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Giving Back

by The Sacred Earth Medicine Team on February 07, 2024

What Does the Earth ask of us in Return? Giving Back...

Here at Sacred Earth Medicine, aligning and weaving the ethos and values of our business with the philosophy of Dadirri (deep listening), reciprocity and giving back underpins not only the day-to-day heart centred decisions we make, but also the ongoing direction we take in sharing our product and offerings out into the world.

So let’s drop in, to explore these concepts and how we’re walking with them…

What is Reciprocity?

Looking to the past, it’s clear that for most of our time here on Mama Earth, humans have culturally lived in deep harmony, appreciation and understanding of the ‘covenant of reciprocity’ – a deep knowing that for balance to reign supreme, and the ever-abundant gifts to keep flowing, then it’s imperative that we give back as much as we take. At its core, the web of life is sustained through reciprocal interactions.

Deborah Brodey, Transformation Guide, Yoga Teacher, Sound Healer, and Ceremonial artist from Toronto sums up reciprocity beautifully:

“Reciprocity is an ancient teaching that is Universal to all Indigenous, original and earth loving peoples around the world and is key to preserving life and living in alignment and right relationship with the Earth, and all our relations. It fosters right action born out of love, gratitude, and respect, as we naturally own our individual and collective responsibility as children of our beloved Earth. Sadly, much of the world has forgotten this essential original teaching that maintained the balance and good relationship between humans and Nature.”

We can see the act of reciprocity as a mutual exchange with the world around us. This may be with other people, the fauna and flora or the beautiful body of the Earth herself. For every gift that we take from the Earth; we offer back equally. Giving back can look like anything from expressing gratitude, practicing ceremony, or an exchange or offering.

In Returning the Gift, Dr Robin Wall Kimmerer (Mother, Scientist and Writer) talks about how “we are showered every day with the gifts of the Earth, gifts we have neither earned nor paid for - air to breathe, nurturing rain, black soil, berries and honeybees, the tree that becomes paper in books we read, a bag of rice, and the exuberance of a field of goldenrod and asters at full bloom.”

Alas, though we are so generously provided for, our consumer driven and production focused western culture has forgotten this universal truth. Always wanting more, the focus has shifted to what we can get and how much we can take from the Earth – and the consequences are prevalent around the globe with the current state of our environment.

Robin Wall Kimmerer invites us to instead ask ourselves:

What Does the Earth ask of us in Return? What is our Gift?

One of the easiest and most powerful medicine’s we can offer back is our presence and sincere gratitude. Never underestimate the powerful ripple effect of this. As we feel a deep sense of gratitude for all that we receive and acknowledge this with an offering, even just a simple thank you, we not only pay homage to the gift itself but also to the one who gives.

When we are anchored in appreciation, we are also more likely to tread lightly on the planet, and take only what we need. This becomes a beautiful cycle in and of itself, of the act of reciprocity.

In the potent words of Kayla MacInnes (photographer, poet, and environmentalist):

“We belong to the earth, and she gives us everything that we need to survive. How could we feel nothing but deep gratitude for this? Indigenous philosophy teaches of the 4 Rs: respect, relationship, reciprocity, and responsibility. Our relationship with the land should be built on respect, and reciprocity is our inherent responsibility.”

The Gift that is Dadirri

According to Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr (indigenous woman and renowned artist, teacher, activist, and public speaker of the Ngangikurungkurr Tribe from the Daly River region, Northern Territory, Australia):

“The word, concept and spiritual practice that is Dadirri (da-did-ee) means inner deep listening and quiet, still awareness."

The word ‘Dadirri’ is from the Ngangikurungkurr language and refers to the ‘deep spring within us’, like what you might call quiet, still awareness. We call on it and it calls to us. It’s an inner silence, listening to the land, being in rhythm with it. There is a depth of connectedness that we know in relation with country, nature, community, family, our ancestors, our own self.

A big part of Dadirri is listening, and this contemplative way it spreads over our whole life. It renews us and brings us peace. It makes us feel whole again.

Ensuring that we make decisions based on first taking the time for stillness, inner listening and contemplation is how we love to do ceremony and also run our business!

Conscious Creation Cacao Ceremonies

One of the ways we are inspired to weave this practice into our business ethos is through what we call a ‘conscious creation’ cacao ceremony.

