Tag Archives: Climate Change

Wisdom: I’m with Her

Horicon MarshA vacation and growing involvement in climate change efforts, while enjoyable and fulfilling, have sadly lessened my blog reading and also reduced my writing during these summer months.

Recently I traveled North to Wisconsin for a family re-union.  In addition to escaping  another round of excessive heat and humidity, here in the Ozarks, I relished being able to swim, play, soak in the sun, star gaze, hike, and rest on the earth unencumbered by chiggers and snakes and the demands of employment and other everyday responsibilities.

Sure, I had to give some thought to strategies for the next round of Capture the Flag (kids vs adults), but other than that, I was free to enjoy the good company and let my mind and feelings move where they would.  What a blessing.

Upon returning home I happened to read two op-eds in the weekly local paper, The Independent.  One discussed the hard won power to vote; the other urged a dawning of compassion as essential for precipitating climate change action.

Fresh from my relaxing Nature immersion, I responded with a Letter to the Editor emphasizing that every moment, every thought, every action is an opportunity to vote.  A chance to cast a ballot for the health of the Earth and, thus, for the health of ourselves and future generations.  A chance to say I am with Her, our Planet.  This kind of voting and Earth loving is a simple connection in theory and in heart, but not necessarily easy to put into practice, given our consumerist, fossil fuel past and present.  Still, I like to try.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mission: Pushing the Envelope with Friends

CCL Washington DCIt was spring, 2016, and I knew I had to transform my grief.  My heart was overwhelmed with daunting climate change reports: bleached coral reefs, melting permafrost, methane monsters, extreme weather events, and climate refugees.  Beyond lightening my own carbon footprint, I felt paralyzed.

Then one fortuitous day, I found Citizens’ Climate Lobby via Facebook.  After reading about CCL’s Carbon Fee and Dividend proposal at citizensclimatelobby.org, I decided to risk stepping out of my introverted comfort zone to check out my closest active CCL chapter, which is an hour’s drive away in Fayetteville.   That decision and the warm welcome I received from the wonderful folks who make up CCL Fayetteville, changed my life.   Becoming active in CCL has transfigured my heartbreak into hope, pragmatic optimism, and enthusiasm.

I’ve read about many courageous and innovative climate change actions unfolding around the world.  There is so much good work to be celebrated; perhaps you are part of such a group effort or are diligently undertaking your own climate mission.  Certainly both personal and broader public efforts are essential!  I would love to hear about your passion,  your vision, your message, and your efforts.

From June 19th – 21st, eleven of us (students, business people, teachers, retirees) from Arkansas joined with 1000 other CCL’ers in Washington D.C. to hone our knowledge and advocacy skills and to meet with members of Congress.  The energy of togetherness, responsibility, and possibility in the conference gatherings was electrifying!  Still, I was a little nervous. Never in my life had I envisioned myself walking through the Hart Senate Office building or crowding into a conference room in the Longworth House Office Building to speak up for the planet, myself, and my fellow human beings!  Yet there I was (despite the butterflies in my stomach)  with an inspired team of Arkansas CCL’ers  (I can’t emphasize the enjoyable, heart-full, intelligent nature of this team enough) engaging with Congressional representatives and staff in earnest dialogue.

Now here I am back home in the beautiful Ozarks.  The physical, scientific facts of climate change still stand stark.  But I’m energized to go forward, pushing the envelope of my personal comfort zone, in concert with my CCL colleagues, to bring about climate change solution legislation and a measure of healing to our home.  That feels good.

 

 

 

 

Spiritual Tribe: Be Moved by the Naked Truth of our Togetherness

Belladonna and ButterflyAmidst summer’s challenging heat, when nearly all other flowers have faded, the Belladonna Lilies (a.k.a. Naked Ladies) burst forth in gardens throughout the Ozarks. Their soft pink flowers entice butterflies, and rivet the human eye, proclaiming: “yes, beauty lives!”

But it is perhaps the plant’s leafless stalks that send the loudest message, boldly reminding that flourishing depends on and rises on simple, Heart-rooted truths.

Is there any more essential, urgent Truth today than the Truth of our Togetherness on Earth?   And the corresponding Fact of our Intimate Relationship with our Planet’s Biology?

Pope Francis gave voice and shape to these practical Heart Realities in his encyclical this week. And locally many friends sang their praises in concert with the Blue Moon in Aquarius. But it was when kneeling on the Earth, quietly weeding around the Naked Ladies that I felt and heard these compelling Truths most profoundly and was moved to re-commit to local and personal efforts to stand up for the Earth and live more lightly.

