walking lightly on earth




This post is an extension of the two posts THE MISSING LINK, PART 1 and PART 2, where I talk about how to reconnect with nature and rewilding your modern family.

As I said last week, the 21st-century man is fully domesticated, we eat processed and packaged meals, sleep in climate-controlled houses and we spend many hours in front of a “screen”.

Human rewilding aims to restore an ancient balance inside you and to integrate with nature, rather than extract from it. However, the goal isn’t to live in caves and dress in beaver pelts, but to fully realise our human potential – our human potential to thrive, heal and feel connected and a sense of belonging.

Many of us live in an urban setting, which makes it difficult to hunt and forage wild foods and the natural rhythm and seasons are easily blunted by the invasion of artificial lights and paved surfaces. Also, we might not be able to integrate our house into the jungle like here on the photo from Jasmine Valley Eco-Resort in Cambodia where we spent a beautiful week some years back. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t create a daily practice, inviting the outdoors inside nor align your sleep-wake cycle with the natural rhythm.

Invite the outdoors inside.

Open up windows and doors to let fresh air flow in. If it’s a hot day, open up in the morning, evening and night. Is it cold outside, open up during the daytime when it’s warmest. You can also do just 5-10 minutes, opening a window in every room to recharge the air quickly. Now you might be thinking that you’re living in a heavy traffic area with poor air quality however, indoor air quality is usually much worse than outdoors due to the many chemical treated materials in your home.

When you need to replace your furniture, rugs and other things in your home choose more “natural” alternatives made from natural materials and avoid chemical treated furniture and fabrics. Alternatively, make sure to outgas them outside for a week or more before bringing them into your home, however it won’t outgas 100%.

Grow plants in all your rooms and especially in your bedroom, as it’ll help purify the air and increase the oxygen level, enhancing your chances for deep restorative sleep. You might also be able to grow your own herbs and some vegetables indoors and hanging pots are a great way to optimise the available space. Note that most cut flowers are filled with herbicides and pesticides so even though a fresh bouquet of flowers looks gorgeous in your home, it’ll bring harmful chemicals into your home.

Align your sleep-wake cycle with the natural rhythm.

You can get out of the old pattern of being up at night “tired and wired” by being early to rise and going earlier to bed, following the natural rhythm and seasonal changes. It’s completely natural if you feel like sleeping more during the darker winter months and staying up longer during the “longer” summer days.

Increase your exposure to the natural light during your day because when sunlight enters your body through your skin and eyes, it tells your system that it’s day and time to be active (even when it’s overcast). This vital communication via the sun will also stimulate your production of the sleep hormones when nighttime approaches. The best way is to get more outdoors during the day (see PART 1 for suggestions how to) or second best get more light into your home or your work space. A study showed that office workers with more light exposure at the workplace tended to have longer sleep duration, better sleep quality, more physical activity, and better quality of life compared to office workers with less light exposure (windowless) at the workplace.

Switch your screens off at least 1 hour before going to sleep. The artificial “blue” light emitted by electronic screens and lights at night triggers your body to produce more daytime hormones, disrupting your body’s natural preparation for sleeping. Second best, you can use blue light blockers and apps on your computers, tablets and mobile phones and blue light blocking eye glasses.

If you’ve trouble sleeping you can get your hands on my free guide 6 Things You Can Do Today To Sleep Better Tonight

Ground yourself barefoot outside or using an earthing device (mat, sheet or shoes). Since the beginning of time, humans were in constant interaction with the earth, and only recently have we found ourselves more and more “disconnected” from it. The earth’s electromagnetic surface has the ability to “sync” with your body’s internal clock as your body is running on electromagnetic energy (that’s why heart monitors in the hospital beep, it’s because of our electric output). When in direct contact with the earth, your body becomes suffused with negative charged free electrons and equalises you to the same electric energy level as the earth. When you are disconnected from the earth, you accumulate positive charge and over time this positive charge builds up, depletes your energy, and promotes inflammation and disease.


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