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  • Writer's pictureAdele Napier

Climate and Consciousness this Easter

Easter is a wonderful time in Findhorn. Blossoms and buds bloom, days rapidly lengthen, some warmth starts to return to the earth and air, and there's usually a good-vibe conference where people from around the world explore new possibilities on a particular theme. This year we’re having such a warm spell its possible to be on the beach in a swimsuit without getting goosebumps - rare here even in summer! Fittingly, the conference is 'Climate Change and Consciousness'.

After some mediterranean style beach time on Friday, I went to collect a friend and his teenage son arriving from London to attend the conference. There was a buzz in the warm night air as we met. They were filled with anticipation for the event, passengers around them on the plane were attending too, and we laughed as they shared the irony of having wondered whether the climate protesters would prevent them from getting their flight to the Climate Conference! Life felt good, but should it?

As you may well know, our future looks incredibly bleak right now. Basically every system that supports life as we know it is either breaking down or causing break down. From climate and whole ecologies, to politics, economics, religions, social systems and on we could go. If that's not enough, the IPCC report issued last October (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, ie many scientists across different fields doing their best to agree on the data) has told us that the timeline for it happening is breathtakingly short. These living systems are super-interdependent and affect one another in ways that are hard to predict, but they estimate we have twelve years to try to prevent full on runaway climate catastrophe. All while millions of people in parts of the world who are doing the least to contribute climate change are already existentially threatened by it. Existentially threatened. It's hard to take in, it’s happening on our watch, and that watch is right now.

In the fifteen years I've been involved in social, spiritual and ecological education and experimentation in the Findhorn Foundation and connected organisations, I see another side too. I meet women and men forging life-giving paths in all of these systems, all of the time. Some are in their third or fourth decade of passionate work as they restore forests and ecosystems; challenge businesses and bureaucrats to protect wild spaces; bring nature rights into law; grow living food in living soil; design and experiment with new approaches to governance, business and economy, justice, community building and more. Through a fresh wave of spirituality, many of us are re-claiming our own relationships to the mystery of life and experiencing the power and possibility that comes from this. In my consulting and coaching work, I am constantly moved and inspired by the willingness of people and organisations to tap into a deeper sense of living purpose and become mobilised by the energy, insight, and natural movement to more collaborative, ecological relationships with life that happens when we do. There is a lot to feel good about, even if much of this richness is mostly 'alternative' rather than mainstream, exception than norm.

Then - over a few months, in a way we could not have made up, a momentum kicked in. In this very Easter week of our long-planned conference, we see schoolgirl Greta Thunberg address European parliament to request action on behalf of future generations, backed by hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren around the world skipping school to support her message. We see regular citizens protesting peacefully as 'Extinction Rebellion', bringing parts of London to a gridlock, choosing to be arrested in order for the seriousness and urgency of this time to get through. We watch David Attenborough's most hard hitting climate message yet, air to millions. Could this be the tipping point we have been waiting for? Is this the start of an awareness that will ignite like the wildfires, that will flow unstoppably like the floods, bringing large scale transformation and possibility throughout society?

I am so grateful for these movements and everyone bringing their energy to them. They help us remember that we're not alone. And that we're living in a precious window of time with a sacred responsibility to discover more of who we really are and what we can really be - individually, together, and with life around us. Now is not the time to believe that our presence and choices make no difference. This is not only untrue, it is not receiving the gift of responsibility we are given. In the spirit of Easter in this Findhorn conference, we will look at where we still think and act in life-denying ways, we will no doubt be asking to be able to forgive ourselves and each other so that we can move forward as kindly as we are able, and we'll be saying yes to what matters, to what is life-giving now. Whatever your beliefs are or are not about Easter, I invite you to join in your own way. We are not all Greta T's or David A's, or necessarily Extinction Rebellion protesters. But we each have our own unique contribution to discover and make. Not only because it is our sacred responsibility, but because whether we manage to avert runaway climate catastrophe or not, it will have been a meaningful, loving, and satisfying way of honouring our lives, and all life on our precious Earth.


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