It’s been a funny old week
Last week started with a heatwave and it stirred up a lot of eco ANXIETY in the online circles I hang out in.
The great thing about having found a tribe of people who care about the world is that you no longer feel alone, but sometimes that means having to sit with the pain at its suffering.
The war in Ukraine has also come a bit closer, since we welcomed a nineteen year old young women into our home, and I’ve experienced feelings of helplessness in the face of her worry about her parents who remain in their home country.
I know that I am not alone in those feelings and that many people are experiencing anxiety and grief of many types right now. When I was talking with a client last week I remembered something that had helped me:
“If you’re not feeling worried right now, you’re not paying attention.”
That helped her to reframe her feelings of loneliness and self-doubt into feeling perfectly normal, opening the door to move forwards.
In my view, there’s no point pussy-footing around the issues, pretending that if somehow we all keep quiet (like the media does) that it’s all going to go away. We have to face these challenges head-on and with our minds and hearts open.
It doesn’t matter if your worry is about the climate, rising prices, your kids or your job – it’s not an easy time to be a human.
But now, more than at any time, history demands us to be AWAKE – living consciously, rather than being the passive consumers that corporations and governments want us to be.
And that means being ALIVE to the grief in the world.
I had the misfortune to learn the SOLUTIONS the hard way. Environmental grief and worry is something I experienced profoundly in my teens, when it transmuted into depression, but in recent years I’ve managed it pretty well. But sometimes it rightly demands to be let back in – this week was one of those times.
But unlike in my teens, I now have STRATEGIES.
The best way I have found to deal with such grief (which may show in all of us in different ways, such as anger, despair, tearfulness, hopelessness) is to experience it, let it in, talk about it, then transform it into ACTION.
ACTION to be part of the solution.
Then yesterday I had another EYE OPENER.
I was talking with a business advisor. I confided that I was having a day of not feeling motivated and she said ‘everyone feels like that about their business at one time or another’.
She was shocked when I said I actually never had (luckily it was a blip – I’m back on track today after a good night’s sleep!). And when I thought about it afterwards, I’m certain that’s because I have such a strong WHY.
Offering regenerative solutions with Think like a Tree, via books and courses has been my VISION for well over five years,
and before then my VISION was similar but complementary – local and community solutions to the challenges of climate change and ecological destruction,
and before that my VISION was different but also complementary – a world where refugees are welcomed when they flee their country (my previous career was as a legal advisor for refugees).
I’ve never doubted my WHY, my VISION, because I know there are solutions out there to the world’s problems.
If I know what those solutions are, can share them myself, or signpost people to them, then I COULDN’T NOT do what I do.
For the last 30 years I’ve been turning my WHY into ACTION, transforming my GRIEF and ANGER into ACTION.
So that’s what keeps me motivated, and largely free of climate grief, self-doubt or imposter syndrome.
Of course your WHY will be different from mine – they are all unique, but we can all find our own IKIGAI – our own reasons for getting out of bed in the morning.
Having a VISION, a WHY, and IKIGAI, drives you through the hard times and keeps you on track.
Life in general is HARD, and life is particularly DIFFICULT right now. That’s precisely when we feel like running away, but also when most of us need some extra help.
And that’s why the second phase on the THINK LIKE A TREE DESIGN CYCLE part of the THINK LIKE A TREE PROGRAMME is exploring your VISION AND PURPOSE (the first phase is Observation – you can’t explore where you’re going until you know where and who you are now).
Only once you’ve explored where you want to go, something truly in line with who you are, and your own unique circumstances, do we start to explore options for change. And ACTION doesn’t even come into play until you have all the building blocks in place.
Exploring your VISION isn’t a high pressure sport, another reason to beat yourself up, it’s something that can crystallize when you align your VALUES and your LIFE.
Here are some of the visions that previous Think like a Tree programme participants have chosen:
Establishing a purpose-led business
Designing a productive retirement
Supporting a child with mental ill-health or additional needs
Boosting self-esteem to be more purposeful in life
Starting a charity
Raising happy, healthy and nature-connected children
And one that I found particularly moving ‘my vision is TO STEER MY OWN SHIP rather than having it steered for me;
So if that’s something you would like to explore in a safe and welcoming group, then there are TWO PLACES REMAINING on the Think like a Tree programme on 19 – 21 August at Whistlewood Common in South Derbyshire.
And because I’m going on holiday next week and I’ll like to get the admin sown up before I go (a bit of self-care for me), then I’m offering a FREE BOOK to the people who book those two remaining places before Friday 5th August. (choose Think like a Tree or Inspired by Trees – just email me your choice)
There are lots more details of the programme on the website:
Choose from the group programme or 1 to 1 options.
You can choose to camp or stay in local B and Bs and Milly and I look forward to welcoming you.