“Mom, come here!” My son called me to come outside. “It is so beautiful out, look!” He was pointing up to the stars. He said, “feel that”.….for the first time in close to two months, we could see the stars. Due to a MUCH-needed rainfall, the air felt clean, fresh, and alive. It felt incredible, mystical! We stood outside in the grass and soaked it all in. But as the effects of the rain wore off the next day, sadly, we were back in the all too familiar smoke haze.
In my wildest dreams, I never could have imagined how the summer of 2021 here in BC (Canada -and numerous other places) would unfold! It started in mid-June with a ‘Heat Dome’ where we (and many places) experienced temperatures that we have never seen before- 49 + degrees Celsius! Which was immediately followed by a raging fire that consumed the entire town of Litton, and up to 300 fires (at one time) took on a life of their own – raging fiercely and persistently out of control.
There have been hundreds of lives lost due to the period of extreme heat; the unimaginable impact of the fires worldwide is creating utter chaos and destruction, consuming homes, livelihoods, animals, habitats/ecological destruction. Fuelling uncertainly, fear, loss, hopelessness, and impacting our emotional and physical health as chronic thick smoke fills the atmosphere forcing us to -day in and day out take it into our lungs and bodies. It feels like a living nightmare.
Breathing clean air and having an abundance of nature (trees, lakes and beauty) nearby is something I have been very fortunate to know well and experience much of my life, especially here in BC (except for certain periods most summers situated where we are we are inundated with wildfire smoke from somewhere in North America). Still, nothing comes close to what took place this summer! The West Coast of the US has been experiencing the same thing- as have parts of Europe and Siberia – with floods, tornados, cyclones, droughts, etc., also ravaging parts of the world. Oh, and this is all happening as we are globally navigating Covid! It is a whole lot to feel, notice and take in!
The Emergence of Emotions Never Felt Before:
I have been introduced to emotions that I have never felt or been faced with until now. Like most of us, I have faced many difficult emotions in my life, but never before our very own survival/existence here on this stunningly amazing and beautiful planet! It could be described as a unique blend of grief, sorrow, sadness, fear, terror, and despair. Meanwhile, on Facebook, I see people smiling faces and predominantly lovely light and carefree experiences. I feel like many of us in the world live in some alternate bubble (that people cannot quite figure out or understand) because it has not been in their bank of experiences (yet).
Ever since I was very young, I intuitively or instinctively would go outside in nature for connection, nurturing, balance, calming….When I was having a hard time, or experiencing some struggle, the peace of nature always seemed like a good friend, offering a warm, inviting, comforting presence, solace – providing answers to my worries and deepest questions. Spending time in the forest is one of my favourite treasured things as well as being near water. Not being able to have and feel this sacred, divine connection and resonance with nature, the Earth this summer has felt utterly devastating and destabilizing on multiple levels and layers! The planet that sustains us and gives and allows us life- is one which we are 100% dependent on but is in severe crisis because of US!
Highly Sensitive People, Empaths, and in particular Earth Empaths are sensitive to intuiting the Earth’s changes in their bodies. Judith Orloff says, “if you’re an Earth Empath, that’s why you get hurt, anxious, or have health problems when she is harmed or destroyed. Your body is innately connected to the Earth. You experience her changes as if they were happening to you.” Can I ever relate to this- feeling all the pain, destruction, and harm to the Earth, Her ecosystems, etc.!
Furthermore, the fires and constantly breathing smoky air take a toll physically (burning eyes and lungs), and mentally and emotionally- it’s stifling. My brain cannot think, focus, or concentrate. Not being active outside and enjoying the beauty of nature and being alive on this planet, it all amounts to me feeling low, a bit depressed, energy-less, lifeless, isolated, scared, sad, confused, and helpless. It’s hard to find joy, creativity, to do the things I love, or to connect with others. Many of us cannot get away from it and so need to simply endure it!
So What Can We Do?
I feel that reaching out to others and talking openly about our feelings/concerns about the climate crisis- is essential! My boyfriend introduced me to the website Climate Awakening. They facilitate small group- conversations with people from around the world. Yesterday, I met with three lovely people (one from the US, another from Canada, and one from Southern Brazil). You are given question prompts and kindly reminded to stay in the realm of feelings. We all openly shared our feelings, concerns, fears, how we see the future, etc. It was VERY healing; I was teary from gratitude to connect with these beautiful open-hearted people! We were strangers when the meeting started, and an hour later, they felt like soul family! I cannot recommend it enough! Also, Good Grief Network offers something similar but over a longer 10 week period.
Emotional Freedom Techniques can greatly assist us in gently processing these deep, intricate, and powerful emotions such as sorrow and grief. When these feelings are acknowledged and processed, we can feel stronger, lighter, and freer. Able to take action, find solutions, feel peaceful and be there for and assist others. Pranic Healing can be extremely helpful to help regulate the nervous system and also works on the energetic, emotional level, but we are not speaking of emotions directly. I offer sessions of one or both for those that need or would like some assistance in processing their feelings around climate/planet sorrow, grief, and anxiety.
There are SO many incredible resources and organizations on this topic- a great many that DEEPLY care where we can learn, become involved, connect with others, have our voices and hearts heard, and make a difference (more on this at a later date).
Wishing you Abundant Peace,
Tamara's details can be found here