While it may be ridiculously naïve to believe in a salvaging, worldwide awaking to the Naked Truth of our Inter-Connection (although I do like to visualize this), I am already convinced of the dynamic, motivating power of the Togetherness Truth, individually realized via whatever Heart-Sourcing, Earth-Touching experience or Lighted Path.  Thus, in the heated midst of melting glaciers, record forest fires, and super storms, I have faith that the flowers of Togetherness: the Will to Protect, the Love to Care and Wisdom to Act will flourish and bloom  . . . spreading here and there, more and more  . . . perhaps enough for us to eventually proclaim “yes, Earth and the Human Heart live!”   It depends on us, Together.

Response: Being Emotionally Real About Climate Change

dead growthI came across an intelligently compassionate article this week called The Great Grief: How to Cope with Losing Our World.  I read the first paragraph with theoretical interest, but was quickly drawn into author Per Espen Stoknes’ acknowledgment of the psychological toll exacted by living amidst climate chaos and ecological destruction.

My greatest take away from the article was the invitation to consciously grieve the losses wrought by the accelerating changes engulfing Earth. An invitation to be emotionally real both as a practice and gateway to emotional health in these extraordinarily challenging times.   Have you done this?

There’s so much to face.   Death. The destruction of cherished places and potentially our entire home.   The ongoing contradiction between our collective desire for ecological sustainability and our insatiable appetite for consumer goods and expanding GDP.  Immediate worry for the poor and displaced. Powerlessness. Despair.  As well as the Heart’s inherent desire to serve and be joyful.

If I’ve learned one thing this past year it’s that offering oneself the hard but healthy gift of sitting with and giving voice to one’s losses is an act of Heart. Winding through the pain precipitates changes, perhaps paradoxically. Pooled tears can give birth to resilience, clarity, and transformative strength and can resurrect an Inner Lightness – a Lightness of Self-Knowledge and Faith in Oneself.

These are significant Heart gains. Gains gifted by grief.   Gains amidst destruction. Gains that we can count on in responding to our planetary crisis precisely because they reside neither in technology nor politics nor economies but rather in ourselves.

Earth: Praying Globally, Invoking Locally . . . Very Locally

Garden AngelA prayer moves on human lips for every world problem.   War.   Hunger. Climate Change. Discrimination. Global troubles confronted by genuine words of faith.   Earth urgently embraced across continents.   Embraced by human Hearts in a consecrated pact of remembered responsibility.

Within my local Ozark stretch of Earth, my friend, Carolyn Amrit Knaus, is inviting congregations, spiritual groups and individuals to participate in Wednesday prayers for Peace during the month of June at the Heart of Many Ways Sanctuary. Amrit is using the phrase “Global Peace. Personal Peace” to frame the gatherings’ intent.  I find this transpersonal/personal integration describes well the challenge of living Heart-fully on Earth at this time.

Holding Earth, Her People and Integral Biology in Awareness through song, visualization, and prayer activates the Heart’s natural powers of Protection and Impetus for Change.   It attunes us to Primordial Planetary Harmonies.   And overtime builds trust in and loyalty to Earth’s Spiritual and Natural Beauty.

Absorbing and blissing in this Macrocosmic Communion is considered by some to be a high point of spiritual service. An ascension bright and expansive with promise and radiatory sharing, which makes the Heart Sing. True. But for me the high point comes later. It comes in the descent.

In the descent of translating the Heart’s Powers and the Desire of our Holy Supplications into everyday, real time, dust, rainy, sweaty human Earth reality. A sacred descent symbolized in prayer and ritual through sealing words of power: “So Be It”   “Amen”   “OM.” A descent actualized through invocative living, that is: keeping faith with cherished Macrocosmic Harmonies through intentional choices about our activities, bodies, emotions, relationships, and thoughts.

Part of our invocative human power lives in the very Earth-like structure of our being. We are a fusion of minerals, flesh, life-preserving instincts, watery emotions and dreams, of the fire of thought and breath, immanent Soul spark, and Spiritual flame.   This synthetic design gives credence to our potent Heart pact to pray globally and invoke locally . . . in the very locality of ourselves.  It reminds that what we do to ourselves, we do to Earth.   And what we do to Earth, we do to ourselves.   What will you do today?