What a week for earth awareness. The fragility of our wonderous planet and of the critical nature of our time on this earth has gate-crashed our idle.
Greta Thunberg has shown that each and every one of us has the power to lead ourselves and others to make our stand and to take positive action. One young woman has demonstrated how young activists, coming together, have enormous power. Her message, as well as that of others, continues to inspire. Let’s not mince our words here. Earth as we know it is hanging on by its finger tips. Extinction Rebellion has risen, organised and acted across the country, using rebellion to ensure that the important messages are heard and that a powerful challenge is made to Capitalism. George Monbiot argues that capitalism is the unsustainable ‘drive to perpetual economic growth on a finite planet’. As a result of these brave, caring, angry and courageous individuals there is, at last, the start of a political response emerging. Last Wednesday the UK became the first parliament in the world to declare a climate emergency adding to over 450 local governments across the globe who have also declared the emergency. Some had woken up years ago to this emerging crisis and have been actively working and committed to driving change such as Zero Carbon Britain. And now, thanks to the energy and commitment of these determined pioneering organisations and citizens, many of the wider population have been roused into action across the world. Cities, towns, villages businesses and politics realising the need, right now, for transformative action.
The IPCC report last year was a stark and clear message “Climate-related risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security, and economic growth are projected to increase with global warming of 1.5°C and increase further with 2°C”. A loud, clarion call – we need to all act quickly to save life on this planet. We need to transform how we live. The old ways and systems are not only not allowing us to thrive as a species, they are actually going to destroy life altogether. Awareness is rippling out like a bush fire but there is a big risk that could be our biggest barrier to transforming our world. The risk of anxiety induced inaction. Greta, Monbiot, Extinction Rebellion and many others leading this transformation ooze confidence, credibility and knowledge. Living up to this can also make us feel inadequate too. Do we feel our own inner power to lead the change too? Are we in touch with our own capacity to have an impact?
As humans, when we sense fear or threat our physiology reacts by trying to protect us, either making us freeze, run away or fight. This innate reaction may be our biggest blocker at this time of ‘emergency’. In fact, even the word ‘emergency’ is likely to have a response on your heart rate as you read it right now. Psychologists are already reporting a dramatic rise in climate change anxiety or eco-anxiety, and if you are feeling overwhelmed, scared and hopeless you will not be alone. It is because you are human.
As our internal system reacts to this new scary narrative and the facts that are emerging, there is good news. There is an opportunity now, for choosing how we respond. This is not saying it’s ok to carry on regardless and ignore what is happening. No. It is saying by adjusting our narrative and attitude, drawing on each other and our humanity we can see the opportunity that is here for each of us. This adjustment requires us all to develop ourselves, in ways that are outside what is provided in mainstream education. Evidence shows that mindfulness, compassion, connecting with nature, social connectivity and increased dialogue are all activities that enable us to shift our awareness and capacity to respond calmly rather than react through fear.
We are aware of the facts of climate change. Now we need to develop our awareness within ourselves and of our human qualities to move forwards in a sustainable and healthy way. We need to open up to the advantages of our humanity. Our capacity to be conscious. To be social. To be imaginative. From a place of opportunity and a vision for a safe, thriving and beautiful future we can over-ride our internal defensive wiring and get active to make a change that will make a difference. Imagine how wonderful the future will be when we are all more connected, and considerate? A future is possible where people care for themselves, one another and for the earth that is home to us all.
At Create Seven we believe that the transformational shift to a healthier and more sustainable world is one that can be achieved, and will be achieved by the coming together of individuals and groups. The famous Margaret Mead quote seems even more pertinent as we reflect on how we respond to this anxiety inducing reality: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
To be active in a sustainable way, we need to connect together in a way that is not based on fear or threat, but on hope, kindness and creativity. This is how we fertilize and cultivate our new sustainable world. The change needed is too complex for any one person, one business, one community, one industry or one government to achieve. Let go of a need to have all the answers yourself, and let in the opportunity to ask more questions to more people, and to share what you are doing, feeling and needing. Pulling together and seeding, feeding and nurturing each other’s, ideas, plans and projects is where the new world we all so desperately desire can be grown and sustained for future generations.
If you would like to connect, create and transform you and your world, then get in touch. We have a variety of opportunities for dialogue, events and self-development. Our next module Discovering New Leadership is open to all and is an invitation to build the awareness, understanding and connection needed to lead self and others in this time of transformation and change. We like to have real conversations, so please do get in contact, and you can also find out more here.
#Together we can. #Discovering New Leadership #Create Seven