Hands in the earth

I’m someone who always used to think of gardening as boring and for the middle-aged.

I’d wonder why people would spend so much time working on something that I felt so little for. I didn’t see the point of pretty flowers or growing things you could get so easily in a supermarket.

It pretty much reflected my relationship with nature. I didn’t have one.

But things have shifted this year and I’m having to swallow my pride (or acknowledge that I’m entering an early middle age!) as I start to spend time gardening.

That’s what I did last weekend and I want to share with you here the things I noticed from my experience:

Noticing

I have never been one for paying attention to detail.

It’s just not that important to me.

A friends birthday party? Great, yes I’ll accept but only have a cursory think about how I’ll get there the moment I have to leave the house, which often leads to me being late!

But I found a real beauty in slowing down and noticing what was going on around me. The garden bed which I considered to be mostly empty was actually full of clever bind weeds that had tentacles spanning over the whole of the bed.

I suddenly saw how prolific they were – a lesson from Mother Nature that things are not always as they seem and how slowing down and paying attention can be worth it.

The web

Oh my gosh, the amount of roots I discovered as I dug around the patch of earth!

It was like the earth was webbed together with roots. The flowers woven with the honeysuckle, the weeds and the vine we have growing in there.

Little thread veins were EVERYWHERE and I loved the living metaphor for how much we too are connected. With each other, with nature and with something beyond us.

It was beautiful. And so comforting to think about the world beneath our feet. The wildness under our pavement and roads of tree roots and plant roots which network and co-exist together.

As I stare at the Level Park nearby where I’m writing this, I imagine the trees that have been here for hundreds of years and must have a web of interconnected life beneath us. A source of power and strength that we can’t see with our bare eyes but very much is there.

Shifting problems

As I attempted to clear the weeds from the bed, I soon realised why a gardening fork is needed for this work. Because attacking a weed front on – attempting to pull it straight up from the earth – doesn’t work.

The leaves snap off and the weed will soon grow back.

So instead you need to first loosen the weed’s hold on the earth. Wiggling and jiggling the earth around it until it is loose enough to pull out.

There again, another cup full of wisdom from the earth!

How often do we try to solve our problems face on and fail? Try to get healthier by dieting until we fall off the wagon as we haven’t addressed all the things around it –

  • The comfort we get from food
  • How we associate it with a past we haven’t been able to let go of
  • Our disassociation from the raw ingredients that make up our food in this fast-consumption society.
  • Our life that is too busy to take time for real self-care
  • The numbing that foods high in sugar, fat and salt gives us

But start to wiggle and jiggle these things and we might be able to let go of what binds us.

Being physical

My back ached at the end of my weeding session but I adored the focus on being physical. It’s not something I often get in my office job.

In the garden, I used the power in my arms to chop back the blackberry plant. I felt the wind against my skin as it whipped around me. My senses were heightened as I heard the birds calling in the skies.

It was a pleasure to get into my skin and just be there instead of living inside my head – being hijacked by the galloping pace of my thoughts and my emotions.

Being physical brought me peace.


So there you are – a few reflections from my time in the wonderful world of plants.

I’m sure there’ll be many more musings to come.

The new year ahead

The end of this year is slowly drawing near and, as I sit here, waiting to return to the UK, I find myself thinking of the year to come.

It’s bittersweet to let go of 2019 as it means letting go of my time here in Australia and facing the rhythm of life back in Brighton which I enjoyed getting away from.

I enjoyed time with my family.

I enjoying visiting new places.

I enjoyed getting into a new rhythm which was of a slower beat.

So part of my reflections are about how I can incorporate a slower pace back home when I often feel like I’m functioning at a sprint-like pace.

I’m not sure how that will be possible without changing something.

I find myself dreaming about the return to full-time with compressed hours to have a day a fortnight just to myself. And in equal measure feel delight at the thought of some space and time to myself and apprehension about abandoning my Friday with Jenson.

I know the stride that Gregg and myself got into at the end of the year – eating dinner as a family – broke our rhythm of eating in front of the TV in a zombie-like state when Jenson was asleep and feel like that commitment will continue to be important so we connect as a couple and make more conscious choices about how we spend our evenings. Reading or talking more than consuming mindless media.

Being intentional with my phone will also be important. Getting offline more often than I’m online to quieten my mind.

Continuing to listen to myself and the signs I feel internally – the amped-up stress hormones, the jingly nerves, the unfurling feelings of overwhelm – to stop when things start to get out of control.

