The tower of health
I have been thinking about how i have managed to get myself to a place of relative stability with it all, that yes my fear and other things still exist, but they are not shouting in my head any more.
In my thinking right now, (early in the morning) it’s like a tower. That tower represents a sense of TRUST essentially, trust in the future and in myself. It also has elements of things like gratitude, acceptance, love and other stuff like that. The way I have built it, that tower has the ability to be knocked around – even knocked down. But the foundations are driven deep into the Earth and i can rebuild it from the rubble (or just fix some cracks) when i need to.
It was knocked to the ground by the fires, badly damaged by Corona virus, and again by the race ‘reckoning’ and other crumblings in USA. But i have been able to put it back together without too much fuss. This year has been a year of crumbling, which has been painful, but incredible. I hope you can see that this crumbling is a crucial part of the potential rebuilding that was always needed. It was inevitable.
The thing is, that i have had to build that tower, piece by piece. It has not happened through ‘seeing nice things’ or ‘having my faith in humanity restored’ by some external happening. (sure, they add a brick here and there, but they are not foundational).
I have recently discovered this: https://www.psychologyforasafeclimate.org/publications and am using the ‘Coping with Climate distress’ as a resource for a workshop I am doing. It is actually a very good resource for building those foundations. So i encourage you to read it, use it, read it again. (we might go through it in a session soon and discuss the ideas / techniques).
This, being okay as much of the world crumbles around us, is an ongoing practice. It is a practice. It’s not like i flick a switch and i am okay permanently. It requires vigilance, and commitment. Our Earth Healers group is an important piece of it, but it can’t be the only piece. We will see much more, in the coming years, I am sure, and we need to navigate it.
But essentially my point is that building this tower has been an ACTIVE process. I had to take ownership of it, responsibility for it. I will also say that doing a personal development program that cost $5000 was a big part of it, so when i started i didn’t have the consciousness required to do it on my own. But that program helped me see that if i wanted to be as stable as possible, it was my tower to build. There are guides, but the process is our own.
So i am here as a guide to you, and i can help you by pointing you towards concepts and ideas that will help you build your own tower. And in our group, we are there to help each other, by sharing our journeys, and our guides that we discover. And sharing the moments when our towers fall, and being there for each other.
Joanna Macy has been, and still is, a crucial guide for me. One of her most powerful statements is “Active Hope is something we DO, rather than HAVE. It’s a practice, like tai chi or gardening”. I really, really recommend that you read her book “Active Hope”, which goes deeper into her ideas. She doesn’t talk about this idea of a tower but i think it would integrate with her work perfectly. Her work is around “how can we BE, in this heartbreaking world? How can we thrive? How can we own this process, as much as possible, where the default is to be powerless?” (and no fault there, because all our social training tells us that we are powerless, so we have to undo a lot of what we have been told, and are told every day).
Active Hope should be available in the library, but if not i urge you to seek it out.
And i suppose, to continue the tower analogy, things like revelling in nature, having lovely friends / relationships, silence and solitude, caring for ourselves with love, snuggling with little dogs or other creatures, enjoying music and art, and all those beautiful things, are the cement that keeps the bricks from falling. We need to nourish ourselves with those to keep our towers strong.
For me, the bricks are made from empowering ideas and realisations, inspiring people and projects, my own inner resources, my intense love for the world, my pride in contributing to ‘The Great Turning’, my sense of admiration for the work of others, my courage. These are solid things, that nobody can ever take away from me, and no matter how much suffering i see ‘out there’, I still have all my bricks. I just have to pick them up and put them back when they fall down.
The most important point i am trying to make is that being okay is an active, ongoing, intentional process.