Day 4 – seeing with new eyes

Day 4 Seeing with new eyes

Today we expanded our views of the interconnectedness of all life. In particular we thought about larger timescapes than just our own lifetimes. Through activities we widened our sense of what support is available to us from our ancestors and future generations.

We did an exercise called the 7th generation, in which we worked in pairs with one of us being a person from our present time and one person being from 200 years in the future. The future they are coming from is a life sustaining one due to the choices and actions that were made at this time.

One of the key lessons for me of the day came from Tanya’s response to the question –

Where did you start, how did you bring this new world into being?

“We started taking better care of ourselves, and in doing this we were better able to take care of each other. Up until then there had been a lot of things that had been started – people were trying, but there efforts had been undermined either because they were still built on the same power over structures or people weren’t attending to their own needs or the same challenging interpersonal dynamics were played out to the detriment of the work. What really turned the corner for us was that we started to take better care of ourselves and then it naturally followed that we would take better care of each other and the Earth. Self-care strengthened the ground from which everything was being built on. We were able to sustain action and effort. We were coming from a more powerful place so we were able to do more and had more solid roots for growth and to give greater support to each other. We finally learnt that taking care of ourselves wasn’t just an optional bit to do after everything else. It was more than just OK to practice self-care it was absolutely necessary, especially because things were so hard.”

This also made me think that of course we would expect self-care to be an important part of a life sustaining culture in the future. And of all the things we want to be present in the future it is the easiest for us to bring into the present.

(full exercise can be found in Coming Back to Life by Joanna Macy and Molly Brown Young)

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