And as my sister pointed out as she drove us to the airport, not filling every day full to the brim will also be an important factor. Allowing and embracing time to just be instead of the snowball roll of activity needs to feature more in 2020.

Another reflection I have is how I hope that 2020 will be a year of radical self-love.

I was doing a visual meditation the other day and, in it, found myself in front of a horse. With great love and respect, I stroked its velvet nose and neck. And felt the call through this meditation for me to treasure myself in the same way I did the horse.

I long for that – to be firmly rooted in self-love and honour myself as a default in all I do. To carry with me a self-love that allows me to put up fierce boundaries and to be someone who loves themselves exactly as they are.

I find those sorts of people enchanting, attractive, enticing. People who are firm in their self-worth in a world that tells us we’re lacking feel almost dangerous, definitely rebellious and that’s what I feel is around the corner for me.

And I dare to believe that 2020 might be the year that I step into that.

I also sense that 2020 will be a year of growth.

A year of learning how to value different opinions and lean into disagreement with others.

A year where I let go of my notion of self a little bit to explore who I could be.

A year where I stretch myself intellectually, emotionally, physically in different ways yet to be explored.

Where I lean into what it means to be a person as a connected part of the planet.

Where I explore who I am and where I want to be.

And I’m starting to feel excited the prospect of it as I start to loosen my grip on 2019 and let go of what was to make space for what is to come in the year ahead.

I’m learning

I’m sat here in a café in Australia, whilst my beautiful sister takes care of my son, Jenson, for the day.

Ahead of me is a wonderful day of celebration as one of my closest friends gets married and I celebrate the solstice where in Australia we have the longest day and in the UK we have the shortest day. A moment from which we will fall into greater darkness as the nights draw in or greater lightness as the days get longer.

It’s a day that is so special to me, pairing up both a celebration of love with the wedding and the celebration of the changing seasons of Mother Earth.

All the while being in Australia on holiday, how fantastic!

But over the past few days I recognised that I’ve not been my best self on holiday.

Because I haven’t put in place the measures needed for me to take full care of myself.

The first two weeks were spent in action. Working up to the wire, taking the plane over to Australia, dealing with jetlag, visiting Brisbane and having days full of fun based around my son and his needs. I’m so lucky that my family were happy to go with his flow, but it meant that we didn’t go with the flow of anyone else.

And my flow very much requires time alone to slow down, listen to myself, decompress and reenergise.

But instead of doing that I just kept on pushing, kept on going, kept on surrounding myself with people.

This was to the detriment of myself, other people and the detriment of my experience here on holiday.

I attended a solstice yoga session yesterday and it felt so good to be doing a practice that was so physical, releasing the anger and frustration I feel at myself for not having listened to my needs, for still being on this journey where I find myself again and again pushed beyond my means.

But as I said here, I realise this is a learning process.

Finding myself after the fact not having done what I needed.

And one day this will shift and I will find myself in the moment thinking “hang on a second Amy, you need time by yourself.”.

And then it will become natural, and I won’t even think twice about taking time for myself and finding moments of quiet to re-centre and the balance myself.

So with kindness I remind myself that I have not waited until after the fact, after the holiday when I feel battered and bruised, metaphorically lying on the floor a broken person, to take action. I started my journey earlier than before. I reached out and asked my sister for help and support.

I’m learning.

How I treat myself

I’ve been on holiday for ten days now – it feels like more and like less in equal measure – and over the past day have read Over the Top by Jonathan Van Ness from Queer Eye. I’ve enjoyed the show over the past few years and was looking for a bit of light relief between the slightly more involved books I’ve brought with me.

But his book brought me more than I was expecting. So I wanted to spend a few moments writing thoughts about some of the things that I’ve been thinking while following his story.

The main being a line right towards the end of the book which says:

I’m literally just as lost as you. I’m just as grateful. And I’m just as much of a perfectly imperfect mess. People are all layered – good and bad, filled with joy and sorrow. The key is being grounded in the relationship you have with yourself. Basing my worth in how I treat myself despite how others treat me has been the key to my success.

And I’m struck, despite how hard it is for me to type these words and declare unapologetically to the world, by how much I like myself.

There, I’ve said it.

I like who I am.

I like how I look.

I like the grey in my hair.

I like how I’m more in tune with myself physically and emotionally than I have ever been before.

I like my bravery and my tenacity.

I like my gentleness and reflectiveness.

I like how I can be dead serious and then dance myself silly in the next moment.

