chapter two: remember
In this chapter you are invited to shift your gaze from your head to your body, as you allow a tidal wave of remembering that reconnects you to your true nature.
This kind of remembering does not come from any intellectual learning or teachings outside of you. It is a call home to the knowing that you have always belonged in the natural world. This remembering may have lived outside your conscious awareness until now, but has never left you. It is an awakening from deep within your body and may feel like an ancient knowing, a childlike innocence or like being reunited with an old friend.
Your body may respond in surprising ways as you begin to reconnect to your natural state. As you move through this chapter, stay present and pay attention to your body responses; they are simply a sign that your incredible aliveness has permission to reignite and be nurtured.
Gaia as a role model
By remembering that you were raised by Gaia, you can begin to reparent yourself through a very different lens, discovering that you too are elemental, intuitive, instinctual, interconnected and deeply woven into the tapestry of this planet. Through Gaia’s modeling, you can come to deeply trust your own cycles, ebbs and flows, stillness and movement, even life and death.
Allow yourself to see Gaia as a role model or parent who has been there from the beginning of your time on this planet.
Being present to Gaia, you can see:
- Gaia is majestic.
- Gaia’s body is the earth that hosts life.
- Gaia’s ecosystems nurture life.
- Gaia’s essence is the expression of life that we see in waterfalls, lightning, dew, wind, volcanoes.
- Gaia embraces all of herself — beauty, chaos, stillness and storms.
- Gaia creates life, even in her destruction.
- Gaia allows a constant evolution that creates resilience.
With Gaia as your role model, you begin to see:
- You are majestic.
- Your own body is an extension of planet earth.
- You too have a brilliant ecosystem that nurtures life.
- Your essence expresses life, often through feelings and sensations that have parallels in nature —rain, storms, rainbows, gentle breezes, earthquakes.
- You thrive when you embrace all aspects of yourself.
- As you let go and shift, you too create life through destruction.
- You can embrace change and experience resilience.
THE MAGIC OF GAIA
You are invited to read the following poem or click on the “Listen” button below and close your eyes to hear and feel the words read aloud.
When I was a little girl, I knew myself to be the magic of the planet, experiencing Life.
I saw it reflected back to me as I roamed the forests, watched the twinkle in the stars, lay on my horse’s back in the fields, conducted lightning storms with my fingers, and in my mother’s eyes.
The natural world seemed to teach me that I belonged. It reminded me where I came from, that chaos was divine order and that the change in seasons was as natural as taking a breath in and out.
Then, the outer modern world crept in.
My inner natural and instinctual world became suffocated.
I decided it would be easier if I pressed pause on my magical world.
I thought it was gone.
Years later, I woke with an intensity that could compare to that of a hurricane. I felt the chaos I had long forgotten beginning to rise in me, but I didn’t remember at first that it was divine.
I frantically searched for the magic outside myself, attempting to create a life that would give me a taste of the immensity I carried, without ever needing to meet it inside.
One day, at the end of the long, exhausting search outside myself, I found the courage to meet myself inside where I was still very much alive. . .
At first what came out were all the things I had wanted to say while on pause , all the heartbreaking truths that had been buried and never witnessed by another soul, about who I had come to know myself to be while trapped inside a human body in a world devoid of the magic of the planet.
What followed were waves of intense awakening in my body, and an unfurling of a place inside I had long forgotten.
Finally, when the inner storm subsided and I had honored the elemental voice that had been longing to come out from behind the double-paned glass, to be embraced, my life became more than just trying to escape or numb the pain. . .
I began to remember.
At first it was simply a moment of remembering, followed by two moments of remembering strung together, until one day, I was ready.
I embraced my true nature.
And experienced the beautiful, embodied Being I had always been.
~ Naomi Irons
CHILDHOOD PLEASURES IN NATURE
Many of our most authentic expressions were in complete flow as children. Going back to this time can offer you an intimate look and remembering of what pure authenticity and pleasure felt like. One way to bring those feelings forward and make them present in your current life is to tie them to nature.
Read, Listen & feel
You are invited to read the following. Then click on the “Listen” button below and close your eyes to hear and feel the words read aloud.
Gaia has walked beside you, raising you from the beginning. She has whispered to you from beyond the human world. She has always sung the song of your true nature. She has serenaded you with the essence of your being.
She shows you that you are an elemental being when you sink into her mossy floor, swim in her refreshing waters, squish her mud through your toes and let her wild wind whip through your hair.
