On our second episode of What’s the Tea?, Jesse and I invite you to pause and ground yourself, coming into connection with the Earth and all living beings around us and return to a more primal and natural way of being.
A Quick Meditation for you…
Before diving into this episode take a moment to pause. Take three deep breaths…
Inhale… exhale… inhale… exhale… inhale… exhale…
Come into communication with nature. Feel. Coming into your heart space where we can truly communicate with the animate world around us.
Breathe. Be with nature.
Now return back to this space with a sense of grounding and connection.
In this episode we talk about the importance of connecting with the land around us through various practices. We discuss the importance of a very natural and primal practice long forgotten in some areas of the world– walking barefoot on the Earth. We dive into the herbs in our cups of tea that aid in grounding, coming back to your relationship with the land around us and aiding in stress relief that can lead to nervous exhaustion. We are so grateful to have you here with us and hope that this episode inspires you to get out and stick your toes in some dirt as you sit beside your trusted plant allies, finding deeper connection to our dear Mama Earth.
What’s in Our Cup this Week?
This week Jesse was searching for a way to build on her connection with the land around her. She reached for herbs that helped to cultivate a deeper relationship with her local allies that she has watched grow. These are herbs that she foraged herself and in connecting with them and the Earth this way they have brought her a sense of grounding.
- Red clover
Once again Jesse and I were aligned with what we were looking to get out of our tea for this episode. I was looking for a sense of grounding as well but I approached this in a different way than Jesse did. I turned to some of my favorite roots, herbs to help with stress and bring me back down into my body and specifically root chakra instead of floating out somewhere in the abyss. Sometimes when we are stressed we can wind up with nervous exhaustion. This is when our nervous system has been in overdrive and is pretty much burnt out. “Adrenal fatigue” has been “diagnosed” more frequently, but often times before truly hitting adrenal fatigue we max out our nervous system first. The herbs in my cup can help to nourish, restore and revitalize the nervous system.
- Eleuthero root: adaptogen, cognitive support (decoction)
- Dandelion root: liver support (decoction)
- Burdock root: liver support (decoction)
- Licorice root: moistening (decoction)
- Rose hips: Vitamin C, heart medicine, immune support (decoction)
- Wood betony: grounding, good for Vata constitutions or excess Vata (link banyan quiz) and air signs, inward and downward moving energy (infusion)
- Green tea: always in my morning cup! full of antioxidants (infusion)
- Holy basil: nervine, adaptogen (infusion)
- Oat tops: nervine, nourishing, restoring, revitalizing, affinity for the nervous system, neutral (infusion)
- Oat milk, honey: warm and cozy vibes, honey is full of antioxidants, antibacterial, antifungal (keep in mind it is drying in the body)
- black tourmaline essence: energy cleansing/release negative energy, relieve stress/anxiety
Using Tea Intentionally
Tea can be powerful when it is used intentionally. When we take time to slow down and really be with our cup of tea, recognizing how each sip is nourishing our body, we activate our parasympathetic nervous system. This is really important in our modern world as we tend to be stuck in a constant state of fight or flight mode– the sympathetic nervous system. This can do a lot of damage to your bodies. Chronic stress like this contributes to the development of many illnesses and diseases. Intentional choosing and using our cup of tea is one way that we can turn to plants to help us. Give yourself permission to stop… to slow down. To sit with these powerful plants and really allow them to help nourish you– mind, body and soul…
Decoctions v. Infusions
There are a few different ways to make tea. In this episode I walk you through the difference between a decoction and an infusion.
Infusions are what we “normally” see tea prepared as. By “normally” I mean this is how tea bags and most loose leaf blends are infused. This is done by bringing water to just under a boil and then pouring it over a tea bag or loose lead blend. This is called steeping. It is best to cover the water with your herbs in it to keep the medicinal properties of the herbs from escaping through the steam.
A decoction is usually used for denser parts of an herb, such as roots. This is done by adding the herbs to a pot of water and bringing to a boil. Once boiling, lower to a simmer and all the herbs to simmer, covered, for 20-40 minutes. Strain the herbs and enjoy!
