WHAT IS THE RADJOY PRACTICE?
THE GLOBAL EARTH EXCHANGE
The Global Earth Exchange is a day each when when hundreds of people around the world go to damaged places to give them attention and acts of art and beauty. Our gifts are made of sticks, stones, sand, and other natural materials the place itself offers us.
Together, our stories, our energy, and our love of place brings new life and healing to our places and to each other.
This year, in recognition of the challenges the coronavirus, the Global Earth Exchange will last a whole week: June 20-27 and will offer you many opportunities to share, connect, and explore hard times and beauty wherever you are. Click for more details.
What if it’s off-limits because of toxicity, structural instability, or located in a dangerous area? Or what if you are limited because of physical disability? Is it sufficient simply to “send healing thoughts” to a place?
Yes and no. The RadJoy Practice is most powerful when you can get as close as possible to your wounded place—without jeopardizing your safety or breaking laws. If that means you stay behind a fence or on the outskirts—fine. If you are physically unable to go to the place, either because of the conditions of the place or your own physical condition, there are other options:
- Remain where you are and make a drawing of the place or a simple map using everyday objects. Don’t try to make this representation “accurate.” Put your feelings about it into what you do. If it’s a polluted lake, for example, paint it black.
- Meditate about the place, alone or with friends. Or share stories with friends and family about what the place means to you.
- Create the RadJoy Bird out of materials you have at hand and give them to a place that is accessible. Do this on behalf your wounded place.
It’s not what you create at a place that makes the biggest impact. It’s your own willingness to look around, collect interesting, colorful things that interest you, and put them together with others that really is the spirit of giving a gift to a place. A tree doesn’t care if you can carry a tune. Anyway, you are only the first artist of this gift of beauty you’re making for this place. After you leave, the winds, rains, sun, and animals will add their own handiwork to it.
Sometimes people feel called to give beauty and attention to a place that’s not out in nature, but inside. For example, a therapist in Ireland made the RadJoy bird out of tissues tossed out by her clients after they’d wiped their tears during sessions with her. In Tel Aviv a small team of people decided to make whimsical mobiles for patients awaiting bone marrow transplants in a highly sterile hospital ward where they weren’t allowed to have plants or even flowers. And a group of volunteers in Kabul, Afghanistan participated in one of our Global Earth Exchanges by cleaning up around a bomb crater.
Children and young people are deeply connected to nature. They know that many places on the Earth are hurting and they are disturbed by that. When they have the opportunity actually to go to one of these places and do something fun, adventurous, and creative there, they become more engaged in their world. And that means they’re on their way to becoming adults who will put a priority on protecting the places that are important to them.
Ever since the first Global Earth Exchange in 2010, children have been taking an active and often leading part in the adventure.
Click below to download the RadJoy Practice (Earth Exchange Guide) for Children & Adults.