I like how I’m musical, creative and intuitive but how I can be just as logical and intellectual.

I like how I’m driven.

And I love the simplicity in JVN’s words – the possibility of a guiding principle of my life being that my worth isn’t on how much I achieve, how good a mum I am, what I do with my life, how I am viewed by others, how thin I am, how I treat others.

My worth can be on how I treat myself.

How much kindness, compassion, understanding, generosity I show myself.

And from there, who knows. I may accomplish many of the things I’ve listed above. I’m more likely to achieve better results, parent better, have a rewarding life. And I’m likely to not give a flying fuck about how thin I am, what others think of me, whether I’ve pleased others.

It feels defyingly daring to live a life like this.

To embrace myself and live from the foundation of knowing that I am the bees knees.

It doesn’t feel safe to do this and I hear my inner critic telling me to not get too big for my boots, because doing this risks being knocked down.

But it also has the potential to see me standing bigger, taller, prouder, freer, more grounded.

But what a beautiful thought.

And it makes me think about Adam, my cousin, who died a few years ago and who Jenson is named for (he’s Jenson Adam). He’s someone who I know lived like this and I admired him for that. Living unapologetically as himself, knowing he was fucking fantastic.

I want that for myself.

So in advance of new year, I’m going to commit to channeling my inner JVN, my inner Adam and know that it’s how I treat myself which is my true measure of my worth.

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The cards I was dealt

It’s my birthday!!!!

And as per every year I wanted to spend a bit of time reflecting this past year and thoughts I have about getting older, where I’ve been and where I’m yet to go.

This year has been a BIG year!

But then again every year is a big year for me!

With lessons learnt and adventures had and lots of paths travelled.

As I cycled into work this morning I was messaging my friend and thinking about what I’ve learnt about myself through my experience of birthing my son, Jenson.

I reflected to her on the conversation I had with a friend yesterday about our sons and how their personalities were set before they came into the world. Hers so confident and independent. Mine in need of company, screaming if he wasn’t being held in someone’s arms for the first five months and, even now, constantly asking for cuddles, tugging us towards him to play and wanting to be side-by-side with us at most moments of the day.

And so I think about what I must’ve had in me the moment that I entered this world. Curiosity, kindness, gentleness, tenacity, enjoyment being in my own company, only needing a few friends to be fully replete, a deep thinker.

As with him, my cards were dealt before I was born – and I had a good hand – but I feel like this is the year that I’ve started to really play my hand.

I’ve started to see what I’ve got and how I can use my skills, my gifts, my self to my full advantage and in service of what I feel I’m here to do on this world – challenging and rebuilding the structures of our society. Whether that’s the role of woman, our treatment of the planet, our political or educational system, the healthcare system. This is what I’m here to do – I feel it deep in my heart and in my gut.

This is the year that I stepped into the possibility of my future.

This is the year where I started to think about how I show up and how this influences outcomes.

I have started to settle deep into my body and listen to what’s going on for me on many levels – not just intellectually, but in my heart and in my body physically.

This is the year that I’ve realised I don’t only have the ‘enthusiastic’ card to play. I don’t have to show up as the sparky, bright, pretty thing to have influence in this world.

I can show up with the presence of a mature, powerful woman.

I can show up as the renegade.

And I have started to see, just this month, how I might be able to be effective in spaces where people have conflicting views (myself included), helping to find a way forward when no way has been found for years.

I’m taking huge strides, jumping forward in my development whilst being kind as I stumble and fall whilst doing new things.

And as I play my cards to their full effect I’m also grateful for those people around me who play their cards in support of mine.

To my husband who supports and champions me, cheering me on as I seek to experience new things and go to different places.

And my friends, who, showing up fully themselves, make space for me to do the same.

To those people at work who have not needed me to be ‘sparky’ or ‘bright’ to be accepted but have called me into showing my full self at work.

To my family who are my safe place to retreat when times get hard.

So here’s to another year of adventure, learning, leaping and stumbling forward.

Here’s to another year stepping more fully into courage, truth and love.

Head, heart and gut

I’ve had a decision hanging over me over the past few weeks.

A decision about a course that I could be part of over an extended period of time.

Usually I would know what to do. I’d have a feeling or would know logically that it was the right or wrong thing to do for my life.

But this time it was different.

My head was ruling all my ponderings and wonderings.

I had so many questions going around my head. 

