So this is my first blog post ever…
I would like to share with you my environmental journey, one that is just beginning. It started for me a year and a half ago, when I was challenged by one of my spiritual teachers to become an “Earth Buddy” over Zoom along with millions of other participants. I thought about it and realized that the environment has always been important to me, and even though I was super afraid of saying yes – because I knew that would be a commitment that I would want to fulfill – I said yes… in my head.
The tricky part after that was that I did not want to deal with the environment or even hear about it because it was painful and overwhelming for me, but I carved out a little time and at least read what the request was to become an Earth Buddy. One of the main requests was to spread a cause (like “Save Soil”) by posting on social media, for example. I thought to myself, nothing that I post or say would have any impact on any of my current social circles, so how would I actually make an impact in a way that would affect people?
I started thinking: how do I get involved in an organization that could hear me, a group that is already working on this, because I need a foot in the door? I’ve got me, myself, and no one listening to me at the moment, and I’m not even listening very well myself.
I started by searching Facebook for a friend from my past that I remembered was active with helping the environment. Amazingly, I saw this workshop that she (Beth Remmes) would be leading called “The Work that Reconnects: A Workshop of Sacred Activism,” based on teachings of Joanna Macy. This workshop was designed to actually deal with our feelings about the environment and process grief, which seemed like a necessary next step because the topic is so painful to me and because I resist starting new things anyway.
So I went to that workshop, which is where I met Jon Reese, who co-leads the UUCA Climate Action Team. After that and a similar retreat, it helped me face my pain enough that I could take the next baby steps. That included attending CAT meetings.
So fast forward a year… Now I am attending the CAT meetings. I even helped start a sub-group called Easy and Fun Activism, where – to help overcome some of my resistance – we get together as a small group, knock out some items on an activism to-do list for 45 minutes, and then do something fun for 15 minutes. With Bert Pearce’s guidance at our last session, I was able to write and send a letter to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to demand they stop mining efforts that will harm the Okefenokee Swamp.
The more I learn about the environment, the more important it becomes to play my part. Now I am ready to take those continued resistance-fraught next steps. This is my first blog post. Maybe I will show up at UUCA after a service to help people choose what goes into the recycle bins.
Like I said, I am on the journey now, and even though (as my husband likes to tell me) my efforts in this area may be futile, get overturned or overshadowed, it is important to me. I feel that when I am on my deathbed looking back, I will be so happy that I did what I could.
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JOURNEY WITH US: The Climate Action Team extends a radical welcome to activists, contemplatives, readers, meditators, questioners, tree hugging hippies, scientists, policy wonks, radicals, pacifists, nature enthusiasts, and all who seek community as we navigate our changing times together. Learn all about the group here, and check out our lending library and Carbon Offset Fund grant opportunity. Contact Jon Reese to connect to the CAT and join us on Zoom for our next monthly meting on Monday, May 15.