The other day I talked to a friend who lives in another country. She expressed how worried she is over the future and the future of her children due to climate change and so many other issues. I had just watched A Life on our Planet, Sir David Attenborough’s very sobering documentary of our impact on the natural world and as he calls it, his witness statement of this rapidly changing world. As unbelievable as it sounds, this documentary finally hit it home for me! What took so long?
Before that, I was aware of course and concerned. I knew we needed to change our ways. I am sure you feel the same. But suddenly I understood the severity of the situation and it became clear that my friend’s deep concern is not an isolated thing but is felt by many, and will be by many more, all over the world. To me, this is a call to get real, like very real, about what is happening.
Now, I know what we want is to plan for our next holiday, buy whatever we want, catch up for coffees and keep on enjoying our high standard of living, right? As if there is no tomorrow, literally… It seems the time has come though when we have to consider how we go about living our daily lives…if we want a good future for ourselves and for our children and grandchildren.
I really hesitated to write a blog post about the severity of the situation but like it or not, we need to look the whole damn scary thing right in the eye. So, I am sorry if this post seems serious and too confronting. The amazing thing is there IS hope according to this amazing Wise World Elder of ours, David Attenborough. I highly recommend you watch A Life on our Planet if you haven’t already and please, tell others to watch it as well. I won’t go into the grim facts here in the blog, instead let’s take a deep breath together and feel the hope that IS possible. Maybe we must start looking at the situation with love instead of fear and gloom. What we love, we care for. (Photos of a Fearless Frida and Love Life from an adventure I had in Rome, so much inspiring art and graffiti everywhere.)
David Attenborough offers key areas that need urgent action for this hope to grow into real manifest reality. It really is immensely exciting. We can be the ones who are part of this massive undertaking and make a real difference. If you are anything like me, you too get completely overwhelmed by the enormity of the issues of the world, it is a very daunting task to try to fix it. The truth is though that we are so not alone in this. There are millions of people all over the world who are working towards a future for a thriving planet.
The key areas that need urgent action are covered in A Life on our Planet and I will also post a link at the bottom of this post to an article by Earth.Org with the Key Takeaways from the film. I encourage you to have a look at those key areas and then get super creative with how YOU can attend to those. Think outside the box, gather courage, get enthusiastic, be bold, commit to big or small efforts, educate yourself, however you feel called. For me, I felt that I already did my bit, but I realise I can expand my willingness and participation enormously! Can that be true for you as well?
Apart from practical action, pressuring politicians and making positive changes in our lifestyle, I also believe, as I think many of you do, in the power of intention, of prayer, of our own innate wisdom and ultimately in the power of surrendering difficult situations to a Higher Power. Both approaches, working with both the seen and unseen world, can allow bigger miracles to unfold.
One more thing happened shortly after watching A Life on our Planet. I came across a podcast episode that also impacted me deeply. I listened to a woman, Kalyanee Mam, reading her true story about being born in Cambodia while Khmer Rouge was in power. The story told of her mother’s amazing ability to feed the family under this brutal regime where food was scarce and dangerous to get hold of. I was super touched by the story.
After listening to the podcast I felt a bit hungry and went to the fridge and prepared a full bowl of creamy Greek yogurt with a handful each of fresh strawberries and blueberries, drizzled with raw golden honey and topped with organic walnuts. Yes, yum.
Instead of just going ahead and enjoying this abundant snack, I stared at the bowl and thought – my god, do we realise what it means to be without food? Do we understand fully what it means for our food security when the honeybees and other pollinators disappear?
In the western world, we take an overfull bowl like this for granted and eat it without realising what an amazing gift it is to have food at all AND so easily available. Everything we do seems over the top really; so much food, so many clothes, so many things, so many plastic bottles…. How long can we go on in this way?
I felt huge discomfort facing these realisations. I felt deeply disturbed by the truth. I felt the heartache of it all. It was a difficult process, but it allowed me to embrace and accept the fact that big changes ARE afoot.
Strangely enough, by accepting the facts fully, I got activated to act, not the opposite. Wishful thinking and hoping for the best suddenly made me feel like an emu with its head in the sand….Devi Living is about living on the planet in love, with purpose and in joy, no matter what. How can you and I live in this way when we are faced with the cold facts about our future? Please share in the comment box below what helps you stay in your heart, on purpose and joyful in the midst of difficulties. Let’s help each other rise to the occasion!
I imagine that what helps me are like Sacred Tools that I keep in my imaginary Magical Medicine Bag…I can put my hand into the bag and gather any one of them when I need to.
