Dandelion Parachute Seed

THE WORK THAT RECONNECTS & ACTIVE HOPE

The Work that Reconnects helps people discover and experience their innate connections with each other and the self-healing powers of the web of life, transforming despair and overwhelm into inspired, collaborative action.  
 Joanna Macy, Ph.D. Eco-philosopher, scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep ecology

“Active Hope is not wishful thinking.
Active Hope is not waiting to be rescued by some savior. Active Hope is waking up to the beauty of life on whose behalf we can act. 
We belong to this world. The web of life is calling us forth at this time. We’ve come a long way and are here to play our part.

With Active Hope we realize that there are adventures in store, strengths to discover, and comrades to link arms with.  Active Hope is a readiness to discover the strengths in ourselves and in others; a readiness to discover the reasons for hope and the occasions for love. A readiness to discover the size and strength of our hearts, our quickness of mind, our steadiness of purpose, our own authority, our love for life, the liveliness of our curiosity, the unsuspected deep well of patience and diligence, the keenness of our senses, and our capacity to lead. None of these can be discovered in an armchair or without risk.”   Joanna Macy

ACTIVE HOPE STUDY GROUPS 

Our journey through the book Active Hope is a shared process that aims to deepen community connections, and nurture ourselves as we actively address concerns about injustice and our role in creating a life-affirming culture. The book provides a framework with practices to help process collapse, resource ourselves, build community and personal resilience, and take grounded actions. 
 
The Active Hope study groups are a 6-session commitment spread over 6 to 12 weeks.
 
Groups share a focus on problems and solutions, wise responses rather than reactions, as they re-evaluate and clarify their sense of purpose.  

EVENTS

Greensong Active Hope book study groups are held online and in person as noted on current events or as requested.

Active Hope contains practices from the deep ecology movement, which is similar to applied ecopsychology.   Applied ecopsychology refers to the appliation of ecopsychology methodology. These practices may provide an experience anywhere along the following spectrum: from sensing wellbeing benefits through our BEing in and with nature, or deepening our sense of human nature and community; to finding solutions and insights, or to the profound experience of anima mundi, the soul of the world.

FAQS

Q – When are Active Hope study groups held? 
A – Please check for current and upcoming events, contact to express interest in another group or startup date, time, day of the week or to be on a waiting list.

Q – How many participants are in the group?
A – Max 6 to 8 for the Active Hope study group online, other session numbers vary.  Small groups allow for us to maintain the integrity and bond of the group as we explore delicate topics on zoom. 
 
Q - What is the session format and what's involved?
1) Participants read the Active Hope book bit by bit as instructed. Please order as soon as you register as book delays will impact your participation. If you live local to South East Melbourne, I have the book you may borrow.
2) Participants engage in the practices and exercises in the book or as noted.  Some practices are done alone, others in pairs. The time you put into the reading, practices, reflections and active group participation will determine what you gain from the experience as a whole. 
3) The group meets to discuss the book chapters and practices and you are invited to engage in other exercises and meditations. 
4) You will be provided with weekly wrap-up email and resources so that you may repeat the course yourself or with others.   It is a great segue to facilitating the Work That Reconnects.  

Q - What’s the time commitment?
A – 2-2.5 hours meeting over 6 gatherings. In addition, allow at least 2-hours a week to read, participate in activities, take notes and process information in between the group gatherings. You will get the most out of this experience by treating it as a study and particpating in paired activites with people. Processing on an intellectual level by reading alone is very different than a conversational relationship with a person. 


Example on sessional reading:
• Session 1 - Introduction plus Chapter 1 on Three Stories of Our Time and Chapter 2 on Trusting the Spiral
• Session 2 - Chapter 3 on Coming from Gratitude
• Session 3- Chapter 4 on Honouring our Pain for the World
• Session 4 - Chapters 5, 6, 7 & 8 on Seeing With New Eyes
• Session 5 - Chapters 9 & 10, Going Forth pt 1
• Session 6 - Chapters 11, 12 & 13 on Going Forth pt 2
 
Q- What if I can’t make it to a meeting?

A –Please attempt to attend each session for the group bonding, integrity and depth of trust and support, and to embody the reading and practices. If you cannot attend, you will benefit from continuing to read the book and participating in the practices as scheduled.  Ideally, if your group consents to sharing contact details, you can email the group your notes and reflections from the missed session and the group has the ability to respond.

Q - Who is the facilitator?

A - Deb Punton - Greensong is an ecopsychologist, environmental educator, and permaculture landscape designer. She has facilitated S.O.S (Sustainability of Self) groups on-line and in-person focusing on living with the challenges of the climate and ecological emergency and building our resilience and wellbeing so we can continue to be proactive in creating a life-affirming culture. She practices sacred activism and is passionate about building our human relationships with our more-than-human world. Please note Deb is an ecopsychologist, NOT a psychologist. 

 

Q - How do we book for the study group and the fees?  

