practiced… And is also giving me an appreciation for just how challenging it can be to maintain that relationship and enchantment with the world when you are swimming in a fast paced, materialistic sea of disconnection almost daily… Integration takes on a whole new meaning in this environment.

I have gone through months at a time of feeling utterly lost in this place-feeling cut off from my sense of wonder with the world, marooned from natural cycles of Earth and my body, struggling with my job, being broke (relatively), feeling tired and drained on the weekends.. Just generally feeling bleak… And also totally unable to use the many tools I have at my disposal to actually help myself. I have see-sawed between seeing the perfection in this ‘death process’ and feeling like something had gone terribly wrong, like i had somehow taken a wrong turn.

But in the last 12 months there has been progressively less of that and more clarity and insight into how necessary it has been to pass through this process of deep letting-go and all the grief that has come with it (aaah sweet retrospect). To let old dreams, old identities, old stories be composted to create rich soil for something new to emerge.

My time in the city now feels a lot more ‘on purpose’ and intentional- I’m being changed by this environment, its helping me to understand the nature of the obstacles we are facing as a species on a much deeper level, its caused me to ask a lot of questions and its bringing a lot of insight into what its going to take to make the necessary global changes going forward and what my role in those changes might be… I’m beginning to see ways that I can bring my skill and experience in deep-plant-connection together with frameworks such as The Work that Reconnects/Deep Ecology to help play my small part in The Great Turning, the shift into a regenerative and Earth sustaining society.

I don’t think this particular ‘city-dieta’ and letting-go process is quite finished with me yet and the new roads are only just beginning to show themselves but I feel a sense of direction that I haven’t in quite some time… And so for now it feels good to release expectations and just allow the Earth to act through me, even if I don’t quite know where its leading or what value my actions will ultimately have.