While we go about our busy lives, living like busy bees, concerned with managing our livelihoods, nurturing family and friends, participating in our community, paying our bills and working toward a good future, all of which feel more challenging these days ~ We find the added challenge of living in a time when all of us, one way or another, are exposed to messages that suggest that from many angles our world is in jeopardy. Without much discussion or support, we're left to cope with and absorb the obvious emotional and psychological impacts of this understanding. Sarah Edwards has called this "eco-anxiety"(link) Its no wonder that many of us feel unsettled, anxious or distressed.
While carrying these fears, concerns and worries that we hesitate to "share" with our loved ones, after all, how can we burden them? We also find that in the busy-ness of daily life and managing commitments, who has time to research new directions and possible solutions for our modern dilemmas? We're left often feeling alone, and pushing important, unspoken concerns out of our awareness to 'carry on'. After all, who, in our busy lives, has time for getting counseling,
finding a good therapist, or researching how to find or create an earth supportive, sustainable livelihood?
There are some promising directions however, and pathways that are known, by those who have been able to take time to look squarely at these issues and to imagine and forge new pathways.
There has long been an entirely new direction in psychology and "treatment" for much of our life anxiety and background stress called eco-psychology or eco-therapy. But in our current lives, the first step is often a simple one... simply taking time to bring more nature connection into our lives is one of those steps. And one, interestingly, that seems to, because of its effects on us, give us more time than what we thought we had when we began, and when we once felt hurried or short for time. This is a process that can be used to center oneself, learn, and to find direction, relief, and to experience a sense of feeling restored, re-energized. It can be explored on one's own, or in the context of supportive therapy with someone who works with this primary relationship (nature connectedness) skillfully.
Meanwhile here is a wonderfully interesting article (article link) on the dilemmas we sense, that may have been remaining inchoate for many of us, and thus a source of background anxiety. For often anxiety simply comes from new knowledge that has not been digested, voiced or fully understood in ways that make it meaningful and offer positive direction. I love this key quote: " sustainability is about creating high-quality, equitable lifestyles that have low ecological impacts. It is about living “well” and “lightly” together — as communities, as nations, and as one species, among many, on this planet." While the article is created, in part, to market a wonderful, creative educational program called "Living Routes", (link)the succinctly summarized information and direction given, are useful for us all, as we move to integrate in our lives, the knowledge that we now know we live on a 'small planet', and that our well-being is intertwined deeply both with the planet and all of its varied and fascinating life, as well as one another around the globe.
Its wonderful to find an article that moves our shared anxiety, from where it's languished unhelpfully, into its new and proper place - a felt excitement that facing important and formative challenges will also light a sure pathway for healing our dis-ease. Blended with a sense of possibility, and grounded in a newly understood, meaningful and readily available connection ~ We find here a deep, enduring source for our daily mustering of courage for the journey.