A couple years later, I moved to Seattle and soon met one of my dear friends and mentors, Mick Dodge. While this depression was gone, and I was doing much better, continuing with my commitment of being outside each day, practicing qigong outdoors, biking as my transportation, gardening, I still had a persistent gnawing at my gut. I wanted to be out more. I wanted to explore the mountains and forests, the rivers and wilderness. But how? Where? I realized I had this rather silent but pesky thought and belief that I had to wait for someone to take me, and I didn’t know how. Yet once I realized it was a thought, I knew I could change it!
It was at this time I met Mick. We were both giving a talk at the Seattle Bioneers conference and were stationed in the same room. I gave a talk on Qigong & Conscious Language and he spoke after me about the Earthgym. He had arrived early and heard my talk and I stayed to hear his. Both intrigued by what each other had said, we met up afterwards to share. I was inspired and entranced by his stories of using simple tools of stone, stick, ropes and trees to touch more deeply and powerfully and playfully into the teachings, mystery and wonder of our Earth. He was in town a few days, so we met up at Green Lake Park several times to train.
I LOVED IT! Upon our first session, of swinging with ropes in the trees, moving with sticks and training with stones, I started crying. I was so happy!! I felt an aliveness and joy serge through my veins as a whole world of creative movement, exploration, discovery, play and wonder opened up before me. I realized the Earthgym is Everywhere! There are infinite terrains to move and train in, whether city parks, opened fenced lands of the countryside, or the gated wild. The Earth is constantly teaching and sharing. As I move my body, I am naturally filled with a playful and joyful spirit that opens me to learn and receive the magic and wonder of our Earth. This is a most powerful way to learn and train.
After that first few days of training at Green Lake, I took these Earth tools and trained and played daily. A few weeks later, Mick invited me to visit in the Hoh Rainforest. As I had recently moved to Seattle, this was my first time there and an inner doorway opened. I experienced coming Hohme to the land of these Giant Trees and moss, the magical land of OM (Olympic Mountains).
Coming Hohme to the Hoh ignited a thirst and passion to touch ever deeper into our glorious Wild Lands, to learn as much as I could from some of my Greatest Teachers, Master OG (Old Growth), our forests, rivers, mountains, and Mother Earth. The wilderness became my ultimate, sacred training hall. It also became my integration hall where I bring my studies and qigong teachings from the East and integrate these into my body in the wild lands of the West.
Earthgym is an engaging, creative way to use oue most powerful musing tool, our bodies, to receive the Earth’s teachings from the forests, valleys, mountains and rivers. It is a way I use my “gait” to enter so many enchanted, powerful wild “Gates” around the planet — gateways that lead both to my inner and our outer Wilderness.
I am so excited and passionate to share this primal, practical and playful practice of Earthgym. In moving our bodies on and with the Earth, we are muscles musing magic!
“Follow your feet and the Earth will teach.” What will the Earth teach you? I have no idea, for it is different for each person. But the Earth sings to all of us. Through touching deep, we hear and share the Legends of the Lands and in doing so, come home to our true purpose and service.