Trust the call home that you hear within when you dance with her, for she is always Home. Like a loving mother who does not tell you what to do, she remains at her center for you to find yours, over and over again.
Press play to watch Deborah and Naomi share behind-the-scenes stories about creating Raised by Gaia and living a Gaia life.
In this video, Naomi shares how the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Hawai’i encouraged her children to not just learn from, but be in a relationship with nature.
Invitation to journal
When you have time to sit quietly with your journal, allow this chapter to integrate by doing the follow exercise.
Visualize yourself in nature. Choose a place you love to visit, or imagine visiting a new and wonderful place. Sink into the space and open your senses to feel yourself there.
Notice the wordless communication, your deep and natural connection with the planet and all the other-than-human beings around you.
Feel into the subtle exchange taking place. Notice that as you welcome and celebrate the natural world, you are welcomed and celebrated for exactly who you are.
Write about what emerged for you as you considered these ideas.
We’ve created a series of compelling emails to accompany and enhance your Raised by Gaia experience, offering more personal insights and a behind-the-scenes look at how this project came to life. Subscribe to our newsletter to both receive these emails and to stay in touch.
Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
— Khalil Gibran
Exercise: Childhood Pleasures in Nature
Many of our most authentic expressions were in complete flow as children. Going back to this time can offer you an intimate look and remembering of what pure authenticity and pleasure felt like.
One way to bring those feelings forward and make them present in your current life is to tie them to nature – either by recalling your earliest memories of nature, or by finding space in nature now to bring forward childhood authenticity so that it becomes current.
With this exercise, we invite you to return to a deep sense of fun and play, and to spark memories of being cherished, intimate and safe.
Gather a journal or special piece of paper with some writing utensils. Find a quiet spot — a space where you feel safe and held deeply. It can be in your home or, if you do not have strong memories of nature, then a place in nature to anchor what you’re about to experience.
When you are in the place, take a few deep breaths as you fully arrive in your body, allowing a softening and opening of your senses.
Invite your earliest memories/feelings/sensations of time spent in the natural world – either as a child or, if those experiences are not available, then whenever you started to be in nature. If memories of nature at any time are not abundant, then recall times of authenticity in childhood, when your senses were open and you could take pleasure in your world.
After spending some time with those memories and sensations, consider:
- What made you smile?
- What made your heart sing?
- What moved your body?
- What places enlivened you?
- Where did you play?
- What are your memories of being wowed?
- What were the experiences that evoked pleasure for you?
Take some time to deeply feel these potent moments of pleasure, and when you are ready, capture them in words or drawings.
Allow yourself to sit with these recollections of pleasure through the next week. Feel into how they can change your internal state. This is you, and always has been. Continue to build this pleasure list as memories return, and bring their power into your daily life.
You can also return to the place where you’re sitting now – or to any place in nature – to tap into that authenticity and bring it into your current experience.
Invite yourself to begin to see your human emotions (sensations) as expressions of Gaia. This will begin to create a space of safety for you to welcome and experience all of your inner sensations. You will come to see that each expression of Gaia that you witness outside of you, lives inside of you and is designed to shift, change, transform and evolve your inner terrain, allowing you to come to know yourself with more clarity and grace.
Each expression that awakens inside of you reminds you of how interconnected you are with the wholeness of life. The life that flows through you also flows through the forests, the mountain ranges, the chickadee, the dormant flower, the change in seasons and the ecosystems that maintain and nurture all life. With the awareness that you are the exquisite life that lives all around you, now it is time to discover that inside of you.
We will give you three examples and then invite you create a few of your own.
Anxiety: Instead of describing it as you’ve come to know it, try describing the experience of anxiety as you would see it if it was outside of you in nature. It might feels like an earthquake moving in your body with tremors that agitate. Use the idea of an earthquake inside of you to invite your awareness to move deeper into your body, trusting that your body has the capacity to withstand the shifts it brings.
Sadness: Instead of describing it as you’ve come to know it, try describing the experience of sadness as you would see it if it was outside of you in nature. You may feel the expression of an inner waterfall or ocean wave activate the water in your body. Allowing the water to flow may invite a cleansed feeling and more space in your body.
Anger: Instead of describing it as you’ve come to know it, try describing the experience of anger as you would see it if it was outside of you in nature. You may feel the expression of fire transforming your inner landscape. As the fire is allowed to burn safely inside of you, a new sense of personal power and resourcefulness may emerge.
Now spend some time considering the expressions that move through your body on a regular basis. Can you find a parallel in the natural world?