The Work That Reconnects and 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
These days can be challenging with uncomfortable emotions such as eco-anxiety, grief, despair, and overwhelm. Systems thinking and Deep Ecology are practices found throughout Greensong practices.
Active Hope nourishes our capacity to act for life on Earth.
“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 guides readers on a transformative journey designed to strengthen their capacity to act for life on Earth.
While reading the book alone can bring great benefits, the strengthening journey it offers is enhanced by the company of fellow readers. More from the Active Hope Website
The Work That Reconnects Spiral
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 & witness, 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:
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.
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 heart. 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.
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.
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 in this.
Active Hope Study Groups
Our Active Hope book journey is a shared process to deepen community and resource ourselves in addressing concerns about the world. The Active Hope Study Groups are a 6-session commitment spread over 6 or 12 weeks. They share a focus on problems and solutions, offer perspective, re-evaluate and clarify purpose, vision and energy through active participation, homework and readings.
“When change wants to happen, it looks for people to act through.”-Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone.
Chris provides a reference in an online course and it is adapted by the facilitator. I will provide you with all notes and resources. It is a great segway to facilitating the WTR and study groups by delving deep in the teaching and practices.
Participant comments July 2020:
"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
"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 !!"
"I highly recommend Deb. In all the 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
"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. A invaluable experience.' -Shannon.
FAQs - Active Hope Study Group
Q – When do you run Active Hope Study Groups?
Q – How many participants are in the group?
A – Max 8. (Suitable for ages 18+) to maintain the integrity and bond of the group as we explore delicate topics.
Q - What is the format and what's involved?
1) Read Active Hope book bit by bit as instructed (order now!)
2) Participate in exercises as noted
3) Meet weekly or fortnightly as per event (webinar or meeting) to discuss the book and engage in exercises
4) Follow-up with any resources provided that interest you
Q - What’s the time commitment?
A – 6 sessions, weekly/fortnightly for 1.5 to 2-hours each plus however long it takes you to read, participate in activities and process information.
• 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 –Ideally for the group bonding, integrity and depth of trust and support, you attend each session. If you cannot attend, you continue to read and do the exercises as scheduled and preferably interact with the group members to maintain connection and sense of belonging.
Q - Who is the facilitator?
A - Deb Punton - Greensong. I am an ecopsychologist, environmental educator, and permaculture landscape designer. I have 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. I practices sacred activism and is passionate about building our relationships with our more-than-human world. more...
Occasionally students from classes wish to start up an Active Hope study group, please contact if interested.
Q - How do we book for the study group and what are fees?
A - A portion of Greensong fees go to support not-for-profit organizations. 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. A sliding scale is offered as we recognise that what is affordable for some can be a financial strain for others and therefore offer a tiered pricing structure to allow those to with greater means to provide more generous community support. Please contact with any questions: https://www.greensong.info/con...
Q - Where can I buy the book? What preparation do you need to do?
A - You only need to have the book Active Hope, no need to start reading until you are emailed with the reading requirements and preparation prior to session 1. Purchase the ACTIVE HOPE BOOK at your local bookstore, online here or Ebook or use your search engine for "Active Hope Joanna Macy ebook, Download, PDF, EPUB, Read Online"
“Books about social and ecological change too often leave out a vital component: how do we change ourselves so that we are strong enough to fully contribute to this great shift? Active Hope fills this gap beautifully, guiding readers on a journey of gratitude, grief, interconnection and, ultimately, transformation.” -Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine.
“Active Hope” and “Active acceptance”
What does the word ‘hope’ mean to you? We will look at this throughout the book... We are not talking about 'hopium', pollyanna hope.
I have pondered 'hope' for some years and found the word is largely corrupted in our society. It is a word uttered along with directing ‘thoughts' and 'wishes’ in a passive context, projected to a future destination without a constructive backup action, plan or commitment.
We do have to envision the future we want to be a part of creating, however, my interpretation of ‘hope’ without action is wishful thinking. I see often a passive projection into a desired future, without deeper insight and substance to hearing the call, the longing feeling which is an invitation to act on behalf of life on our earth. If you are reading this, you are blessed with a human body, blessed with the ability of taking actions that many species we share our planet with cannot. With this comes privilege which carries responsibility. We are mutually supported as we support the whole, wholeheartedly coming from love and acceptance.
Acknowledging the here and now, and understanding future projections based on the science means living with uncertainty and mass extinctions, it involves embodying the pain and discomfort, welcoming the insights and wisdom, accepting with a mindset 'what will be, will be and regardless of seeing an outcome I will be a part of it.' Deep multi-sensing invites the calling of natural attractions to our guide engagement. Through this embodiment, the actions feel fuelled and supported, enabling a sacred-type of engagement, without an attachment to the outcome. We feel supported, energised and part of something far greater than ourselves.
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