Monday, June 4, 2012

Earthing for Earthlings!

My spell-checker underlines the term with that red squiggly line, but I have a feeling it won’t forever, as “earthing” becomes more familiar to our society.

“Earthing involves coupling your body to the Earth’s eternal and gentle surface energies. It means walking barefoot outside and/or sitting, working or sleeping inside while connected to a conductive device that delivers the natural healing energy of the Earth into your body… (It) diffuses the cause of inflammation, and improves or eliminates the symptoms of many inflammation-related disorders…lowers stress and promotes calmness in the body…normalizes the body’s biological rhythms…protects the body against potentially health-disturbing environmental electromagnetic fields (EMFs)…” (Earthing, p. 10-11).

I had come across a reference to the book, Earthing: The most important health discovery ever? by Clinton Ober, Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., and Martin Zucker, and  was so moved by it that I ordered it. Now that summer has provided more free time for me, I have finally been able to begin to wrap my mind around it.

As I was reading it this afternoon, something struck me:  the difficult student who always had his shoes off. I don’t know how many times I tripped over those things throughout the course of the school year! I was OK with him taking his shoes off, if that made him more comfortable. When other kids would ask me if it’s OK to have their shoes off, my response would always be something to the effect of: “If your feet aren’t so stinky that they’re keeping a neighbor from learning, it’s fine by me!” This one student, though, never did ask; he just did it. And he did it every day. But why?

Now, let me paint a simple picture of said student. This kid was all over the place, all the time. I can handle a high-energy kid, but when you throw in bouts of disrespect for others and frequent negative attitude, then that rubs me the wrong way. He was my challenge this year. He was my “give an inch, take a yard” kid, but it was more like give an inch, take an entire football field! I loved him nonetheless. And I loved him even more deeply when I read what he wrote in my yearbook:
                 Mrs. Wright, I know we had our ups and downs, but you’re still the best teacher ever, and the only one so far who didn’t request for me to change classes…

Now, if that didn’t take my breath away and steal a piece of my heart, forever…

Every time I’d try to analyze this guy, my instinct always fell back to the idea that kids really are different these days; that they are here to change things up; to break down our current non-working systems in order to rebuild new ones, ones that work in partnership with our changing societal needs. That thought would help me muster patience, somehow (usually).

We all need it, but if there were some sort of scale to measure the degree of need in regards to grounding, he would definitely fall toward the end of the spectrum of most need, in my opinion. Could it have been a natural instinct for him to take his shoes off in order to ground himself? Maybe taking his shoes off was a coping mechanism. Maybe that was a way for him to center himself, naturally. I don’t know…but it’s something to ponder.

I’d been reading that book at the pool this afternoon, and when I got up to come back home, I began to slip my rubber-soled flip flops on, then thought better of it. My feet were much happier pressing into the grass instead of scooting along in my stiff shoe-coffins.  I think I need to make it a daily practice to let my feet embrace Mother Earth; I think we all do.

I hope we all will.

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