Should I do this course? Would it be good for me? Is the length of it too long? How would I afford it? Was it the right decision? What if I said ‘yes’ and it turned out to be the wrong decision? Would I disappoint others if I said ‘no’? Would I disappoint myself if I said ‘yes’? How would this fit into my duties of motherhood and being a wife and a daughter and a friend? How would this fit alongside work? Did I have enough leave for the course? What if I did this course and no longer fit in with where I am now? What if I didn’t do it and stayed stuck where I am?

So many questions! 

I felt so anxious about the answer because I didn’t know what to do and I always know what to do.

This was a new feeling to me.

And so I meditated on it and I sought a different perspective about what I should do.

And the message I got back is this:

“It’s okay to use your head to think logically about whether this is the right course for you. But don’t forget the other parts of you that need to inform your decision.

Your heart and your gut.

Listen to them.”

My friend Sarah has been an angel this weekend.

She has listened to me talk over again and again what I should do and has helped me to return to my heart and my intuition to find a balance in taking this decision.

I realised, with her help, that when I think from my heart and consider what this course could do for me, I want to do it. With uncertainty about where it would take me. With knowledge that this is a course that won’t serve me in my ‘career’. But not all things need to be purposeful to be right. And although I feel trepidation, it is a good trepidation of stepping into what might be possible.

My heart says yes despite the uncertainty.

I have listened to my intuition this weekend too. And when I’ve heard the voice of intuition, I’ve been met with an openness to this course. A big ‘yes’ inside me when I think of the excitement of uncertainty. The possibility that springs from something new and different and exciting.

And so I’ve decided to go for it. To enrol onto this course and see what that will bring.

Knowing that there are still questions and uncertainties but that’s okay. This uncertainty is a new experience for me, one I’m enjoying.

Not knowing.

I’m sharing this with you in case you have big decisions to make, dear friend, in the hope that you’ll not only listen to your logic, but also your heart and your gut.

They all have their wisdom to bring and can serve us in different ways as we make our way along the path of life.

I dream

I dream of a life where I’m connected into community – supported and supporting those around me through daily, close interactions. We rub against each other and live alongside each other, imperfectly together.

I dream of a life where Jenson may be an only child, but he has a multitude of other children to call his kin. Where he may not have uncle and aunties physically close, but he has a band of adults stewarding him from the early steps of childhood, running wild in nature, to the first tentative movements into adulthood, nurtured and supported by his tribe.

I dream of life where we live in seasons – not taking part in the frenetic sprint that is the western hustle – but allowing for quieter time. Moments of calm. Accepting the softness of idle time in all aspects of life.

I dream of cities being re-wilded – surrounded once more by nature instead of being concrete and bricks. Tamed no more within our clinical setting, we’d allow for the snuffling hedgehog roaming through our shared gardens, see the wild fox slink around the neighbourhood, hear the call of the owl late in the night.

I dream of fashion being a celebration of who we are individually instead of something we use to prop up our inadequacies. Consuming to forget the pain we feel.

I dream of the world being flipped right. With those working in care being rewarded properly for their invaluble contribution to society. With generations respecting each other – the elders for their knowledge and temperance, the youth for their passion and hope.

I dream of everyone recognising that we’re only where we are thanks to the random lottery, the chance fusion of embryo and sperm which saw us born into more or less privilege than another. And in knowing that, openly share the riches we have with our fellow humans.

I dream of everyone knowing the sentience of all life forms – insects, animals, fish, nature – and moving to food and life systems that do no harm to other living beings.

I dream of unhealthy addictions to food, drink, drugs, gambling and pornography being no more as people are able to say ‘I’m hurting‘ and, supported with love, work through their pain to no longer need these crutches.

I dream of wholeness – of individuals, communities, nations, the world. Not wholeness through perfection but wholeness through accountability, love, forgiveness, acceptance.

As I write this, there are many counter-arguments in my mind – how could we forge a new economy? Is this practical or doable? How would I survive in community, needing my own space? Is this just idealistic, unreasonable bollocks?

But this is the dream which brings me hope.

And I need hope in this dark time.

So I continue to hope and I continue to dream.

And I will keep taking small steps to do my small part in bringing this dream to life.

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Breathe

I’m coming to the end of my time here in Austin, Texas.

I’ve had such a wonderful break.

Having fun with my friend Nadine, eating great food, sleeping in, laughing, connecting, dreaming, swimming, meditating, reading.

Breathing.

And I find myself feeling so sad time is coming to an end.

I wrote in my last post about needing to bring balance my life.

And now that I’m so close to returning to my ‘regular’ life I see it’s not about balance.