A Centered Heart, A Warm Heart, An Open Heart, An Inclusive Heart, A Deep Breath
Tissues for Tears, Music for Dancing, A Gesture of Forgiveness
A Picture of me as a Child
Fully felt Feelings, A Bottle of Flower Essence, An Inward Smile
An Ancient Story for Guidance, A Gut Feeling for Knowing, A Compass for Direction
A Piece of Nature, An Early Dawn, Salty Ocean Water
A Table for Inspiring Company, A Belly full of Laughter, A Straight Spine, A Lifted Head
Sacred Prayer Beads, A Lion’s Roar for Courage, A Trampoline for Bouncing with Joy
Colourful Texters, Flowers for Beauty
A Magnifying Glass for Curiosity, Binoculars to See Ahead, A Chair to Pause on
A Pond for Reflection
A Piece of Food for Gratitude, A Moment of Now for Presence
My Inner Child’s Innocence, My Wiser Self’s Wisdom
A Pen for Petitions, A Coin for Donations, A Small Footprint
A Tree for Oxygen
A Note with Trust written in large writing, A List of Inspiring Women, A Vision Board for a Thriving Future
A Blue and Green Marble to remind me of Mama Earth, A Sprouted Seed to Create New Life
A Phoenix Feather for Rebirth and New Beginning, A Spiral for Expansion and Growth
A Loving Eternal Embrace from the Divine Mother
Make a Prayer flag
Creativity always works to shift energy. I love making a simple prayer flag, especially when I feel a bit powerless to create change or when my heart feels full of blessings and good vibes for the world. I write the prayers in free flow writing around the issues I feel strongly about. I hang the flag outside and feel uplifted when I see the wind ruffle the fabric and I can watch the exchange of fabric and wind playing together and imagining the prayers being carried away with the wind to where they can take seed….
To make a prayer flag, find a piece of fabric that you can easily write on. I like to use coloured cotton fabrics, sometimes from discarded clothes. For writing, a permanent, waterproof texter is best to use. Cut the fabric to any shape you like, maybe a triangle or a square for smaller flags and for larger ones you can cut a piece approx. 2 metre x 35 cm at its widest part. You can fold the fabric to thread a string through the small ones and connect them with other small flags or just pin a single one somewhere where the wind will catch it. A larger flag can be made to fit a pole that can be placed in the ground. Prayer flags are meant to disintegrate fast so there is no need to make a ‘perfect one’.
Be creative with your flag, make it as simple or as complex as you like! Here is an example of what I would write on a flag for these times – find your own style!
May the Earth rejuvenate May all Beings decide that they love the Earth and each other
May animals thrive and plants grow freely May we be wise in our decisions
May our children and children’s children live happily on the Earth –
and so on….it is a freeing, uplifting and really wonderful way to transform and empower your day. And who knows what wind carried prayers can bring about!
Create a Rock Talisman
Another creative, fun, and simple way to ground an intention, feeling or quality is to find yourself a beautiful small rock. Say you want to be reminded of Hope. You hold the rock while you feel the feeling of hope in your whole body. Gather as much hope as you can muster up and feel the feeling vibrate through your body. Then visualise pouring the energy of Hope into the rock. Paint the rock in whatever way you feel called too and place the rock in a place where you can see it and be reminded of Hope. You can hold the rock on less hopeful days to recharge yourself with the energy of Hope or look at the rock and be reminded what it stands for.
I got this idea from my yoga teacher Nubia Teixeira for the festival of Navaratri, the nine nights of the Goddess in October this year. We painted three rocks to symbolise the three main Goddesses for this time and it felt potent to meditate and connect with each.
A Resource Bundle for Hope and Inspiration in Difficult Times
A Life on Our Planet – Sir David Attenborough, Netflix.
Link to the article by Earth.org with the Key Takeaways from A Life on Our Planet
A very touching clip of David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg, meeting for the first time on Skype in December 2019. These two amazing beings are key voices for the future of the planet. They discuss the climate crisis and how to get governments to act.
A beautiful and touching clip of Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir, 40.000 singers from 145 countries. The clip was made as support for the Pandemic at the beginning of the year but shows the power of Love and the power of humanity being as One.
A short inspiring clip with Laine Love Dalby – How to get comfortable with being uncomfortable,
Joanna Macy, world famous environmental activist, deep ecologist and much more. Her work transforms despair into hopeful action. Still active at 91 years of age!
Connect to gratitude and deepened awareness of the necessity of food – ‘Pickled limes’, Kalyanee Mam reads her incredible story of growing up in Cambodia with Khmer Rouge in power. You can find this episode on Spotify as well; Emergence Magazine Podcast (2nd June)
Donate to reforest the future – Treesisters do incredible work and have a lot of amazing resources on their website.
Donate for a sustainable future for all – Pachamama Alliance works tirelessly with the people of the Amazon rainforest and offers high quality education and training.
Donate to Jane Goodall Institute for global wildlife and environment conservation.
Awakening the Dreamer – a 2hr free training with Pachamama Alliance to ‘take an honest look at the challenging state of the world, reflect, and discover opportunities to create a new future where you have a key role to play’.
If you are interested in how to use story for positive change and growth, you can read the interview I had with Storyteller Jaya Penelope.
Here’s to a beautiful destination!