When looking at photos of the oil spill in the Gulf, I felt flooded with despair, sadness and hopelessness; the well-being of the Earth, the water, the people and animals are so deeply precious to me. When I consider the quantity of oil pouring out, I fear sometimes that the gulf between our actions and what we value is too wide. Yet today, connecting continually with the Earth, I feel more peaceful, calm, trusting.
There is a part of me that longs to be working on those beaches. For the first time, I can fully appreciate, personally, all three aspects of what Joanna Macy calls "The Great Turning". There are the holding actions, the work that is being done to stop the damage, and I would add, to address immediate crises. There is the work of envisioning and creating alternative structures, offering new paths and modelling the future that is possible. And there is a shift in consciousness, a fundamental transformation in the way we see, understand and relate to the world. As Einstein said, "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."
I am a strong believer in creating change from the inside out; for about ten years now, this has been the guiding principle in my personal life and in my work. In the last five years or so, I have become more excited about education and permaculture - teaching people about living more lightly on the planet and showing people what's possible. Now for the first time, I am feeling the desperation and strong desire to do something NOW to help slow the damage, to help clean up some of the mess I see.
I imagine that many of us are deeply touched and longing for our own way to contribute and offer support. Here are 8 things we can do to address the oil spill.
After driving myself into a frenzy of frustration and exasperation from not being able to work in several places on the planet at once, I breathe and ground myself here and now. I recently read the message from the Great Council of Grandmothers about the Net of Light, which I found to be beautiful, heartfelt, poetic and inspiring. I am reminded that engaging with our hearts and consciousness is important work that we can do from anywhere.
I am honoured to connect with you, friend and kin, in this community, in this time and place, in this Great Turning.
P.S. On the summer solstice, a group of us gathered in the park to meditate, envision the Net of Light and offer a blessing to the water. Gratitude to nature, to community and all my relations!