Practices for Connecting to the Land Around You
As I mentioned, walking barefoot on the Earth is an important and primal practice that is still praised in various cultures around the world. Unfortunately, in more Westernized cultures and even those touched by our modern Western society have long forgotten this practice. In this episode we touch on the importance of this practice for our physical, mental and emotional well-being. Jesse explains how walking barefoot is a primal way of living and moving and helps to strengthen our feet, ankles, muscles and joints (I would even go on to assume that it affects our overall posture and the strength of our back and abdomen). She explains wearing shoes has negative physical effects on our bodies and we have lost some necessary and primal movements based on taking short cuts to doing simple tasks that we innately should be able to do.
I referenced a study that was done where participants slept on mattresses that allowed the electrons from the Earth to still enter out bodies despite being raised off of the ground. As we advance in our modern world and walking barefoot may not be an option for everyone, we do have some access to different types of technology that can help us still receive the physical, mental and emotional benefits of connecting with the Earth in this way, such as the mattresses mentioned and “barefoot shoes” (like these ones). Although this would not be my first choice for doing this, it is another way to practice connecting with the Earth that may allow this practice to be more accessible to some. You can read a bit more about Earthing (walking barefoot) in my blog post here and in this article. (There are more articles listed in the show notes on Spotify.)
What do you think? Can we bring back walking barefoot… please?! I’m in! During my travels around the world I have been to many places where this is still practiced. Not only do people walk barefoot on the Earth, but it is accepted to enter grocery stores and walk on city blocks with no shoes on. USA can we make this a thing? Our physical, mental and emotional health may very well depend on it! I will leave you with this one last quote on Earthing before heading onto the next practice Jesse shares for connecting with the Earth…
“…the very fabric of the body, appears to serve as one of our primary antioxidant defense systems… it is a system requiring occasional recharging by conductive contact with the Earth’s surface – the “battery” for all planetary life – to be optimally effective.”
The other practice Jesse brings to our attention in this episode is taking time to bring awareness to and recognition to “the people and all beings and life cycles” that came before us. This is a way of giving reverence to the land. It may seem simple, but how often do we actually do this? And how often do we do it with intention? Take some time to think…
- What did the people who came before me on this land use the plants/trees/fungi for?
- What was their way of connecting with this land?
- How did they care for the land?
- What have the plants/trees/fungi done for this land?
- How has this land shaped into what I see before me?
Lastly, Jesse talks about having a sit spot in somewhere in nature– somewhere you can be pulled away from the distractions and the noise of our modern world. She recommends doing this every day for 20-30 minutes. She shares with us a presence mediation which includes connecting with all five of the senses to help connect and be present with the land around you. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell? What do you feel? What do you taste? This practice may not be easily accessible to us all, especially every day. But beginning to put it into practice in smaller ways can help as well. If you live in a city is the park nearby that you can go to? Is there a tree nearby?
Unfortunately we have become very disconnected from the Earth. We can see this when look at the nature (or lack of) around us. Take some time to look around…
- What is going on with the land around you?
- How is this reflected in the way you feel?
- How is this reflected in the patterns that we are witnessing collectively?
- How can you begin to come back into communion with the land?
- To develop a relationship of reciprocity?
- An even flow of give and take?
- How can you share this idea with others?
“Live with the land… instead of on the land.” – MK
Synchronicities are when we recognize patterns happening around us and we can see them as signs that are meant to help guide us. In a way they are a message being shared with you. This is something that you can tune into whether or not you believe in a higher power. Some people believe they are message from guides or a God. For others it can simply be you brain/body trying to communicate with you by focusing on certain patterns around you. What is the message trying to tell you?
I highly recommend grabbing a journal to dedicate to making a synchronicity log. This is a journal where you write down the different patterns that you see. Did you have a conversation with someone about connecting back to the Earth yesterday and then somehow wound up on this page reading about different ways to connect back to nature? That is an example of a pattern that you may see. Write them down and then come back and look at them from time to time and see what things may have lined up or what messages are being shared with you. This can also help to become more aware of the patterns in all beings and how interconnected we all are!
Be sure to connect with us on Instagram. We will be sharing some questions on our stories and feed for you to become a part of the conversation!
Jesse: @rootedspirityoga, rootedspirit.love
We hope to see you back for the next episode of What’s the Tea?