WHAT IS THE RADJOY PRACTICE?
HOW TO GATHER TOGETHER
Thank you for loving the Earth and for being brave enough to face the hurt you feel about what’s happened to it!
If this is the first time you’ve done the RadJoy Practice at a wounded place, you may find that you feel some resistance—in yourself and in others you’ve invited to join you. That’s entirely natural. It takes courage to go and gaze deliberately at what we fear will open up feelings of loss, grief, anger, and helplessness.
However, you are very likely to find that, once you do take the step of going to a hurt place, you’ll discover that:
- instead of pushing you deep into despair, opening up to your feelings blazes new pathways of compassion, connectedness, and relief
- instead of feeling alienated from the place, you experience a new love and admiration for it
- instead of feeling helpless, you realize that you are capable of creating something beautiful out what’s around you—under any circumstances
Even at this time of mounting sorrow and damage to the Earth, not everyone is willing to take the step of going to a damaged, endangered place, facing their feelings, and being willing to find and make beauty. Thank for being one of the ones who dares.
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.
10 WAYS YOU CAN’T DO IT WRONG
# 1 All you have to do is show up.
# 2 You don’t need training.
# 3 Anything you do will make a difference.
- # 4 It’s okay if it’s just you and a friend—or just you and the Earth.
- # 5 Everything you need to have the experience is already there—except a camera.
# 6 Any place is a wounded place if it feels damaged to you.
# 7 If you think you don’t know how to listen to the land, you do. Just don’t talk. Be present and look around.
# 8 Whatever you feel is appropriate, even if you feel nothing.
# 9 Sharing stories? You noticed something in this place. What was it?
#10 Make a gift of beauty for the place: Make the RadJoy Bird out of materials you find at the place. And/or: sing, dance, say a prayer, jump, sit, cry, shout, laugh, make a sculpture out of trash, make a circle, make a mudpie, hug a friend, hug a tree, drum, chant, walk in circle, make a human pyramid, do a cartwheel, make a mandala, write a poem, play, make prayer flags, make music…
HEALING MOTHER EARTH:
PRACTICE RADJOY WITH CHILDREN
PRACTICE RADJOY WITH CHILDREN
Dear Parents and Teachers—
Thank you for your interest in joining the Global Earth Exchange. You’ll be joining people all over the world to bring attention and beauty to places where we live and that we love that are damaged or endangered.
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.