It feels more vital than that.

It’s about needing to find space to breathe.

And grappling with the truth that in my current life I’m not able to fully breathe.

Not because I feel suffocated by my husband or my son.

Not because I dislike my job.

But because the pace of life is so quick.

And because life is so full.

And because I feel that my life is unsustainable as it is.

I know this deep in my bones.

Something needs to give.

I need to be able to breathe.

And this is what I feel is at the heart of my involvement with extinction rebellion.

Finding how we might have a more sustainable life as a society.

Moving from a life of consumption to a life of connection.

Because I believe that our western lives are unsustainable.

We work, work, work so we have money to eat more than we need and buy more than we need and to fill our lives with things that we don’t need – distractions, things that numb us, possessions that bring us a flurry of excitement at the time but quickly lose their relevance and importance in our life – a new dress, new notebook, new tattoo, new pair of shoes.

We follow the buzz to forget that we’re deeply disconnected from others, from nature and most importantly from ourselves.

And in doing so, we trample on others – those exploited to make the things we consume, the animals exploited, the world being ransacked for our immediate comfort.

But I don’t know where I can start.

Because it feels like such a huge shift to get to a different way of living.

And I don’t know how I can have a life that has more space to breathe when I have a young son who depends on me and brings such a closeness in his requirements of me.

I don’t know how I can slow down when I have a substantial mortgage to pay which requires a certain commitment.

I don’t know how to disentangle myself from a life structured around western consumption.

And I’m unsure how the things I love and feel so vital for me (like travel) fits into this new reality.

All I know is that I’m feeling the call to breathe more, to slow down more. And yet I don’t know what this could look like.

I don’t how I might be able to listen to this call when I’m back in the thick of my life.

A sustainable life

I’m currently in the middle of an amazing trip visiting my dear friend, Nadine, in Texas.

On the cusp of this first prolonged trip away from my family, I felt apprehensive. But another part of me knew this trip was vitally important.

It was a time to find myself again after living in the reality of new motherhood for the past two years.

During these years, I tried to find a balance between my responsibilities to my son and my work, but looking back, I can see that other things suffered – myself, the relationships I hold dear, my health, my sanity(!)…

Balancing everything in a world that promises us that “we can have it all” is an impossibility. Because I believe that “having it all” is a lie.

Even if I were a millionaire, I might have more rest through the help of a nanny, but this would be at the cost of my motherhood.

And as I meditated on my way over in the airplane, I received the following wisdom;

Amy, you have 100% of your energy available to you. So how are you going to use it? Compromises will have to be made, certain things will have to fall away. But you have the ability to make a choice in all this. 

And so sat in a beautiful cafe in south Austin, I looked at what my life currently looks like with everything important to me.  

Here are my thoughts about certain parts of it:

Work

Work is deeply important to me. It fuels my creativity, allows me to feel mastery and it contributes to being an active citizen (working for local government) as well as contributing to my personal growth. It’s important…and yet, it takes up most of my energy. I know as it is it’s not sustainable for the long-haul.

Love

I miss my husband. I miss lazy lie-ins and carefree evenings spent with friends. I miss the time to love him, the energy to go on dates, lying next to him in bed, the spare money with no nursery to pay for to go on dates without thinking about the cost, the time to both enjoy TV shows together and also catch-up without any bedtime pressure.

I know this will pass, but it’s hard.

And I want to be aware of this so that we don’t come out of the early years of parenting fog to find ourselves on different tracks in life, lost to each other.

Recuperation and rest

This is another one which will change as Jenson grows and starts to sleep through the night. At present, my husband and I take turns to respond to our son’s cries and so at least half the week is made of broken sleep. This means that ideally bedtime is 9-9:30, which eats into my connection with Gregg and ability to tap into other areas of the circle – health, connection with friends, my spiritual life…

But it is what it is.

I’m realising how important it is to have an extended period of time – a night or two – away from the daily grind each month.

It’s important to have time just being me, time of sleeping in, time of not having every minute accounted for and a countdown to when bedtime should be.

It’s also a time of connection with friends and nature (where I get my spiritual connection), so I recognise that this isn’t just about rest, but about many more things.

I’ve not been as disciplined with prioritising this time away as I should be, but I will be moving forward.

Household & health

Sure, in an ideal world I’d do a yoga class weekly. I’d a tidier house. I’d stay fit by going for jogs instead of the continual late-sprint for my train or pedalling home on my bike. I’d eat less processed food. I’d do washing in my spare time instead of when I’m looking after Jenson.

