7 Ways To Live Regeneratively (That Have Nothing To Do With Farming)

mbg Contributor By Erin McMorrow, PhD
mbg Contributor
Erin McMorrow, PhD, holds a doctorate in policy, planning, and development from the University of Southern California, studied political and social thought at the University of Virginia, and served as the director of housing policy with the Los Angeles Coalition to End Hunger and Homelessness. She is the author of "Grounded: A Fierce, Feminine Guide to Connecting to the Soil and Healing from the Ground Up (Sounds True, March 2021)," as well as a certified yoga teacher, craniosacral therapist, and entrepreneur living in Los Angeles.
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Transforming our connection to the soil and healing from the ground up requires us to remember the connection between our bodies, our roots, and all of life.

We have real work to do when it comes to reversing the climate crisis. The first step is to remember who we are and where we came from. As we remember our connection to the soil and our souls, we remember our innate power, and as we do that we can heal our energetic body systems, as well as the systems of the earth.

The way home is back into ourselves—into our inner work that creates our ability to express the outward solutions necessary and co-create together. Finding our sacred sexuality, reconnecting to our true power, maintaining healthy boundaries, and communicating honestly is the way to heal our planet in time.

Living a regenerative life: Basic principles.

What does it look like to live a regenerative life? One that is not simply sustainable (as in, not poised for inevitable breakdown) but one that actually works with the abundance of nature to create?

I offer the following as a gentle review to take step by step. Here are some simple ways to live a regenerative life:

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1. Sleep.

Get plentiful, restful sleep. Not receiving the gift of this fundamental nourishment is a huge red flag that we are not in alignment. Western culture is famous for sleep-shaming because it runs against the notion of endless productivity and the habit of mining ourselves in the same way we've mined the earth. Replenishing sleep is an act of revolution.

2. Food.

Eating is an act of lovemaking. How many of us have for decades been running around unconsciously or fervently shoving some foodlike substance into our faces? Just to get to the next place, to do the next thing?

Imagine the billions of miraculous interactions in nature that result in the single apple, potato, or leaf of lettuce! The sun shining down with all its infinite love. The poetry and flowing wisdom of the water cycle. How could we believe for a moment that the universe is not benevolent? Like sex, our relationship to food is actually about pleasure, expression, love, and the divine.

3. Sex.

Amazingly, sex didn't make it to my original list. What? Blindspot. Still, our bodies desire to express themselves, and pleasure is our birthright. When we remember ourselves as part of nature, we remember that sex is so much more than simple procreation. It's artistry. It's dropping all the way in and being present with ourselves and others.

This can absolutely mean self-pleasure, sensuality practices, and consensual, enthusiastic sex with whomever. Sex is sacred. One more time: Sex is sacred. Our creative energy is ours. We belong to ourselves and get to share this, as it serves the highest good of all. Sexual healing is real. So much damage has been enacted and passed along the lines of humanity. Some gentle, sweet, loving healing is in order.

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4. Music.

Music was also not on my original list (another blind spot). Music is the voice of Spirit. Vibration is the language of the universe. I'm as far from a trained musician as perhaps anyone, but I now feel, know, and understand the magic of music.

The goddess speaks from inside out. The drumbeat—the pulse of our internal heartbeats—is a pathway home to the soul. The more we can integrate music into our lives, the more powerful the healing we'll encounter.

5. Giving and service.

Life is all about service. When our well is full and our cup overflows, we are able to give and serve, which is what we are actually all about. Everything in nature serves the greater good.

Apparently, even the humble human appendix (mine ruptured and I had it removed as a small child), which was believed to do "nothing" for the longest time, is in fact involved in repopulating gut microbes. Ha. When we give from a truly loving place, we activate our fundamental purpose—we incarnate to serve. Once we can accept our baseline safety on this earth, we have more than enough to give. Little warms the human heart as much as giving.

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6. Receiving.

Being open to receiving is absolutely central to our wellness. And our disconnection with the goddess is the place where so many of us find ourselves disconnected from our ability to receive.

Just like resting, sleeping, eating with peace, and enjoying sex, the yin is here waiting for us to remember the art of receptivity. Our human bodies process a lot. And in order to show up for service, we must be willing to receive in balance.

7. Nature.

We are not separate from nature. What would it be like to commune with the Great Mother on a daily basis? To nurture a plant? To pet an animal? To breathe the air and remember that we are part of it? Everything on this list is part of nature. Everyone is part of nature.

Receiving the gifts of nature can feel like a punishment when we are so programmed into forcing, prodding, and pushing away that we can't remember what universal love feels like. Universal love feels like bliss. And it's our birthright. Breathe into the Great Mother herself.

Adapted from an excerpt of Grounded: A Fierce, Feminine Guide to Connecting With the Soil and Healing From the Ground Up (2021) by Erin Yu-Juin McMorrow with permission from the publisher.

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