Earth Healers—A Blue Mountains Community of Practice – Victoria Walker

BECOME A MEMBER OF THE BLUE MOUNTAINS EARTH HEALERS

The Earth Healers—a community of practice will commence in early August and meet monthly out of business hours.

Anyone interested in taking part please contact me at victoriastarwalker@gmail.com. There is a voluntary $5 donation per session.

CLIMATE GRIEVING

There are increasing signs from scientists and meteorologists that our planet is in peril, at least in terms of human habitats. This has brought much-needed attention to the importance of action for environment – many new people are getting involved. And there are signs that many people are grieving for the Earth and human society. They are feeling anxious and depressed about the threat to life on earth for humans and other life forms as global warming affects our oceans, rivers, soils and vegetation.

To respond to this challenge I am calling out to our Earth Healers as a community of practice among environmental activists and others here in the Blue Mountains, which is the centre of a vast heritage protected wilderness area—The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.

This is similar to the work that Professor Jem Bendell has begun with his Deep Adaptation Forum work, which is shared through his newsletter. As he said in his opening speech to the Extinction Rebellion at Oxford Circus, April 15 2019:

“We gather and rebel not with a vision of a fairy-tale future where we have fixed the climate, but because it is right to do what we can. To slow the change. To reduce the harm. To save what we can. To invite us back to sanity and love. The truth is we are scared and we are brave enough to say so. The truth is we are grieving and we are proud enough to say so. The truth is we are traumatised and we are open enough to say so. We are angry and we are calm enough to say so and invite others to join us.” 

FRUSTRATION AND ANXIETY

As we involve ourselves in positive action, whether we are working for structural change, addressing industrial sources of global warming, mobilising others in your community or raising awareness of issues, it is important to pay careful attention to our inner experience as we undergo our work.  The way we use our energy, how we reflect upon our efforts and the way we see others in the field can have a big impact on our ability to continue this work longer -term.

I have been working professionally in the environmental sector for ten years, as an educator, facilitator and promoter of sustainability and environmental awareness, mainly in local government.

During that time I have enjoyed satisfaction in some areas but also experienced depression, anxiety and other emotions like frustration and alienation in my work for the environment. Sometimes the gap between what we know needs to be done, and what we can actually achieve, can become a source of stress and discomfort.

These can include struggles with government bureaucracy, our own organisational limitations, a seemingly unresponsive public or personal barriers to achieving outcomes, which can become deeply frustrating. With an awareness of how high the stakes are, we can put immense pressure on ourselves to deliver.

This sense of frustration and anxiety can be experienced by anyone —the passionate young climate activist, the retired but active volunteer, the person struggling for change in their organisation, the campaigner trying to raise awareness in local communities.

INNER LANDSCAPE HEALING

In response to these issues I am forming Earth Healers—a cross-organisational community of practice in the Blue Mountains, based in Katoomba, to help people cultivate their ‘inner landscapes’ while working on their own diverse campaigns. Our community of Earth Healers aims to support people through this often heartbreaking and lonely work, with practices for resilience, emotional processing and peer support.

This work will also form part of my studies in Social Ecology with Western Sydney University