FEET ON THE GROUND:

SIMPLE STEPS TOWARDS SELF-CARE

WRITTEN BY ERIN TELFORD
Erin Telford is a certified Breathwork facilitator/teacher, licensed acupuncturist, Reiki Master, and herbalist in New York City. Her mission is to help people look within and heal their relationships with themselves. She holds safe, sacred space for change through therapeutic conversation, lifestyle and spiritual counseling, essential oils, and energy clearing tools. She is fiercely committed to doing her own personal work because she knows she can only take her clients as deep and as far as she is willing to go. She has been featured in Shape Magazine, Nylon, NY Magazine, Well + Good, The Numinous and in Refinery 29 as one of “6 Women Who Are Redefining Wellness in New York City."

Photo by Melodee Solomon.
Photos By Melodee Solomon
I weave ritual and photography into one experience. Most of all, I genuinely enjoy and have a lot of fun with my clients! My goal is to draw out your essence and capture it in a photo. Each session begins with a small sacred ceremony, with the intent to move through any blocks or fears around being "seen," and to ground you into your body. It's much more than your average photoshoot.

https://www.melodeesolomon.com/photography/
Feet on the Ground

After 13 years of living in New York, I made the decision to leave my healing practice and my home to head out in search of Earth connection. Even though I fed myself all organic food, took my adaptogens and supplements, practiced yoga and self-Reiki regularly, and received bodywork, my nervous system was still suffering. It takes a lot of energy to combat the systemic assault that is New York. I loved the city but it was taking a toll on me. I started craving a life where I could walk out the door and put my feet on the Earth. It was all I wanted and I knew it was going to heal me in a different way than any other practice I was working with.

IF THERE IS NO SELF-LOVE, THERE IS NO SELF-CARE.

I see “self-care” positioned more and more as a commodity, an external practice, and something you can buy. Self-care is a commitment to yourself, your pleasure, your energy levels, your sensuality, your health and your enjoyment of your life experience. If there is no self-love, there is no self-care. That’s the part that feels tricky for a lot of people. If you don’t value yourself, self-care is going to be wrapped up in a lot of guilt and non-deserving. Excuses like not enough time or not enough money will show up. I love myself so I take care of myself. I know that my loved ones, my clients and my community all benefit when I am in a good space. If you are not in a space where you can take care of yourself for yourself, take care of yourself for other people and work on that self-love in the meantime. It doesn’t have to be much more complicated than that.

My very simple wellness prescription is:

  1. Quality sleep
  2. Move your body and put your feet on the Earth every day
  3. Avoid toxins in food, products, people and environments
  4. Clear your energy and process emotions so they don’t get stuck
  5. Spend time with people that love and accept you for who you are

The most fundamental things that everyone can do to take care of themselves are for the most part connected, accessible and low cost. If you are following that prescription, you are going to be in really good shape.

My very favorite healing practice right now is “Earthing”, which is simply letting the soles of your bare feet touch the Earth for as long as you have time. We are disconnected from the opportunity to discharge energy and recharge ourselves through connecting to this frequency because we very rarely make contact with the Earth. If everyone did this daily, they would be much less anxious and tired.

When I was in Joshua Tree, I made sure to go for a walk or a hike and take off my shoes and put my feet on the ground every day. I could literally feel all of the sludgy, sleepy, fatigue energy draining out of my body into the ground. In return, I could feel an energy of electricity and vitality rising up into my cells. This is the Schumann Resonance. It is the heart beat of the Earth. It is the electromagnetic frequency that heals and balances us. When we align, and connect to the Earth in this way, we can counteract the effects of an over charged nervous system. Our planet can heal us. Walking around on concrete all day and never making contact with the land gets us out of rhythm. We build "charge" in our body of anxiety and all the EMF's from the environment that create restlessness and exhaustion. Mother Earth's vibration harmonizes our energy like a tuning fork. When we match the Earth's frequency, it reduces biological stress on our bodies. Mother Earth is a master recycler. You can ask her for permission to release pain, toxicity, exhaustion and dense energy into the Earth. She can take it and alchemize it into vibrant, alive energy. It's a potent, profound and 100% free healing session. Earthing did more for my adrenals than any herbs or tonics. Find the patch of Earth that calls to you and put your feet on it daily.

A NOMADIC JOURNEY IS ENDLESSLY SELF-CONFRONTING BECAUSE WHEN YOU REMOVE ALL THE ROUTINES AND STRUCTURES FROM YOUR LIFE THAT CREATE SUPPOSED SECURITY, YOU ARE JUST LEFT WITH YOURSELF.

Tending to the mind and the spirit can be more complicated than tending to the practical aspects of the physical body. I’ve made it part of my life’s work to look into the recesses of my shadow with kindness and compassion. A nomadic journey is endlessly self-confronting because when you remove all the routines and structures from your life that create supposed security, you are just left with yourself. Wherever you go, there you are right? I had more than one chance to choose to release non-serving thoughts on this journey.

My “I am not worthy of love unless I'm perfect” trip got activated after some technical mishaps with one of my virtual Breathwork groups. At this point it's mild and I bring a lot of consciousness to it, but it's still there. So, I made a choice to forgive, reassure, and release. Knowing I did my best. Knowing that it's all an opportunity to bring extra attention and intention the next time. Knowing that it’s about showing up, not controlling everything. You have a choice in how you meet the parts of you that want to take you out. We don't like to hear those voices so we back pedal away.

To create new templates in your spirit, you need to give self-compassion just as much, plus double, of the amount of time that the self judgement has been allowed to reign. There are two ways that you can work with yourself with you feel uncomfortable in your body or your spirit.

1. The Old Way: Kick yourself while you're down. Pick up the whip and crack it. Heap guilt, shame and criticism on your tender heart. Let the voices that say "not good enough, never will get the love you need" run the show…ouch.

2. The New Way: Be the parent you needed for your inner child. Love yourself through it. Kiss your boo boo's. Pile love, compassion and tenderness on yourself. Do it every time that voice tells you that you aren't worthy. 50 times a day.

Lastly, intimate relationships are everything when it comes to healing and self-care. This may seem wildly obvious and hardly revelatory but for someone who has lived alone for ten years, always a plane ticket away from family for over twenty, and in a city where you have to plan a month in advance and get out the calendars even to see people you love the most, it’s been incredibly healing. I think we are all beginning to feel the echoes and DNA level remembering of what it felt like to live within a tribe. We are in this weird place in this digital age where dealing with people face to face can feel messy, complicated, confusing and too vulnerable. When all of those truly human moments are exactly the ones that we need to quell anxiety, depression and loneliness. I have been wildly soothed through some sticky moments by simply being seen and having someone there at every turn where things could have gone emotionally south if I’d been alone and spiraling in my head.

I have met more of my soul family and my kindred spirits on the road. They are easy to spot by the look of recognition in their eyes and their ease in holding space for themselves and all of me. One of the most profound healings you can ever provide for another human is to see them, accept them and love them for all that they are. The bright and shiny parts and the parts that they have trouble loving. It can be scary to allow someone to see you when there has been rejection or love has been taken away when you showed someone a part of you that they didn’t like or couldn’t handle. It is worth it to keep looking for those who are capable of showing up and loving the full you.

I wish you ease and peace on your journey of taking care of yourself.

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