We are living in times of global collapse of Earth and Human systems. Humanity, particularly those of privilege, wealth and power, is still reluctant to be fully aware of this collapse, much less to be responsible for it. The calling of our times is to reconnect with the sources of meaning and belonging in human life – sources and sensitivities we have all forfeited in order to participate in and benefit from, our Business as Usual Human Operating System. The immense costs of our collective disconnection from the web of life and the sources of meaning in life: Deeper Self, Other Beings and Earth herself, have become painfully obvious in every aspect of life on Earth. We are an adolescent culture that appears to have invited in shadow, trauma and addiction where humans once carried our birthright sense of interbeing with the miraculous Web of Life.
To reconnect with Soul is to: remember the sacred, the grief, the ecstasy and the deep mystery of being alive.
To reconnect with Deeper Self is to: reclaim agency and integrity, meaning, purpose and juicy, fully expressed aliveness. It is being radically responsible – able to be aware of and respond to, life.
To reconnect with Other Beings is to: remember and return to Right-Relationship with all beings. It is to return to a profound ability to trust and be trustworthy within those relationships. It is to readily hold the paradox of appreciating our own gorgeous, individual uniqueness and, our obvious, archetypal oneness with all other beings and all of life.
To reconnect with Earth is to: release our uninitiated, adolescent grip on the ecocidal fantasy of our infinite growth and domination on this finite planet. It is to Remember our humble place and deep belonging within the very fabric of the Web of Life.
Reconnection is at the center of all Living Resilience / Deep Academy offerings. Our mission of service is to bring the most potent support, tools and practices to those who are courageous enough to face, full frontal, our predicament-laden world. We offer support, training and safe container for the profound and demanding inner work that these times and this global transformation call for.
What do you mean by Predicaments?
We assert that, in addition to our many vexing global problems, crying out for solutions, we also face a number of Predicaments. Unlike problems, Predicaments offer us no solutions, only the consequences of our collective choices about how to live on Earth. Predicaments also offer us immense opportunities to reconnect with the web of life and return ourselves to full presence, integrity and agency, no matter the possible outcome.
Why do I feel so alone when our global circumstances affect everyone?
Our very human response to our global crises and predicaments is primarily to deny that they exist at all. This means any person brave enough to name our predicaments and impact on Earth, and other people, will likely be ignored, if not shamed or even ostracized. In our Post-Truth World, we all need to have safe allies with whom we can share and create.
What is Resilience?
We here at Living Resilience assert that it is not only possible to survive or endure the daunting chaos and collapse in our world – but that we can actually engage in a way that encourages us to learn, grow and even thrive in the midst of the chaos. This is not just Resilience, this is Transformational Resilience.
What is so important about Reconnection?
An important question to ask is “What got us to this brink?” We suggest it can be summed up as: “We disconnected from: our Deeper Selves, from Others and from Earth.” These just happen to be the primary sources for meaning in a human life.
All Living Resilience practices and programs are founded on how well they reconnect us to one or more of these essential sources of meaningful human life.
How can you be talking about Core Joy, Love and Presence with this depressing topic?
We are keenly aware of the crushing weight of our predicament-laden, disconnected world. And, all of us in this Living Resilience Alliance, are also aware of the magnificence, the power, the deep inspiration available to us when we approach our predicaments as expressions of our spiritual nature. We are blessed to have, at the core of our practices, a commitment to keep breaking open our hearts to release: our Core Joy, our Grace, our deep Love of Life and each other. This Joy, Love, and Presence is available to all of us, regardless of our circumstances or perspective on the future.
It is the acknowledgement of these predicaments that sets Living Resilience apart from the crowded world of life-hacks, self-help webinars, and our fossil-fuel driven addiction to perpetuating the lie of infinite human growth on this finite planet.
Our orientation in this Living Resilience alliance is to offer tools and resources to people who are sincerely engaged in living a full and extraordinary life – in the face of already occurring or imminent collapse of human and Earth systems.
