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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Ann

wildflowers: movement

Months ago, inspiration blessed me with the idea to re-labor a poem from my last self-published collection, creating a series of topics to explore as steps toward wholeheartedness. In this piece, we honor movement as a wildflower in my soul garden, with journal prompts italicized for easy finding.

A quick Instagram search for ‘movement’ provides a plentitude of exercise videos. But movement is more than physical: a shift or flow occurring in any aspect of humanity awakens movement in another.

A wholehearted mindset to life honors each aspect - physical, emotional, social, ecological, spiritual - with each nurtured by moments of action and rest. The answer about which practice to utilize resides within your heart, so check in with you, my friends, to figure out what’s healthiest for you at any moment.

Onward, we adventure:

Physical Movement

Yoga has been my go-to for consistent physical movement for at least half a decade. Yoga became a regular practice to support my trauma recovery journey, and in those early days of concussion recovery just over a year ago, I leaned on the compassion of concussion themed yoga practices to tenderly remind my body, brain, & breath how to communicate with one another. These physical movements were nothing short of holy. 

Recovering from a brain injury has been the most challenging physical experience I’ve had in this life thus far. Not much physical movement can happen while our brains refuse to let it. Luckily, my stamina has slowly replenished, with the last few months blessing me (finally) with endurance to reclaim physical strength. As soon as I was able, I downloaded an app, Barre Definition, eager to utilize low impact movements.  Many times since, I've grunted “I’m a pretty pretty dancer” as my workout reliably kicks my ass, my core, my legs, my arms, etc. I've loved every moment. 

What are your most beloved forms of physical movement? Is there anything you feel a call to try but haven't yet? 

Emotional Movement

Strangely enough, emotional movement happens often through stillness. My journey with stillness was plucked into existence by the metaphor of a hot potato as a traveling professor; a lighthouse blasting courage on the beginning of sitting still with the immense weight of grief I had carried with me for as long as I could remember.

The beginning of my stillness journey often felt like a bloodied battle. The shift maker was a brain injury that stripped me of my coping skills and forced me to be in bed with myself for a couple months. Oh, what a ruthless sacred mirror of an experience that was. I have a reverence for grief now that I didn't before. 

What experiences have been a sacred mirror showing you clearly what parts of you needed healing? Whose wisdom has been integral in awakening those parts of you in need of nurture? What is your current relationship with grief?

Social Movement

I'm obsessed with learning about Jesus as a leader of a social movement. For me, social justice is so deeply spiritual.

The (social) movements that formed around Yeshua bar Yosef survived the Roman crucifixion of their leader as a rebel ‘king’. -Richard A. Horsely

In a workshop about social justice, environmental social worker Lena Dominelli shared that when she visits new cities around the world for her many speaking engagements, often her hosts wish to show her the wealthiest areas of their city. Rather, Lena requests to see the most impoverished neighborhoods because she knows the treatment of vulnerable populations is the true marker of how a community is doing. 

Consider these areas in your community: How are marginalized people cared for? What organizations are doing the work? 

There is a maddening abundance of injustice in the world today, and to counteract it, immense movement is needed to create equity, balance, & health for all sentient beings and social systems. Enacting movement on a social landscape can be horribly overwhelming. As Sue Monk Kidd writes, both our personal and collective anger needs to be allowed, expressed and then transformed into compassionate energy and action for the greater good. 

How do you express your anger? How do you transform anger into compassion so that you may engage in sacred acts of resistance? How do you know what justice work to become involved with? 

Ecological Movement

I consider ecological movement as consisting of two interrelated concepts. First, the awareness that we are not separate from the earth, but rather that humanity is the earth, and the earth is us.

Learning to sense Spirit in earthbody elements: mountain, tree, wind, flower, water, insect for example, teaches us how to connect with that same Divine energy pulsing within our human bodies, which increases the second concept - our capacity for compassion and our subsequent desire to fight for ecological movement. 

What does ecological movement mean to you? How do you connect with natural elements? Which natural elements speak the loudest to you? What ecological causes are you drawn to?

I was thrilled to read the addition, in the recently updated Code of Ethics by the Canadian Association of Social Workers, that “social workers advocate for the stewardship of natural resources and the protection of the environment for the common good of all people” under the value of Promoting Social Justice. That alone feels like a prayer in need of a fiery Amen to activate energy empowering & protecting Gaia.

Spiritual Movement

The phase of spiritual movement I am in presently and ever so fiercely tender is faith deconstruction from mormonism to a feminist spirituality that is actively evolving.

My prayer for all of us is that we courageously empower ourselves to sort through internal muck to see with clarity our spiritual landscape, and that we find an external spiritual community that matches our internal spiritual space, and that the healing that is necessary is cultivated through our consistency and connection with Divine. 

Is your external spiritual community congruent with your internal spiritual space? What changes need to be made, if any? Which rituals nurture your spirit? Are there texts or topics you feel a call to learn more about? 

Reading is a massive practice that feeds my soul, so please have this list of resources that have supported my spiritual movement thus far: 

  • Bell, Rob. What is the Bible: How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters and Stories can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything. (2017) 

  • Besthorn, Fred H. Deep Ecology's Contributions to Social Work, International Journal of Social Welfare. (2012)

  • Brown Taylor, Barbara. An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith. (2009) 

  • Fox, Matthew. The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine. (2010)

  • Gibran, Kahlil. The Prophet. (2003)

  • Horsley, Richard A. Christian Origins. Early Jesus Movements and the Renewal of Israel. (2010)

  • Lloyd, Jacqueline. The Women Who Followed Jesus: Parts I & II, Stimulus (2013)

  • Monk Kidd, Sue. The Book of Longings. (2020)

  • Monk Kidd, Sue. The Dance of the Dissident Daughter. (2016)

  • Pinkola Estes, Clarissa. Women who Run with Wolves. (1995) 

  • Silver, Tosha. The Wild Gathering Oracle: A 52 Card Deck on Giving It All to God. (2018) 

  • Starr, Mirabai. Wild Mercy: Living the Fierce and Tender Wisdom of the Women Mystics. (2019)

  • Taussig, Hal. A New New Testament: A Bible for the 21st Century. (2013) 

    • Gospel of Mary

    • Gospel of Thomas

    • Acts of Paul & Thecla 

  • Townsend, Mark. Jesus through Pagan Eyes: Bridging Neopagan Perspectives with a Progressive Vision of Christ. (2012) 

  • Watterson, Meggan. Mary Magdalene Revealed: The First Apostle, Her Feminist Gospel, and the Christianity We Haven't Tried Yet. (2019)

  • Watterson, Meggan. The Mary Magdalene Oracle. (2023)

  • Wheelhouse Brown, Melinda. Eve and Adam: Discovering the Beautiful Balance. (2020)

digging deep & staying wild,

one soul garden wildflower at a time,


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