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Three Practices for Facing Climate Disruption (Resources)

This list of sources and resources accompanies my talk titled “Three Practices for Facing Climate Disruption” for the Climate Change Teach-In at University of Wisconsin-Green Bay on April 18, 2022. I’d especially like to highlight the list of feelings and the list of needs from Bay NVC (Non-Violent Communication). Both of these lists are of course partial, but they can be helpful when trying to name feelings and needs for the honoring pain practice that I shared. For a brief description of the concept of “honoring our pain for the world,” see this discussion of the Spiral of the Work that Reconnects.

By “practices,” I mean an activity or way of being that you can intentionally engage with on a regular basis. This goes a bit deeper than a habit. You may have a habit of brushing your teeth, but you might do this without much intention or mindfulness. A practice requires a certain level of mindful engagement. Francis Weller, who is a psychotherapist, writer, and grief activist who graduated from UWGB, has explained that “A practice offers ballast, something to help us hold steady in difficult times.” He says “Any form will do–writing, drawing, meditation, prayer, dance, or something else–as long was we continue to show up and maintain our effort” (Wild Edge of Sorrow, p. 5).

I want to emphasize that I did not invent these practices! Many of these are “ways so old they’re new,” to use a felicitous phrase from poet and activist Lyla June Johnston, who has DinĂ©, Cheyenne, and European ancestors. They are especially rooted in indigenous and South and East Asian wisdom traditions. I’m especially influenced by the Work that Reconnects, whose root teacher is Joanna Macy, who respectfully draws on these traditions. In fact, the first two practices come directly from the spiral of the Work that Reconnects.

I hope to share these practices more fully in the future, but here’s a short list:

  • Ground Yourself with Gratitude
  • Honor Your Pain for the World
  • Support Interconnectedness