At the heart of this remarkable alliance of vibrant creatives is our shared commitment to embody Transformational Resilience. By this we mean that we are, each in our own way, expanding our inner tool-kits and capacities to not just endure or survive in any coming wave of personal, local or global stress – but to aim for growing, learning, staying connected and even thriving in the midst of that wave. Or the next, or the next.
We are very excited to bring you the best tools we can find and generate, to assist in your own pursuit of facility and even mastery in resilience and self-regulation in your own life, your family, your workplace, your community.
You live that you may learn to love.
You love that you may learn to live.
No other lesson is required […]
The love that singles out a fraction of the whole
foredooms itself to grief.
You are the Tree of Life.
Beware of fractioning your self.
— Mikail Naimy
Remembering What Matters Most in Life and Living
When working with our coaching or workshop clients we have some important groundwork to do before we get to the creation of resilience practices and accessing higher levels of presence. Often we will start with an inventory of what each person loves about life and being alive. As simple as this may sound, it is an extraordinary practice to adopt, especially when we can share these lists-of–loves with other kindred spirits.
To articulate what matters most in one’s life can be comforting validation. For some it can be a rejuvenating and even surprising process that changes and deepens as a person sincerely takes on practices of reconnection.
When we have painted a vivid inner picture of what we love about life, we give ourselves access to our hearts, our emotions, our passions. We begin to remember the source each of us has within, the source of what gives our lives meaning.
Reconnection With Deeper Self, Others, and Earth
Obviously there is no one, simple answer. What we have returned to, time and again, as we create ever more effective tools and processes for our shared transformation, is that we have essentially disconnected from the primary sources for meaning in human life. In order to live and succeed in this fossil-fuel-driven extravaganza, we (both collectively and individually) we had to override the innate sensitivities and wisdom, right-relationship and sacred or divine inter relatedness that is a birthright in every being.
We have learned to live life as if we are essentially separate from our inner wisdom, from other people and from Earth herself. It is hard to imagine a more destructive orientation for human life on Earth, than to be disconnected from these primary sources of meaning and from the Web of Life itself.
We are asserting that life in 20th and 21st Century Business as Usual Culture and our disconnection from self, others and Earth has resulted in us being, collectively and individually distracted and essentially not present in our own bodies, our relationships with others, and our relationship with this miraculous planet we call home.
As we become more fully present to the miraculous gift that life is in each moment, we begin to notice the truth about the world inside us as well as the world around us. The warning signals we have spent our lifetime ignoring or overriding become more and more vivid as we awaken to our innate inter relatedness with the web of life.
While it becomes more obvious that there is no aspect of our world that is separate from the other elements – we notice that there are select groupings of Earth and human systems that show us that our shared biosphere and our human operating system within it… are in the midst of, or on the verge of, collapse.
The first Sober Data topic we assembled was, of course, about climate change, Abrupt Climate Change, Anthropogenic Climate Disruption. If you are already aware of this topic then it is unlikely you will be surprised by the articles, videos and tutorial content we offer here on the site. If this topic is new to you there will be much to dig into as you become conversant about this daunting topic. You may want to kick start your research by reading Dean Walker’s, The Impossible Conversation: Choosing Reconnection and Resilience at the End of Business as Usual.
Spoiler alert, in The Impossible Conversation, and every other element in this body of work, you will hear me assert that climate change is not our big problem. Certainly it is one relevant and important metric of the existential damage humans are causing on Earth. I’m suggesting that a more powerful, truthful and heartbreaking way to frame our predicament is that we are now facing the current and imminent, human-caused collapse of Earth and Human systems.
Seen in this context, it quickly starts to make sense why justice and equity activists including author, Naomi Klein and Greta Thunberg, have long been calling for the fair inclusion of all peoples around the world. If we see our situation as the reduction of emissions of one greenhouse gas, it seems like just another pesky problem looking for a solution. When we see our situation as a last minute wake-up call regarding our degradation of all Earth and Human systems and affect on all living things on Earth, it is clear that this is a global predicament, that includes all humans and all, beyond-human fellow Earthlings.