A - A sliding scale is offered as we recognise that what is affordable for some can be a financial strain for others and therefore a tiered pricing structure allows those with greater means to provide more generous community support. A portion of Greensong fees from events go to support not-for-profit organisations. Greensong believes that the benefits should be available to everyone regardless of their financial or life situation and that our learning is enriched by a diversity of participants. Please contact with any questions

Q - What preparation do I need to do?

A - Purchase your book ASAP after booking. You only need to have the book Active Hope, there is no need to start reading until you are emailed with the reading requirements and preparation prior to our first session. Purchase the Active Hope book at your local bookstore or online.

 

Q - Do we ever meet up in person if we study online? 

A - Yes, many participants have chosen to meet in person or in online gatherings during and after events. Groups may choose to communicate with each other and via email or phone during the week to share and process the work together or partipate in the exercises. Participants of the 6-weeks Active Hope study groups are invited to join Greensong Kinfolk. Ongoing opportunities for care and connections through Greensong Kinfolk gatherings and discounted offerings may include other SOS activities, single event Active Hope online intensives, and the Work That Reconnects practices to reconnect, deepen our ecological awareness, maintain healthy habits and build our eco-resilience and active engagement. 

TESTIMONIALS

"I’ve never been involved with a study group and I wasn’t familiar with the book Active Hope but what a powerful combination it turned out to be! The text makes the task of a meaningful contribution that addresses climate change seem achievable instead of totally overwhelming. Exploring it with others deepened that feeling; none of us are alone in this and together we can make change happen. I’ve found the process truly inspiring... I think so many of us feel overwhelmed by the state of the world, now more than ever. Deb, and this group, made me feel that through connection, creativity and vulnerability, change is possible." - Judith Lucy, Actor and comedian.

"I can’t recommend studying this book highly enough it has brought in all elements of study in my life so far relevant for all areas of ones life and Deborah Punton you facilitate beautifully THANK YOU !!" 2021 Participant

"This is truly the work that needs doing, so that all of us - the newly alert and seasoned activists alike - can support ourselves and each other through our lives."  - 2021 Particpant

"I highly recommend Deb. In all the workshops I have experienced with her, she facilitates a soulful supportive nurturing space which enables personal growth and self development and a wonderful deep connection with nature and others in the group. Many thanks"  - Karen Hopkins, artist.

"My testimony to this work, that reconnected me to community, sisterhood and country starts with a thank you! Thank you ladies, thank you Gaia, Johanna and last but leastly least, Deb. Your grace throughout these gatherings and your fondness and love of the natural world was endearing.... I'd do this again in a heart beat and in fact hope to! Inspired by you continuously. An invaluable experience.' - Shannon.

"I think so many of us feel overwhelmed by the state of the world, now more than ever. Deb and the group, made me feel that through connection, creativity and vulnerability, change is possible."

THE WORK THAT RECONNECTS AND THE SPIRAL

 

We begin studying the Three Stories of Our Time

1. Business as Usual: there is little need to change the way we live, economic growth is regarded as essential despite the degradation of the planet for resources in doing so.

2. The Great Unravelling: draws attention to the disasters that Business as Usual has lead us to. We see the collapse of systems; climate, ecological, social and economical, as well as resource depletion, and the mass extinction of species.

3. The Great Turning: an emergence of new and creative human responses, a transition from an industrial society committed to economic growth to a life-sustaining society committed to the healing and health of our world as a whole.

The Spiral was developed as a way of helping people move through a structured process together in ways that helps us acknowledge how we feel, be heard and witnessed, develop a world-wide perspective and learn practices that support and nourish us with our part to play to make a difference in our world. 

The Spiral moves through four stages, from the Active Hope website.

  1. Gratitude - Gratitude helps to steady and ground us in the present moment and acknowledge what is meaningful to us. Gratitude offers perspectives not solely dependent on our external circumstances. It enables our strength, trust, wisdom and courage.

  2. Honouring our pain for the world - Opens up a conversation where we have permission to speak our authentic selves, our truth of what is true for us right now in our hearts. We trust we are heard in naming and expressing what we experience. Our emotional energy can activate and energise us, as well as offering signals that guide us. We feel what we feel, and the honouring pain stage invites in expression of some of the feelings that are normally screened out of everyday conversation.

  3. Seeing with new eyes - is where we open to looking in a different way, with perspectives that open up a sense of possibility and help us see resources that can nourish us.

  4. Going Forth - is where we look at our role in the larger story of change. This brings in visioning practices and planning tools that help us find our part and identify the next steps.

“It's going to be beautiful to see what we dare to do.
Facing our fears, and letting go of and getting over our knee-jerk reactions to what we think we don't like or are afraid of. 

To see our capacity to walk into the fire. 

To discover how much we really love being alive.

To give ourselves a taste of what that passion is. 
To let us fall really in love with our planet, and its beauty, and to see that in ourselves, as well as in each other.”

 Joanna Macy, Ph.D. Eco-philosopher, scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep ecology

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