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Discover the Power of Morning Altars: An Embodiment Practice

Updated: Jan 16

Nature Mandala called a broken altar which represents a new narrative of wholeness
Broken and Whole Nature Art

Being a polyvagal-informed and mind-body practitioner, I am always curious about the many ways we can work with restoring homeostasis and accessing states of health and well-being. This means restoring our felt-sense, or what is often referred to as being embodied.

We are experiencing an epidemic of loneliness. This is multifaceted issue. We are experiencing so many losses of our daily routines, our rituals which create disconnection within ourselves. These are in addition to our losses in human to human connection. From a polyvagal lens, this has real impacts on our physical and emotional health.

Typically as we consider loneliness, we narrowly focus on the human to human disconnection. But I recently came across this article in science news discussing our need to broaden the definition of loneliness to include our loss of connection with rituals, song, and other practices. These are the felt sense of our BE-ing and that are often practiced in connection with community and environment.

Embodiment, restoring our felt-sense, is a practice, not a destination. Embodiment and self-regulation is about being able to bring awareness to our internal landscape of our body, to be aware of our external environment and connected with our body in gravity and space.

When we are embodied we become present. We experience a sense of "safe enough". We are aware of our shifting energy states, and when we have shifted from safety to protection.

An embodiment practice is about how we become aware of these shifts and restore connection with our body, restoring our felt sense of safety and connection. Our nervous system finds safety in some levels of structure. This often happens through our routines, and rituals of well-being. For examples:

  • walking your dog

  • lighting a candle

  • trauma-informed mindfulness meditation

  • trauma-informed movement, like vinyasa or restorative yoga, or even weightlifting

  • attending a prayer or healing circle

  • contemplative collective practices like a labyrinth

There are so many ways to create embodiment practices, that's because it takes many ways to emotional regulate within the complexity of our world.

So let's talk about restoring connection with nature. After all, we are nature come alive and connecting with our root energies can be a powerful embodiment practice.

This is where I can share about something I am learning called Morning Altars. Morning Altars, developed by earth artist Day Schildkret, is a 7-step practice designed as an engagement of healing and ritual through impermanent nature art. I'm excited to share I am currently involved in this 8-month Certification Program. My personal experience has been a restoration of play, release and restoration.

Stay tuned in months ahead as I will definitely be sharing more!

What I love about this practice is not art, it's about reconnection and embodiment. This process of these practices teache us attunement skills, connecting with our intuition, and being able to communicate our implicit expetriences explicit in therapuetic ways. It invites us to connect, play, create, move and flow and to cultivate stillness.

It helps us relate with the impermanence of things and experience coping and adapting with change. It can aid with processing grief and traumatic stress.

There is so much beauty in this practice and requires no artistic skills or talent. It asks for presence with nature and being in reciprocity with her.

While I'm just beginning to incorporate this work, I thought I would share a bit of my emerging portfolio of work. Hopefully it can inspire you through this season that can be so challenging. I'm looking forward to sharing so much more with you very soon!


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