In the “problem to be solved” context it can look like we just replace fossil fuels with renewables and off we go into the next, even larger, growth phase in our Business as Usual Human Operating System. In the “human-caused predicament” context we are facing the realization that our delusion of infinite growth on a finite planet is over.
In the words of science communicator, Kristine Mattis,
“The climate crisis, as with many other environmental issues, isn’t a scientific problem; it is a social, political, and economic one. As they say, “it isn’t rocket science.” It is greed. A Green New Deal will not cut it because it leaves capitalism, corporatism, imperialism, and consumerism in place. We aren’t going to “science” our way out of these crises. We can’t advertise or market our way out, shop our way out, sing and dance or entertain our way out, fundraise our way out, engineer (and genetically engineer) our way out, protest our way out, text, tweet, snapchat or instagram our way out, pray our way out, or even vote our way out. Our way out is to dramatically alter much of our way of life. It is to prioritize ecological concerns and do our best to conduct every aspect of our lives sustainably, rather than just pay lip service to our belief that climate change is real or that plastic pollution is a problem or that fossil fuel use is unsustainable.
In many, if not most ways, we just simply need to stop.
Our way of life is incompatible with the continuance of life.”
In this context (just by the definition of predicament) we are offered no easy solutions. In fact we are offered no solutions at all. The calling of these predicament-laden times is for humanity to literally and figuratively, slow down and stop. We are called to seek out the unvarnished truth of our impact on Earth and on each other. We are called to turn to our long-ago forfeited roots in right-relationship, spiritual practices and soul, and remember what it is to be a person who is able to discern our own inner truth and exert the agency to turn that truth into right action.
I suggest you go next to the Coaching page of this site. There we will outline some of the ways brave pioneers are learning to live, “With a Foot in Two Worlds.” One foot, of course, in this now collapsing Business as Usual world. The other foot in a world that has not yet been articulated. It has not even been imagined yet. As close as we get (with an optimistic framing) seems to be the phrase made famous by philosopher, author, Charles Eisenstein, “The more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.”
In his latest book, The End of Ice, environmental journalist, Dahr Jamail, artfully weaves together his delivery of world-class, vetted sober data, with the intimate and delicate disclosure of his own grief. In this passage he quotes, Grief Walker, Stephen Jenkinson, as he maps out the difficult emotional territory that awaits us all…
“The question is not are we going to fail. The question is how,” author and storyteller Stephen Jenkinson, who has worked in palliative care for decades, states. “The question is, What shall be the manner of our inability to care for what was entrusted to us? The question is our manner of failing.” Jenkinson, who now makes his living by teaching about grief and the acceptance of death as an integral part of living, spoke eloquently about grief and climate disruption during a lecture he gave at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. When he talks about our failure to care for what is entrusted to us, he is also saying that the time to change our ways is long past. “Grief requires us to know the time we’re in,” Jenkinson continues. “The great enemy of grief is hope. Hope is the four-letter word for people who are unwilling to know things for what they are. Our time requires us to be hope-free. To burn through the false choice of being hopeful and hopeless. They are two sides of the same con job. Grief is required to proceed.”
Using the guidance of grief and rite of passage advocates, Francis Weller, Malidoma Somé, Michael Meade and Stephen Jenkinson we (in Living Resilience / Deep Academy programs and coaching) are committed to regular and deep immersions in the soul-rich territory of grief. We are a global culture that has severed its ties with core connection with life. To do that we have had to override our innate deep senses and sensitivities. The loss implied with our complete disconnection and override is hard to overstate. There is much to grieve in this world. Without that grieving and acknowledgement of great loss, we are at risk of losing our souls.
We are committed to encouraging resilience in all who are brave enough to engage in their own version of, The Impossible Conversation.
We in this Living Resilience alliance invite you to join us in being kindred spirits with and for one another. We invite you to join us in forming some number of small, supportive, tribal units around this globe. We invite you to join us in the expansion of core capacities and inner tool kits in the name of accessing core joy, grace and love instead of the fear, pain and disconnection that promises to accompany those who desperately hold on to the dream of the resurgence of growth in the Business as Usual world.
We look forward to sharing this most remarkable journey with our allies around the world.