The Amazon is on fire and has been for weeks now. An unprecedented number of manmade blazes are raging across the rainforest, blanketing the region in acrid smoke and prompting a state of emergency. Indeed, it's not only the Amazon, but our entire planet that is in crisis as the devastation of this life-giving biome poses a real, existential threat for all of humanity.
If this tragedy doesn't alarm you I urge you to ask yourself why. The fact that we are so numb as a collective is a cause for great concern and I wonder what it says about our ability to effectively respond in times of real crisis and need? We are a planet and a people that lives or dies together and yet we go on living as though it’s business as usual. The Earth is our greater body and yet we act as though what is happening to the forests and the oceans and the air doesn't matter. It's like pretending that eating fast-food and smoking and drinking isn't doing our bodies any harm when it is. It's the definition of insane to even pretend like it doesn't and we HAVE to take responsibility for this unacknowledged violence. Just because you’re ignoring it, doesn’t mean it’s not happening. If individually we are willing to desecrate our bodies, then collectively it makes sense that we are willing to turn a blind eye to the desecration of Earth. We have lost touch with what is most sacred, what gives life and what is worthy of our love, devotion, passion and protection.
OUR HEALING IS THE WORLD HEALING
The pain of the world is all around us and I wonder, why aren't more folks talking about it? Why are we so afraid to be inconvenienced by the truth? It's called DISCONNECTION and DENIAL.
We are in deep denial as a collective because the truth is too painful to feel and confront, which is why I believe it's so important that we do the healing work in our own personal lives to process unresolved pain and trauma. Our healing is the world healing. What we resist persists and the climate crisis WILL persist as long as we ignore what needs tending and our personal responsibility for what’s happening now. The micro is a reflection of the macro and we have to wake up and get our act together for the sake of future generations and the survival of our beloved planet. What you do matters. How you live and the food you eat and the things you say and the thoughts you allow and the choices you make here and now matters. How you respond to life circumstances and show up each day sends ripples out into the world. What you don’t do matters in equal proportion. Our silence and inaction is felt across the world and is reflected in our collective complacency. Everything is interconnected and the consequences of living as though we are not, are being revealed. We are ONE living, breathing organism and it's what we are here to remember so that when violence or injustice strikes we feel it deep in our bones and are able to respond immediately and self-correct collectively.
FROM FORGETTING TO REMEMBRANCE
We can’t show up and respond from that place when we are numb and self-focused and not paying attention. This is what a culture of forgetting and disconnection looks like and it’s powered by the consumer machine which thrives on our disempowerment, codependence, helplessness, purposelessness, apathy, stress and addiction. Passion is impossible when you’re a cog in the machine and there you will remain a victim and perpetuate its very existence as long as your role goes unquestioned. If you feel uncomfortable by these words, I’d say that’s a good start. Discomfort is an indication of where we need to grow; it’s not something to fear and avoid. We want better and I know we can do better, but what are we willing to let go of in order to make room for something more? I believe that a big part of being human is our journey into remembrance as we experience the painful implications of what it means to forget. When we forget who we are and we forget our truth and purpose, we wander aimlessly through life looking for anything to fill the void, anything to satiate our hunger for something more. That something more is not what we accumulate nor can it be found externally in our seeking. That something more is what we pour ourselves into as it becomes our own sacred offering in service to the world. Our highest service activates the heart and awakens our most authentic, courageous and passionate selves. If we all lived from our truth and purpose, our world would be a very different place. Whatever is holding you back from shining bright is where your work still lies.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
The questions I am asking myself right now are:
What beliefs and narratives do I carry that are no longer serving me?
What am I putting off until tomorrow that needs my action today?
Where am I feeling discomfort and what is it pointing me toward?
What am I ready to sacrifice for the sake of that which is greater than myself?
What is uniquely mine to offer?
Personally, I am letting go of the story that I need to have it all figured out before I take my next step or put myself out there to speak my truth. No more excuses. No more playing small. I know that my voice is needed in this fight for a new story and there is no more room for limiting self talk. Your presence and voice is needed too. It takes courage to be who you are and say what is true because the risk is always someone else’s disapproval, rejection, judgment and criticism. You are not here to please, perform or perfect your way through life. You are here to offer up your most raw and honest version of self as it is arising because THAT is valuable. Vulnerability is not easy but it is necessary for creating true connection and belonging and I believe it is foundational to the growth of our souls at this time.
If you’re still reading this, what’s your take away? For me, the message is loud and clear: AWAKEN YOUR INNER FIRE. LET THE FLAMES OF LOVE BURN IN OUR HEARTS AND MOVE US INTO ACTION. At the least, I hope you are asking important questions about your place in our collective story and I hope you are motivated to use your power to take meaningful action in response to the crisis upon us.
If not Earth, if not your home, what then is worth fighting for?
WAYS TO TAKE ACTION
- Attend or organize a gathering and/or protest in your area. Support other gatherings if you can’t attend
- Stay informed. Read up on the latest news to understand why this is happening and who this benefits. This isn’t a mistake. This act of violence is purposeful.
- Create an altar and offer up your prayers
Connect to the grief of what is happening; allow yourself to go there
- Talk about what’s happening with family and friends. Share your concern.
- Take care of your body, love her and treat her well.
- Consume less paper products.
- Eat less meat. Remove factory farmed meat from your diet altogether. Local, organic meats only.
Donate to and support the work of the following organizations:
- Amazon Watch
- Amazon Frontlines
- Rainforest Alliance
- Rainforest Action Network
- WECAN: Women’s Earth & Climate Action Network
“If the outer world is diminished in its grandeur, then the emotional, imaginative, intellectual, and spiritual life of the human is diminished or extinguished. Without the soaring birds, the great forests, the sounds and coloration of the insects, the free-flowing streams, the flowering fields, the sight of clouds by day and the stars at night, we become impoverished in all that makes us human.”
- Thomas Berry