I recently attended a 5-day Spirit of Activism retreat at Embercombe, Devon, because I felt a need to connect more deeply with the climate crisis. Wow! did I connect!
Embercombe is an amazing place, situated on a hill in lush, wooded countryside, not far from Exeter. It has a pretty amazing story behind it too, focused very much around the founder, Mac Macartney, and his passion for Mother Nature. In fact, it was Mac’s inspiring talk at Shambala this year that tuned me and Suzi into the wonderful work being done at Embercombe. Have a look on their website, you might just find something that calls you.
The reason this particular retreat called out to me is that for some time I’ve felt confusion about what’s going on in the world today, and how I’m responding to it. Or more to the point, what I’m not doing!
Sure, I’m mindful of recycling household waste, turning off lights when not needed etc. but there was a nagging feeling that, while important, these actions were superficial. In my heartmind I know there’s more serious work to be done. But what? And how do I engage?
It didn’t take long for the retreat to start revealing the answers for me. Throughout the retreat we were blessed to have two amazing teachers guide us through some deep, personal, exploration. Space was made for us all to step into vulnerability and release our truth.
It was overwhelming to witness fellow retreatants express themselves in the truth circle. I sobbed readily at the sight and sound of another’s grief, sorrow, helplessness, and anger. Before I knew it I found myself in the circle connecting with my inner truth, hardly able to get the words out through the tears.
There were many tears, but also a lot of positive work on moving forward, much of which is based on the wonderful Joanna Macy’s books Coming Back to Life and The Great Turning.
All in all, it was a great retreat, emotionally exhausting, but uplifting and motivating too. One of the first things I did on my return home was to read Roget Hallam’s booklet Common Sense for the 21st Century. If you want to understand the big plan and vision behind XR’s actions to stop climate breakdown and social collapse then read this. It’s really important.
I see now know it’s my moral duty to join the climate fight. I will do whatever I can, whenever I can.
From this moment the despair ends!
See you on the streets.