I got an email from my Dad recently, filled with images from around the globe.
I wonder what comes to mind for you when you ask yourself what might have been contained in such an email. Images of culture, natural vistas, landmarks, architecture, wildlife, contrasting seasons perhaps?
Well it was all of these things but of the worst kind. They were photographs that no one really ever wants to see… of the carnage that humankind has forced upon our planet. All. over. the. planet. Piles and piles of waste, natural waterways which are now constipated with all kinds of scary garbage and chemicals, even in some of the most usually pristine areas of the world, e.g. Canada. Photos of animal corpses – polar bears, elephants, images of forests cut down, melting glaciers which shouldn’t be melting and shocking topographical images of overpopulated cities with not a single tree in sight for miles, just concrete and people and more and more people.
Mexico City, Photo by Pablo Lopez for Deep Ecology
In Australia, we are so blessed to have a lower population and vast landmass. Unfortunately though, this means we have an incorrect view of the wellbeing of our planet. We live here in paradise while all over the world, things are far from it.
Indonesian surfer Did Surinaya rides a wave filled with rubbish in Java, Indonesia. Photo by Zak Noyle.
It was my birthday yesterday and I was swimming in the Pacific ocean. The worst I had to contend with was a bit of seaweed. Indonesia is one of our neighbours(!), geographically speaking. How long before the pollution becomes too much for anyone to bear?
Today, I looked further into it and discovered the images my Dad sent were taken for a Deep Ecology Foundation publication called Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot. Intrigued by this “deep ecology”, I got to reading. Turns out Deep Ecology is a term coined by Norwegian activist Arne Naess in the 1970’s. You can read all about it here and check out the Deep Ecology Foundation website here. Incidentally, I’m not surprised he is Norwegian. Norway is such an amazing country with some of the most breathtaking nature spots I have ever been blessed enough to visit. Who wouldn’t want to safeguard that!?
In the first article linked above, Chris Johnstone for greenfuse.org, outlines Naess’ work:
He proposed that we ask 'deeper questions', looking at the 'why and how' of the way we live and seeing how this fits with our deeper beliefs, needs and values. Asking questions like "How can I live in a way that is good for me, other people and our planet?" may lead us to make deep changes in the way we live.
It really is up to us. We know this right? If we don’t want to be swimming in rubbish, if we want to save our beautiful planet Earth, we need to change our ways. For us in Australia, the situation may not seem as dire as if we lived in other parts of the world, but it’s ONE planet! We are all connected. Our immediate neighbours are surfing in filth! How long before the pollution spreads? Ten years, twenty years, fifty years? So what can we do about it? I turn to the Deep Ecology Foundation website again for inspiration:
Endorsing the Deep Ecology Platform principles leads us to attend to the “ecosophies” of aboriginal and indigenous people so as to learn from them values and practices that can help us to dwell wisely in the many different places in this world. We learn from the wisdom of our places and the many beings who inhabit them. At the same time, the ecocentric values implied by the platform lead us to recognize that all human cultures have a mutual interest in seeing Earth and its diversity continue for its own sake and because most of us love it. We want to flourish and realize ourselves in harmony with other beings and cultures. Is it possible to develop common understandings that enable us to work with civility toward harmony with other creatures and beings? The Deep Ecology Platform principles are a step in this direction.
This little bit of wisdom resonates with me very deeply (no pun intended). The Spirit works in mysterious ways doesn’t it?!
Reading this reaffirmed for me the loud and clear CALL I have been listening to of late. It is a call from deep within my heart and from deep within the heart of our Earth Mother. It is a call for CONNECTION. Not just going out in nature for a walk or a swim or a climb, but an intentional meeting. A time that I have needed to prioritise (or else life takes over). A time to sit and to be. A time to connect mindfully, with Her. To listen. To commune, to connect.
This is a regular practice that I am taking up this year which I would love to share with all of the women and children who attend the MYSHA circles and groups, entitled “Dadirri” – which is an Aboriginal word brought to life by Miriam Rose Ungunmerr Baumann. Here’s a youtube video to give you a taste.
Miriam is the first Aboriginal woman who became qualified as a teacher in Australia. Her message and her wisdom is nothing short of inspirational and it is perhaps no coincidence that I have been familiarising myself with her work so that I can share its essence with you.
This intentional practice of “dadirri” is elevating my consciousness. The benefits to my mind, body and spirit include greater levels of peace and calm, greater mental clarity, more patience, deeper compassion, the list goes on. Not only these, but the practice is also motivating me to make small changes in our family life. Some of these things I have been doing for a long time and some of them meant taking a step further. Simple things, such as not using disposable plastics at family barbecues, using fabric and ribbons for gift wrap, choosing reusable decorations instead of balloons and streamers for my kids’ birthday parties, popping a plate over the leftovers instead of food wraps, saying ‘No, thank you‘ to bags when purchasing items for my family, carrying my own instead. Saving petrol (and time) by planning my day more thoughtfully, saving electricity wherever possible, and using LESS of pretty much everything.
It all starts with me and you choosing LIFE, choosing to flourish, choosing WELLBEING.
Do you hear her calling?
Peace & Blessings,
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