I, have watched all those documentaries about Collapse, Freakonomics, Zeitgeist, An Inconvenient Truth, Cowspiracy, The Price of Sugar, Food Inc, and it is enough to send you rushing to the doctor for Prozac, except you’ve watched Big Pharma, Big Money.
While awareness raising is important, there should always be an opt out clause. There is little point in telling the “Story of Stuff” without telling the ‘Story of Solutions”. Throughout the blog, I’ve been trying to share those nuggets of treasures where solutions are being found and snippets of people’s ideas and actions which are making a difference.
It’s this focus on solutions that got me excited about permaculture (yes, I’ve said that before a million times) and also the Pachamama Alliance – my latest inspirational discovery.
There is a saturation point where all this information and exposure gradually seeps into your cells and becomes a part of you and you wake up realising you’ve woken up realising you’ve fundamentally changed and in dire need of walking the talk. I used to see the same qualitative change in the students I taught. It gave meaning to my purpose to witness it happen. And it was nothing I could offer to an Ofsted inspector as evidence of my ‘outstanding’ work. But I took a joy in these transformational shifts arising from their more implicit learning.
Like habit formation. Repeat an action regularly and a neuronal change occurs which makes it difficult to break.
The eco-challenges offered by the Northwest Earth Institute are categorised, and I thought it appropriate to commence these biweekly offerings with a task from the ‘simplicity’ list. There are two reasons for this choice.
Firstly, I want everyone to succeed in forming their new eco-habit. To do so, there is a need to love the diminishing natural ecology sufficiently to act upon that love.
Secondly, I’ve been deeply moved by Arkan Lushwala’s perspective on global culture and western separation. In this clip, he talks about the importance of finding silence inside. (If you are short on time, the relevant section is from 9:06 onward.)
” To feel, to walk on Earth in a way you keep the balance, requires attention. Attention requires a certain kind of silence inside and this culture does not give you silence. Everyone is busy, busy, busy.” (Arkan Lushwala)
Many of the’ simplicity’ suggestions entail disconnecting from a wired world. But I think we can utilise Arkan Lushwala’s wisdom and take that notion a step further. I know you are all deep thinkers and feelers, so 10 minutes a day without any technology (by way of example) isn’t going to be enough of a challenge.
Eco-challenge 1: Spend time each day experiencing the silence within you.
Each day, for the next two weeks, I’m going to suggest a means for experiencing this silence.
Day 1: Find a place to sit comfortably and close your eyes. Imagine yourself sitting before a deep lake beneath the moonlight. It is so still that it looks almost like a deep, dark-blue plasma. The space is completely empty but for the deep, dark-blue lake before you. The air around you is completely still. The space is so silent that you feel, rather than hear your own breath. Feel it ebb and flow slowly and silently. Floating on the surface of the lake is a lit candle. Pay attention only to the flame. When you’re ready, gently blow out the flame and pay attention to your body, pay attention to the sensations you experience and slowly open your eyes.