But these aren’t priority areas for me at the moment.

And that’s ok.

Motherhood

I recognise that Gregg is stepping up and caring for our boy more than I am at the moment. And it’s not just when I’ve been here on holiday – he’s stepped into a 50:50 role if not slightly more of the care role at times.

I’ve needed him to do so when I’ve reached burnout and felt like I had nothing left to give.

And that’s ok.

I’m allowed for parenthood to be 50:50 at this early stage despite every cultural bone in my body proclaiming that I should be the carer. I should have the bigger role in Jenson’s early years.

This is compounded by a noticing of how I’m less capable of staying in the role of the ‘perfect’ mum – I don’t have enough energy for it.

The reality is that Jenson spends time watching Netflix if he wakes before 6am and I often find quick fixes to entertain him as I balance the minimal amount of housekeeping and food prep I do around time looking after him.

All the while, a little voice in my head tells me that I should be engaged with his play 100% and should leave the other stuff. Should leave my needs.

But I can’t.

And so I accept the reality of what is.

Interdependencies

I notice that several of these areas are linked together. Motherhood, work and love all jostle for my time and one area reducing leads to a gain in another.

Likewise, rest and recuperation is met through travel (often to see friends) and provides time for me to seek a spiritual connection outside myself.

And my spiritual opening links to better health outcomes as I live with less anxiety and live more in my truth, which positively impacts my relationships with friend and family.

And so this wheel of life turns, ever adjusting for my awareness of it. Constantly dancing as I find space for that which I hold dear in my life.


Thanks to Nadine, who treated me to a night in the incredibly cool Carpenter Hotel, whose coffee I’ve been sipping while finishing these reflections.

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The pain awareness brings

One of the things I knew I wanted to work on in my time away from Jenson is the anger I hold inside me.

An anger that I know drives a lot of my feelings of frustration towards others. But an anger I know is really an anger I hold against myself.

And it’s an anger that I feel at myself for having heard but not listened to the environmental crisis that we’ve known about for decades.

I remember learning about greenhouse gases at secondary school, so I can’t claim to not have known about what was going on.

But I didn’t act.

I’ve been aware for years that most rubbish goes into landfill or is burnt.

But I still chose to fill up my bin indiscriminately with single-use plastics and things I’ve cast aside after limited use.

I’ve known about the injustices that go with the earth’s exploitation – slavery, poverty, bribery, corruption.

But I still selected products that I wanted (the mac I use for blogging a prime example) regardless.

When I think about these things, I feel incredibly sad.

I feel the pain I’ve inflicted to the world.

And it makes me cry, to feel incredible sadness when I sit with this pain.

I know this pain is available to me because of the awakening and connection I’ve had to nature in the past few months.

I feel how nature – trees, flowers, grass, woods, stones, mountains, insects, animals – are all alive.

They don’t live at the same frequency as us – they grow slower, communicate differently – but that doesn’t mean they’re any less alive or worthy or important.

And it’s our folly to think otherwise.

In treating them all as second class citizens (or not citizens of this world at all) we’ve arrived at this knife-edge of human viability, faced with irreversible climate change and mass bio-diversity loss.

In knowing this, I sense why other people might not be able face into this pain.

Because doing so requires us to take responsibility for what we’ve done – at an individual and collective level – and that is hard.

But in writing this, I recognise that I’m taking on responsibility for the whole of humankind and our collective responsibility for getting into this mess.

And this responsibility is not mine to hold alone. To try to do so is destructive and paralysing.

It’s too much for me to feel.

It’s not mine to hold alone.

It stops me from being as effective, strategic and powerful as I could be in taking action.


In realising this, I know I need to sit with how I’m feeling some more.

I need to contemplate how I might I step out of this anger and burdensome responsibility, not to cast it aside, but to stop myself being overwhelmed and unable to act.

I know I need to practice self-forgiveness and compassion – even just holding my hands at my heart daily and saying ‘I forgive you‘ will be a start to this.

I also wonder how I can use this insight – the pain this work brings – to find a way of helping others to look into the situation without paralysis and overwhelming pain or avoiding any responsibility at all.

And I know I need to dance daily to work negative energy out of my body. To shake off the anger and the frustration and to step into the joy that this work can bring – being whole with nature, living a sustainable life at all levels, feeling the joy that deepened connections to all life forms brings to my life.

This isn’t work that will be done in a day. It’s work that will take time.

Being aware of what is going on is the first step.

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