We see pictures of the Amazon fires and hear news about the climate crisis and it can feel overwhelming when we realise what a mess we’re in.
The cause of the problems is a thousand interrelated things that implicate all of us and how we live. It’s enormous. And looking at just how big the problem is, makes us feel powerless. It touches us deeply.
Suddenly spotting a ready solution can be like a narcotic, diverting attention from the pain without healing the wound.
You may have noticed this narcotic effect in response to the climate crisis or the Amazon fires. “Let’s do something about it!” “Sign this petition!” “We must recycle!”
If the cause and effect are simple and we know exactly what to do it’s easy, the quick escape is the right response. If you get a splinter in your finger, remove the splinter. Think about why you got the splinter and how you can stop it happening again. Simple.
But most situations are more complicated than that, including the Amazon fires and the Climate Crisis.
In situations like these, the habit of rushing to what is the most convenient, superficially causal agent distracts us from a more meaningful response.
It’s like the analogy of the river. The ambulance waits downstream fishing people out and treating them, then sending them to walk back to where they came from. But no one thinks to go upstream to find out what’s making the people fall in in the first place.
What has happened to cause the problems we have today?
Why are we so reliant on chemicals, plastics, and fast food? How is it we can turn a blind eye to the cruelty in factory and dairy farms? What is it that drives us to want big houses, fast cars, and expensive holidays? Why have we come to see ourselves as separate to nature instead of a part of it?
When we start getting to the foundation of the problems, and the stories and psychologies of our civilisation we start to find answers.
Direct action is still important. But we need to remember that we can act on multiple layers simultaneously. We need to see each dimension of cause within the bigger picture. We don’t jump to easy, false solutions.
I started www.Do5Things.co.uk to try and get people to look at different areas in which they can take action without feeling overwhelmed.
One of the main things I have realised is that if we start taking care of ourselves – stopping overconsumption, walking instead of driving, eating fresh, locally grown, organic food - everything that is good for us is good for the earth too.
We have to start making conscious decisions about everything we do. Conscious living is about taking control of our lives, keeping ourselves informed, breaking bad habits, and making our decisions purposefully. Conscious living is about creating a sustainable and happy lifestyle based on our values and truth, not just settling for what everyone says we should be doing.
For more information on my Conscious Living Course visit www.ConsciousLiving.coach. The next course starts on 21st September. Look out too for the ‘Let’s get Positive about Climate Change’ Workshops I will be starting shortly. Email me at [email protected] for more information.