What if all we need to do to create change and stop destruction is to learn how to stop. Sounds simple enough. Just stop, or pause and take a bit of time out to think about what we are doing. Stop to create space to allow something new to happen. Stop the stuff that doesn’t work.
Stop burying our heads in the sand!
Stop pretending that the holiday you need because you are ‘exhausted’ is not going to add to the destruction of the planet. Stop to take a moment or two to consider whether what we are doing is really for the highest good or coming from our own ego needs.
Truthfully I think I am suffering from environmental anxiety.
I heard anxiety described as being too aware of the echo bouncing, as though sound is trapped in a cave reverberating from the walls but not going anywhere. That made sense to me. I hear talk about environmental concerns but no real change in behaviour. ‘Oh but we recycle so it’s OK to go to 5 star hotel in India for a fortnight.’
I am not exemplifying myself here because I know that changing habits is difficult and these are socially acceptable habits –
‘We’re having a fabulous week in Thailand darlings … skiing in the Alps … trip to Disneyland…visiting Australia…bucket list…flying half way round the world to attend a self improvement course.’ But are we really thinking about the costs to the environment!
What if I spend the money for one trip to plant a bee friendly place instead? What if I spend free time picking up rubbish? What if I save extra cash to plant trees? What if we said fuck it to the bucket list and started a plan it and plant it for the planet list instead!?
One older man said to me ‘Oh planetary destruction is not my problem, I’ll be dead by then!’ Another person told me ‘I hate trees’ they make a mess!
‘Not my problem’ and ‘one person doesn’t make a difference’ are common forms of thinking that are part of the problem!
And what about that gym membership – grown men and women running on treadmills watching TV in air conditioned environments whilst other people are struggling. It’s kinda immoral!
So how about – This is my problem and what can I do to make a difference?
Now that’s a powerful question! Dare I say it – that’s a rebellious question in this day and age of unquestioned consumerism and travel.
My thought is to start by stopping for a little bit – your wise higher self will start coming up with amazing, exciting, challenging, creative answers for you. We can all find inspired ways to make a difference.
To learn the art of stopping Alexander Technique constructive rest works for me – lie down in a warm place to let go for twenty minutes and allow for ease and renewal. Letting yourself stop can take practise.
Today, the big picture with all the problems we are facing can feel overwhelming. It’s much easier to ignore the inconvienient echo from the environmental scientists reverberating in the distance and just stay busy – plan another distraction. Not my problem! I won’t make a difference.
For me, stopping, is a definite start in the process of change and creativity.
Stopping takes us out of habitual activity and allows time for ways to move forward with courage and for grace to be revealed.
We really can start to make a difference by simply stopping. We have to start somewhere.
Stop and let go into an open zone in yourself where you can ask the question – ‘What can I do to make a difference?’
It is powerful question, a prayer almost. Answers will come…
Postscript – Thanks for reading! I hesitated to write a blog asking people to question the unnecessary travel they might do, but it’s time to let my inner rebel have her say. Time to be braver. I am not asking people to stop travelling but to question whether that next trip or holiday is really necessary or could they do something more rebelliously joyously environmentally friendly instead that might give you more long term satisfaction and peace of mind.
My solution for environmental anxiety is make art about the environment – and use the money I make to plant trees. I am also in the process of developing educational art workshops for primary school children locally, focussing on the environment and self awareness skills for 2020! Holidays, what are they? Every day is a gift when you open your eyes, ears and heart to it.
I truly believe in the power of the individual that combined make a powerful collective consciousness for goodness. Individually and collectively we can and do make a difference.
Merry Xmas and Happy Stopping!
With Love Kirsten x
www.kirstenharris.co.uk – Alexander Technique