"Just as grief over the loss of a loved person puts into perspective what matters in our lives, collective experiences of ecological grief may coalesce into a strengthened sense of love and commitment to the places, ecosystems and species that inspire, nurture and sustain us."
"The deteriorating state of Earth and people signals that we and the environment are at risk.
Our thinking is excessively separated from nature within and around us.
We must consciously reunite our mind with natural systems and begin to co-create with nature.
Participating in nature reconnecting activities helps make this happen.
They offer an urgently needed service and vast economic benefits.
Interestingly, the word for breathing and sharing spirit together is 'conspire.'
Shouldn't we learn how to conspire to support life and our lives on Earth, rather than dance on the deck of our sinking ship?"
- Dr. Michael Cohen, Project NatureConnect (The Secrets-of-Nature Attractions Trail)
S.O.S. Eco-resilience was created to fill a void
I believe that the symptoms being labeled under eco-anxiety are very sane, reasonable, and healthy responses to an existential threat and feelings of loss because of our love and interwoven relationships within our natural world.
We all need to feel safe and secure and it is understandable to feel pain, loss, and suffering when something we love and the projected future appears threatened.
I want you to know you are not alone, I too have had profound moments of despair, and these are all signs of distress and trauma, perfectly normal responses to an existential threat.
It may be difficult for us to process all these uncomfortable topics and sensations, and then our approach and self-care actions can be impeded. We may see increased substance abuse, Post-traumatic stress disorder, changes to interpersonal relationships and our capacity to work, difficulty with daily living tasks; eating, sleeping, feelings and mood swings, lack of motivation and energy levels, an inability to make decisions, increased self and projected violence, fatigue, and, or burnout.
SOS Eco-resilience is a response to my journey from despair to empowerment
Acknowledging the sensations as a reality, instead of dismissing, distracting, or dissociating ourselves from them is a step to transitioning these uncomfortable feelings.
I developed SOS Eco-resilience as my Masters project in Applied Ecopsychology to support and nourish people and then ripple into local communities and our environment.
Our groups have noted the cultural avoidance of the 'negative/positive judgemental thinking' thinking prevents truly feeling which in turn can block health and necessary action.
From an ecocentric perspective, we collaborate and co-create with the vision of restoring our planet to a safer climate for life to thrive and be part of an equitable, inclusive, creative, adaptive, and resilient community.
The SOS project gartherings have transitioned to more online throught the COVID years and with the assistance and support of the City of Port Phillip Environmental Leadership course have recommenced in person.
SOS eco-resilience events set aside time within our local community and busy daily lives...
"I have a set time to unpack what I am thinking and feeling."
People have commented how they feel more resilient from group interactions, regenerative practices and setting aside the time now and agin to process how they feel and what they are thinking.
We enjoy rejuvenating moments as we collaborate with each other and nature and realise we are not alone with our thoughts and sensations. Ecopsychology methods along with other practices offer tools for us to navigate an uncharted future together.
Self-care is an important part of activism actions, we need to feel healthy and supported to avoid overwhelm, exhaustion, and burnout.
What do you feel the need for in terms of support to feel nourished, renewed, and restore your inner reserves?
Ecopsychology examines how our disconnectedness as a species, and thinking we are separate from Nature has created Earth-separated behaviours reflected in anthropocentric climate change. Vulnerable states of planetary imbalance threaten many species including our own and this is reflected within us with uncomfortable feelings and sensations. Many of us are experiencing a complex range of thoughts and emotions. Disharmony in physical, social, psychological and emotional health is evident and predicted to rise as we witness, or are subject to greater consequences of ecological and societal collapse. We need places and spaces to process what is happening in our world and within us, to build relationships, wellbeing and resilience together.
One last reason why I feel it is important to keep having conversations and processing our uncomfortable sensations ...
A few year ago, my closest friend was diagnosed with Motor Neuron disease. I was blessed to be with her at her passing and we had 16-months of the most intense and beautiful experiences amongst the pain and suffering while she was living with MND. We didn't live in denial, distractration, wishful-thinking or bargaining. It was a blessing to live fully present in this beautiful opportunity of being fully present to our love, relationship and the reality of the situation. Our relationship reached new depths, a more beautiful authentic relationship with acceptance, richness, gratitude, deep love and connection. Had she passed away suddenly, I would have been in shock, so much would have been unsaid, I would not have had the opportunity to go to such beautiful depths within a human relationship. We had time to prepare together, discuss what was the most important things in life are... and plan her transitioning.
I relate this experience to the ecological and climate crisis. We have a finite amount of time to really live our lives, prepare for more challenges, and attempt to mitigate the consequences by our actions buying time to find possible solutions. We are gifted with the scientific projections; an opportunity to live like never before, heart-felt, with purpose, gratitude, acceptance, beauty, joy, deeper more meaningful relationships with self, others and our planet.
Rather than living with hope as a passive, projected future scenario, we accept the challenges and science, acknowledge our emotional and psychological blocks, and can transition to the space of beautiful, joyful acceptance. From here, actions answer the calling to act for and from our Earth, coming from love and appreciation. This is a regenerative place to view and act from, strengthened by nature and relationships with like-minded people.
Let's co-create ‘the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.’ - Charles Eisenstein