WHAT IS THE RADJOY PRACTICE?

You are doing the RadJoy Practice 

whenever you share your sorrow or gratitude
for places that have fallen on hard times.

The damaged place will regain meaning and beauty. And so will you.

No matter where we live, we find places we love that are broken or endangered.
It could be a river that’s polluted, a neighborhood smothered by a petrochemical plant,
a site of violence or neglect, or the tree in your own backyard killed by insects. 

Through the RadJoy Practice, you bring beauty to wounded places
and rediscover your enduring connection with the places you love.

5 SUGGESTED STEPS TO PRACTICE

There are countless ways to do the RadJoy Practice! You can do it alone or with a group. You can do it spontaneously or plan weeks in advance. Only Steps 1 and 5 are essential. You make the experience your own by adding details that feel right for your community, your place, and your traditions.

  • 1. Go, alone or with friends, to a wounded place.

  • 2. Sit awhile and share your stories about what the place means to you.

  • 3. Get to know the place as it is now.

  • 4. Share with the others what you discovered.

  • 5. Make a simple gift of beauty for the place.

Download The Guide!

You can do the RadJoy Practice every day in small, simple ways—by singing to a river, giving thanks for the food you eat, placing a flower over the body of an animal that’s died on the road, and pausing before a rundown, neglected place to discover how nature is trying go hard to survive.

Click here for a list of examples of RadJoy Practices.

When you do the RadJoy Practice, alone or with others, you move from:

  • helplessness to empowerment
  • ugliness to creativity
  • isolation to connectedness

For more ideas about how to do the RadJoy Practice for a place you care about, read the Stories shared by other members. Trebbe Johnson’s book, 101 Ways to Make Guerrilla Beauty is filled with suggestions for making simple, meaningful art at a wide variety of places.

THE BOOK
READ THE FAQ’s

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.

FAQs

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:

  1.    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.
  2.    Meditate about the place, alone or with friends. Or share stories with friends and family about what the place means to you.
  3.    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.

You’ve planned a wonderful event for a place and then it pours rain. Or you discover that your place has been declared off-limits by the EPA. You can still make a gift for your place. Sometimes, being creative and flexible is a big part of the process. You can start your event inside and later take it outside. Or you can go back on another day. Or go to the periphery of the place, rather than into the center of it.

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.

Get The Manual!