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Eco-Grief & Eco-Anxiety. Help For A New Reality.

12 Jan

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Eco-grief is the grief felt in response to experienced or anticipated ecological loss. Eco-anxiety is a chronic fear of environmental doom. Creeping environmental changes are now cascading ahead at a catastrophic pace and have been rightly upgraded to a climate emergency. 

When our senses are inundated with a torrent of news, filled with the horror and sadness of global disasters, sensitive people begin to wobble and topple.

Scientists are telling us “like it is.” We need to listen. Dire warnings, horrific natural disasters, death, displaced people, species extinction, rising seas, soaring temperatures, extreme drought, diminished air quality, degradation of waterways and raging bushfires destroying trees, homes, animals, people and even those saving the people, are becoming more and more commonplace.

Even when it’s not us experiencing terror, fear, anger and trauma from injury, loss and damage to lives, property and livelihoods first-hand, second-hand it has the potential to flood us with helplessness. This can cause feelings of grief, anxiety, despair and panic which can overwhelm and dull our ability to act. The more we see planet Earth going to hell in a handcart, the more emotional distress we are going to feel. The social impact will make our hearts ache. We need balance. The media needs to communicate facts to make us care, rather than cause panic. We need to research positive news stories, search for kindness and gather as much information as we can to find out what we can do that’s helpful.

We didn’t expect to begin 2020 with Australia, our neighbour, burning. Areas that aren’t burning are choking from the smoke. Over a billion animals have already died horribly in those fires. And what about the frogs and bees and other insects? Maybe now their climate denial PM will stop selling cheap coal to China and India? The least we can do is to embrace this new reality. We need to wake up and quit avoiding the demise. We need to take more self-responsibility to change what we can. We need to help one person, one cause or donate to help many. Then we need to question and demand business, societal and political change.

If you’re upset, know that it’s okay. Validate your feelings, know that we are all in this together in this world and if you are suffering, reach out and get help expressing and normalising difficult feelings. Part of the solution is to take action. Action counteracts hopelessness. Below are some of my ideas to encourage action.

  • Look at humanities better traits. Who is working to fix things? Read articles like this one from Skip Spritzer and learn more about climate change and disrupted eco systems.
  • Keep being self-responsible. Make many changes. This is the time to turn me into we and think of the greater good of the planet.
  • Find even more ways to be mindful of your impact, like how you use and produce food, water, and energy. Read this brilliant article by Jonathan Foley.
  • Learn from people trained to deal with long term catastrophes. The world is full of passionate people. Policy makers. Climate researchers. Trauma researchers. Infrastructure experts. Mental health workers. Animal welfare specialists.
  • Every problem requires different solutions. Try to pick one or two that resonate the most with you.
  • Practise mindfulness and meditation and bear witness to both joy and suffering and help build your emotional strength and resilience.
  • Empathy leads to right action. It encourages and motivates us to become a part of the solution. If you can’t do it alone join a group.
  • Sign petitions. Write letters. Donate if you’re in a position to.
  • Speak up and question business practices that could be improved.
  • Vote with your dollars. Food is a good starting place where personal action can impact the planet.
  • Inspire social change and follow accounts that do.

Is it time to give up? I say a big fat NO. Get therapy to grieve healthily, reduce anxiety and keep hope in your heart. And this one I love – Find a way to be a force of good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Fun Things To Do On A Blood Moon.

8 Oct

 

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Why not take some time this evening to ponder this question: How does what I am doing right now, serve the agenda of my soul?

Shine On Maya Angelou.

30 May
Maya Angelou quote

Maya Angelou quote

The moment I learnt of Maya Angelou’s death, I firstly felt sad for Oprah and imagined what kind of gaping loss she must be feeling for her mentor, fairy godmother and phenomenal woman friend. Then I got the prickles all over me, a reminder from the heavens that Maya is still shining, influencing, guiding and spreading her wisdom, all be it in a new way.

Obama said “Her death has dimmed one of the brightest lights of our time.” He added: “A childhood of suffering and abuse actually drove her to stop speaking, but the voice she found helped generations of Americans find their rainbow amidst the clouds, and inspired the rest of us to be our best selves.”

How many of us live with such bravery and conviction? How many of us live passionately on purpose, courageously sharing the kind of wisdom that may guide or positively influence the lives of many? I am going to remember her life as a glorious gift worthy of great celebration.

“She lived a life as a teacher, activist, artist and human being. She was a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace,” her son, Guy B Johnson said.

Maya’s many sayings, which I always imagine her reading out loud in that gorgeous deep, calming voice of hers, not only drive me to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud, but they colourfully smear themselves into the essence of who I am and what I am here to do, and I am forever grateful for her paving the way for me, and all of us, who believe we can make a difference.

As Maya once said “Just do right.”

Platform Building.

3 Feb
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Getting things in order

Not only do authors get to research, gather information, stay inspired, write a book, rewrite a book, edit their book, line edit their book, oversee the design process and book marketing graphics, they also have to beaver away and build their platform so that they have enough wonderful people to buy their book and spread the word to others to buy the book.

Right now it feels easier to let exhaustion wash over me as I wait for the release of Fairytale Love, How to Love Happily Ever After. The temptation to take on Sleeping Beauty tendencies and Continue reading

Lady Luck.

12 Oct

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I love potential. I love seeing brave people going after their dreams, taking chances, combining talent with lady luck. I also enjoy most parts of reality shows that give people a chance to shine, whether they’re renovating houses, singing or performing in talent shows. What I enjoy less is the mocking and trashing that sometimes accompanies it.

Everyday-people can sometimes be too quick to Continue reading

Why Inspiration Is Everything.

12 Oct

Whether we trip over it by accident, or intentionally seek it out, inspiration is one of the most fulfilling ingredients of life. It invites a deeper sense of connection, a stronger sense of belonging and throws us a lifeline that links us to our particular tribe.

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Fascination beckons us to step closer, to lean in, to listen, to look, to drink in the beauty, to marvel at and become enchanted by. If we keep paying attention, something will eventually roar right at us and resonate with the raw passion that lives within. You will know when it awakens, it will make your heart sing, give you goosebumps, bring a tear to your eye, make you giggle with delight and leave you hungry for more.

Inspiration arouses interest, enriches and enlivens. It’s like a relay race. We take what we get given, put our own slant on it, burst forward with productivity and creativity, and pass it forward which in turn inspires others.

Bite size pieces of inspiration are like dragon food. They feed our starving souls and fiery imaginations and drive us forward on our own passionate path fueling us to further engage in new possibilities, to create more ferociously and love more fiercely.

What inspires you?