Respectively used as a voice of the Earth, ceremonial cacao simultaneously relaxes the nervous system whilst sharpening our mental focus, so we can redirect and quieten an overly busy mind. It is from the inner silence that is cultivated from this space that deeper layers of our consciousness are accessible – and from here more clarity is available to support us with our direction moving forward.

Each creation ceremony initiates with a clear intention for our business vision - and then we humbly open ourselves up to receive insight from the cacao deva, trusting her medicine to guide us in making decisions aligned not only with our values but also our big dream for others to open their hearts and awaken to love – and of course, to experience the potent gifts of cacao too.

Creating space for cacao ceremony to imbue all creative endeavours and business choices ensures that any forward movement is aligned with walking lightly on the Earth from a foundation of generosity (giving back) and reciprocity.

Projects we are Supporting

One of the ways this is embodied is in our mission to ‘give back’ by supporting causes and movements that are aligned with our heart and desire for humanity and the Earth to flourish.

Some of the projects we are super passionate about that we are currently seeding behind the scenes are:

❤️ Supporting our farm in the arduous and expensive process to get USDA and Peruvian organic certification

Our farms are Biodynamic, but as far as organic certification, they are still in process. We are financially committed to assisting them in this lengthy process.

❤️ Starting a women working from home initiative

Bringing employment, income and financial independence to Peruvian women (especially mothers), so they can earn an income in their own homes. Hand peeling Ceremonial Cacao beans for a new boutique hand crafted product.

❤️ Syntropic conversion

This regenerative farming practice, honouring the symbiotic relationships between plants will give our soil an even bigger burst of love, that will flow onto our cacao trees, pods and beans!! Our farm is actively planting even more plant species amongst the cacao trees, to increase biodiversity and compound the richness of our soil health (not to mention enhancing the terroir and lusciousness of the full flavour profile of our beans!). All new areas will be planted out based on a syntropic system, whilst for the older, well established farm areas syntropic methods will be applied gradually over time.

❤️ Expanding support to other families

We are thrilled to announce our expansion beyond our original farm, reaching out to support cacao from over 40 additional families! While our founding family takes great pride in their meticulous loving care and continuous innovation that has led to the production of award-winning cacao, they maintain stringent quality control. With generational wisdom and decades of trial and error, they are committed to perfection and have much wisdom to impart to the surrounding farms. As leaders in the cacao growing community, they are actively engaged in the education process - teaching and training local farms their innovative ways of biodynamic farming practices (and more recently syntropic). Alongside this education process, to ensure premium quality, our farm only accepts cacao in pulp form from other farms, allowing them to ferment and process it themselves with their own unique methods.

❤️ Land healing ceremonies and forgiveness ceremonies

Every now and again Spirit will give either Sjha’ra or I, a nudge, a ‘knock on the door’, a whispered message, that certain areas or places on the planet either locally or further afield need healing, an energy upgrade, or even a Forgiveness Ceremony. Forgiveness Ceremonies can be a powerful way to heal separation wounds to restore balance wherever there’s been rupture; usually as an energy imbalance between nature and humanity - or healing to ruptured nature portals or songlines. For many years now, we have held our own group land healing ceremonies and have been involved in several other groups doing planetary healing service work. But often, we are just quietly doing this work on the inner planes and in our own Conscious Creation Cacao Ceremonies. This is something we would love to start sharing more of with YOU our beautiful Cacao Tribe so collectively we can amplify healing on the planet. If this is something you are interested in being notified of, hit reply and let us know!

❤️ 1% of Revenue to mitigate climate change

We are contributing 1% of our revenue to fund forward thinking business in the arena of climate science to help removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. We are part of a coalition of more than 25,000 businesses globally that fund carbon removal on land and at sea via the Stripe Climate initiative.

In Service to Love

In service to love, the upliftment of humanity and a remembrance + honouring of the preciousness of Mother Earth leads the way here at Sacred Earth Medicine. We are genuinely proud of our dedication and commitment to weaving the sacred into the everyday through our business, and to know that we are truly treading lightly on the planet and giving back through all that we do - from the smallest to the grandest business decisions and directions we take.

We really hope you enjoyed getting to know a little more about what goes on behind the scenes here at Sacred Earth Medicine, and we’d sincerely love to hear your thoughts and feelings - particularly if you have any special ways you like to give thanks for the blessings of Pachamama.

Until next time - may you walk gently, listen deeply and offer your thanks with deep heartfelt gratitude!

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