There is a very real concern that mining and fracking will increase, biodiversity will be lost, our river systems will fail and that this climate emergency will worsen globally as our window of opportunity for addressing this challenge closes.

For some, this fear and grief is a physical sensation, heaviness in the chest, knots in the stomach, the need to cry, others may be avoiding these feelings and thoughts through distraction.

Knowing our grief and “looking it in the eye” is an essential part of Joanna Macy’s framework ‘The Work that Reconnects’, often used in Rahamim programs.

As Rumi said, “This being human is a guest house… Welcome and entertain them all”. All your emotions have “been sent as a guide from above”. Macy recommends we return to our gratitude as we honour our pain, then we can see with new eyes and go forth to stay present to what we believe in, value and love. 

Linking arms with others who feel this grief is a wonderful source of consolation at this time. It could be the time to visit wild places, to listen and walk among trees and engage in nurturing spiritual practices. It is also important to pay attention to bodily needs - hydration, whole food and exercise.

Joanna Macy has designed a range of practices for groups and individuals to connect with grief and love for Earth https://workthatreconnects.org/practices/.

Public group gatherings are also being organised by ARRCC (Australian Religious Response to Climate Change), such as the upcoming “Ritual of healing for climate campaigners”.

This reflective gathering is for all who put their heart and souls into the #VoteClimate campaign, and are now grappling with the election wash-up. Many of us had hoped for a bright new dawn for climate action in Australia, but are instead feeling the loss of a future we thought we would be heading towards.

 Sydney event

Melbourne event

 

The Guest House 

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival. 

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.

meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.

 

— Jellaludin Rumi,