We have recently celebrated Spring Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere, after a period of solitude and withdrawal, where we had the opportunity to lay dormant and germinate below ground (in the unconscious) the ideas we wish to give birth to in the Spring. Traditionally, this is a time of new beginnings, opportunities and growth, and for welcoming positive changes into our lives. It is a time of great fertility and utilizing this energy can help bring the seeds of our creative projects to life. It is a wonderful time to ‘spring clean’ or to clear out what is no longer needed in our lives. I would like to share with you a wonderful piece of writing that has given me the strength and motivation to continue on the Environmental Warrior path and to harness the power and energy of this time of year to manifest my ideas and creative vision.
‘LETTER TO A YOUNG ACTIVIST DURING TROUBLED TIMES’ was written more than a decade ago by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés, a Jungian psychologist and author of the brilliant book ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’. Eleven years later, I believe the message is more relevant than ever. It is a wonderful prayer for a new beginning. Due to copyright guidelines, I can’t reproduce the letter in its entirety, but the piece can be read in full here.
This beautiful ‘letter’ begins:
“My dear friends: Do not lose heart. We were made for these times…”
I love the sailing metaphors scattered throughout the piece, and the reassurance that no matter what we have been through, experienced and endured, we should be proud of our integrity and of our striving to create change in a world that denigrates the spiritual and anything of substance, but instead celebrates the surface and the shallow. Despite everything, we are still standing, and we are still here to fight another day.
“Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.”
We are seaworthy vessels. We are old souls constructed from the most ancient and strongest of materials. We are ‘built well’ with the ability to withstand the greatest storms. Dr. Estés likens these seaworthy vessels, or ‘able crafts’ to the millions of awakened souls in the world today, who have the strength to stand up for truth, and the tenacity to survive, even in the face of adversity, resistance and opposition.
“When a great ship is in harbour and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.”
If we have something to say about how dissatisfied we are with the state of the world, then we must speak up, get out there and live it, breathe it, do it, change it. Nothing can be gained from standing back, being afraid and feeling powerless. We must be courageous and stand strong in our spiritual power and show the world what we’re made of.
I love the sentiment of this wonderful piece of writing as it resonates profoundly with the Environmental Warrior ethos. Many of its themes have already been discussed in this blog. We need to remember we cannot make right the entire world at once. But we can do little things, here and there, to help others. Even if we can only help a few people in our lives, or take care of the environment where we live, we have done something worthwhile. Some things we don’t have direct or immediate control over. But the one thing we do have control over is ourselves. We can change our own behaviour, become positive role models for living a sustainable life. We can teach others by example. Everything we do as individuals, however small, adds up. Even if we can only help a few people, those people can help a few more people, and so on. The cumulative effect of our actions, as individuals, and as the collective, will combine to create a great force.
This is a perfect prayer for Environmental Warriors. To those who dedicate their lives to causes greater than themselves, to save whales from being hunted to extinction; to preserve vital habitat for orangutans; to end child slavery; to heal the sick and the wounded, in body, mind and spirit; to save the mountain gorillas, elephants, tigers and lions; to alleviate poverty, to help indigenous communities prosper economically; to the organic farmers who campaign against GMO’s and to those who work to free animals from factory farming. Kudos to you, and let’s continue the fight for a fair, kind, compassionate and sustainable Earth.