By Professor Daylover
I’ve been thinking more about climate change. Among those who accept its grim forecast, I’ve noticed a pattern: we know it looms over our very future but somehow avoid thinking about it. A new report comes out, you’re reminded that humanity’s likely screwed, but then what happens? You return to the day’s business.
How to break this cycle? After some reflection, I came up with two answers: stop pretending that the day’s business matters more, and to read more, educate myself--retrain my instincts to look instead of ignore.
Recently, President Trump announced (to the UN) that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris agreement next year. ‘Not that we were anywhere close to meeting carbon emission reduction goals, though. While we shouldn’t be surprised, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be outraged enough to take action. At the UN’s Climate Change Summit this past September, 16 year old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg scorched legislators for their inaction, putting it plain: her right to life matters less than making money. And there we have the inherently moral issue of climate change.
While the supportive actions of legislators are crucial, this is everyone’s issue. No one has the luxury of doing nothing. We all know that big government regulation combined with individual lifestyle changes are our only hope. But if we wait around for the big to act, we’re literally sunk.
Little actions do matter: driving less, eating organic and more vegetarian, bringing glass containers for restaurant take-out, using less water, avoiding single use plastics, buying food in bulk bins. These choices are also inconvenient, and here’s the rub. Each of us must ask, how often do I choose convenience over sustainability...and how often do I rationalize it?
While I sometimes choose convenience, I’m starting to see the spiritual value of inconvenience.
Think about it. Does God/spirit bring you messages at convenient times? Usually it’s the opposite. It sucks, but when we get burned, we’re more open to another way of seeing and doing. Regarding climate change, I’m learning to stop deluding myself and take responsibility. Of course I’ll continue to fail, but a stubborn will to honor all life, to not ignore my part in our shared morality, gives me hope.
This isn’t about being holier than thou. This isn’t about avoiding guilt. This isn’t about the earth, even. It’s about our collective right to exist.
One of the most profound skills an Alchemist can develop is their ability to be self-referencing. Whether in regards to their own spiritual practice, professional life, or personal relationships, the skill of tuning in and ascertaining how we feel (like whether a decision is in the highest good of all, and coming from a grounded, loving place), is undeniably essential for personal growth and transformation.
However, what if you doubt the answer you find? How do you know you're tapping into the collective wisdom of Spirit, as opposed to the egoic trappings of the mind? When is self referencing, self sabotaging? (Can you hear the voice of Carrie Bradshaw asking these questions?)
The greatest indicator is our old friend Friend. I say Friend because energies are neither good nor bad, they simply are, and it's only the lens through which we view attributes which give them the label of good or bad. Fear is a powerful teacher (great, just what we need, another teachable moment) designed to lead us toward the places we still need to grow, process, or work through.
However, when we are IN fear, our capacity to think about others diminishes to zero. Fear makes us irrational, greedy, and selfish (not in the good way). When Fear is present, the True you is gone, making it impossible to make divine decisions.
We then will often make judgments and decisions from the moral high ground of self referencing, only to then learn - after sometimes a slue of unpredictable consequences - that in fact we did not pass go and did not collect that $200. Congratulations, God is infinitely more forgiving to us than we are to each other, and the opportunity to make a different choice, will eventually emerge.
So, what do you need to do?
Recognize, cultivate, and enjoy the All-Mighty Pause.
The fact that you are in Fear doesn't make you a bad person, doesn't mean you're behind the curve spiritually, nor is Fear something you must conquer.
Sit with it.
Breathe slowly into it.
See what's there, if you want to.
And remember to lighten up, it's only eternity.
Welcome to Earth Alchemy: our 30-day look at how we can more actively engage with Mother Earth and have fun in the process!
In this old podcast interview, Jes interviews Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation. TMPF works in cooperation with Washoe County, Reno, and Sparks Parks Departments, as well as community organizations, to achieve their mission through community outreach events, park-based educational and recreational programs and charitable giving opportunities.
What kind of life would you lead if you had no fear? #AlchemistMovement