As I wander the world creatively unlearning, more and more I have come to believe in my bones, that playing with the Earth is a part of our inborn, natural state of learning, growing, and being as humxn creatures.

Play allows us to explore, to experiment, to put away “the rules”, and be present in the moment. In my experience, when we play, our bodies have a chance to catch up with our hearts and minds. When we play, our nervous systems have a moment to relax, and our thoughts a chance to pass. Play can be energetic, meditative, creative, nourishing, and most of all – Playing with the Earth allows us to reconnect, especially with our natural creativity that we may have forgotten.

“​​What are soul needs? They lie in two realms: nature and creativity.” – Clarissa Pinkola Estes

As an Earth Artist, play is an essential part of my creative process. But before I can play – I have to pause – and slow down to the rhythm of the wind, the flow of the water, the sound of pine cones falling. When this happens, my breathing starts to sync with the air, the trees, the light moving across the landscape. There is a moment of exquisite stillness, and then my hands and feet will begin to move in a rhythm of curiosity, dancing across the ground as the materials offer themselves to co-creation.

As a cardinal piece of this process, play allows me to connect with the language of the leaves, listening to the small voices, flowing petals, and powerful energies of the ground beneath my feet. Play invites my mind to become quiet enough to hear the whispers.

And when I slow down to play with the Earth, I am not creating something “new”, but rather, embarking upon a journey with what already is. Creation in this way offers me an active, playful exploration of a wordless story that the Earth wants to reveal and share. 

“…Creativity is not only about generating something new from scratch. It is also about playing with the pieces that are already here and discovering new ways for them to express themselves.” – Day Schildkret

All artistic mediums come from the Earth, whether metal, stone, paint, paper, fibers, even plastic. But the original materials we experimented with on cave walls and in stone circles have stood the test of time. In their slow, natural impermanence, they still echo across the eons and remind us of where we have come from and how we used to play before we began to live in boxes and chase away the stars with constant artificial light.

The next time you are outside – watch for a leaf to appear near your feet. See what she says. And if she asks to dance, I invite you to join her. 

What will you reconnect with and remember when you pause to play with the Earth?

xx, Claire

About Claire 

Claire Takahashi is a Creative Earth Coach, meditative guide and an artist of paint, petals and words. Certified as a Wayfinder Coach and a Morning Altar Teacher, through her 1:1 coaching, creative workshops and Earth art guidance, Claire helps other humxns to reconnect with the Earth in their bones, uncage their inner creatures, and live with more colorful and restorative creativity. 

Claire is also the host of The Mindful Creature podcast, guided meditations for reconnecting with our creature cousins and calming our inner landscape.

Currently, besides her coaching and workshops, she is working on her first poetry collection and the second season of The Mindful Creature. Claire lives in the Pacific Northwest on Coast Salish lands and most days you can find her spattered with soil, paint, fur or all three!

You can find out more about Claire or join her monthly creative creature newsletter at or find her on Instagram @claire.takahashi