Climate Support for Psyche & Spirit

Photo_by_Josh_Edgoose_on_Unsplash

How to live from now on in a climate-altered world? Explore these resources for connection and psycho-spiritual sustenance.

1.  Climate Awakening / Climate Emotions Conversations
“Join a Climate Emotions Conversation – a small group sharing & listening session about the climate emergency. Sometimes you just need to express your climate feelings with other people who get it, and not much more is required. Activist and psychologist Margaret Klein Salamon created Climate Awakening as a series of ongoing sharing and listening sessions that anyone can drop into virtually.”

2.  Good Grief Network: 10 Steps to Personal Resilience & Empowerment in a Chaotic Climate
“Our unique 10-Step Program helps individuals and communities build resilience by creating spaces where people can lean into their painful feelings about the state of the world and reorient their lives toward meaningful action.”

3.  The Work That Reconnects Network
“The Work that Reconnects helps people discover and experience their innate connections with each other and the self-healing powers of the web of life, transforming despair and overwhelm into inspired, collaborative action.” —Joanna Macy

4.  The Evolving Edge
“The Evolving Edge is a branch of The Work that Reconnects (TWTR) that is focused on decolonizing the practices of TWTR to better meet the needs of communities of color.”

5.  Climate Psychology Alliance
“Climate change is not a scientific problem waiting for a technical solution. It’s an urgent, frightening, systemic problem involving environment, culture and politics. Anxiety, guilt and shame make it very difficult for people to face the reality of climate change and lead to denial and disavowal, while the norms and structures of everyday life validate and reinforce these responses.”

6.  Handbook of Climate Psychology
“Climate psychology is a new way of understanding our collective paralysis in the face of worsening climate change. Climate change and environmental destruction threaten us with powerful feelings – loss, grief, guilt, anxiety, shame, despair. These are difficult to bear and can mobilize defense mechanisms and coping strategies, which can undermine our capacity to ‘get to grips’ with the issue. Climate psychology seeks to understand how this plays out both in our individual lives and in our culture.”

7.  Climate Change Empowerment Handbook
From the Australian Psychological Society: “Eight simple but important “best practice” insights from psychological science to help people come to terms and cope with the profound implications of climate change, so that they can stay engaged with the problem, see where their own behavior plays a part, and participate in speedy societal change to restore a safe climate.”

8.  One Earth Sangha
“A virtual EcoDharma center supporting a global community in the Path of Engaged Practice. … As ten thousand years of climate stability is ending, the call to develop inner stability has never been more clear.”

9.  Carolyn Baker’s Website
“Carolyn Baker is a true revolutionary and forerunner for the emerging zeitgeist of what I have come to call the Perennialist Movement… a trust built on the foundations of indigenous wisdom and spiritual heritage. She is providing a safe place to have dangerous conversations about uncertain futures.” —John Glavis

10.  Religious Groups & Spiritual Leaders Address Climate Change  (from TheFlowersAreBurning.com)
A collection of climate-related initiatives and statements by religious groups and leaders.  “The role of religion and spirituality (in environmental activism) is to hold up the values that go beyond the value of profit and the value of somebody winning and somebody losing, to say … there are things that are more important than money or gain. The value of generosity, the value of putting the good of the community and the good of the whole before your own personal gain — those are things that every religion, at its core, has always stood for.” —Starhawk

11.  Project Drawdown – Climate Solutions
“Widespread awareness and understanding of climate solutions is vital to kindle agency and effect change worldwide. Project Drawdown’s mission is to help the world reach ‘drawdown’—the point in the future when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline, thereby stopping catastrophic climate change—as quickly, safely, and equitably as possible.”

ARTICLES

1.  “Eco-Chaplaincy In Service to a Suffering World,” by Gil Fronsdal, Susie Harrington, and  Kirsten Rudestam, 6/1/20

2.  “Becoming an Eco Chaplain: A Rabbi’s Reflection,” by Moshe Givental, 3/1/21

3.  “The Links Between Spirituality and Climate Change,” by Rita D. Sherma, YES! Magazine, 3/15/22

4.  “Why Spirituality Matters in Addressing Climate Change,” interview with John Dunne, co-editor of the book Ecology, Ethics and Interdependence: The Dalai Lama in Conversation with Leading Thinkers on Climate Change (2018), Center for Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin – Madison

5.  “Overwhelmed by Climate Change? Try Re-Framing Your Impact,” by Sarah Jaquette Ray, KCET.org, 4/2/22

6.  “What to Do With Spring’s Wild Joy in a Burning World,” by Margaret Renkl, New York Times, 3/7/22

7.  “3 Surprising Ways to Cope with Climate Change: How to Take Control When Eco-anxiety Strikes,” by Rebecca Ruiz, Mashable.com, 5/22/22

8.  “The Antidote to Climate Dread,” by Sarah Ruiz-Grossman, Huffington Post, 8/25/21

9.  “How Can You Overcome Climate Dread?” by Molly Taft, Gizmodo.com

10. “How to turn climate anxiety into ‘a tool, not a dead end’,” interview with Britt Wray, CBC Canada, 5/5/22

11. “Anxiety and biscuits: the climate cafes popping up around the world,” by Elizabeth Gribkoff, The Guardian, 9/4/21

12.  “The Science of Climate Change Explained: Facts, Evidence and Proof – Definitive Answers to the Big Questions,” by Julia Rosen, New York Times, 4/19/21, updated 11/6/21

13. “How Climate Change Threatens Civilization,” by Margaret Klein Salamon, PhD., Climate Psychologist

14. “Living in Climate Truth,” by Margaret Klein Salamon, PhD.

15. “What Climate Change Asks of Us: Moral Obligation, Mobilization and Crisis Communication,” by Margaret Klein Salamon, PhD.

VIDEOS

1.  “How to Turn Climate Anxiety into Action,” with climate psychologist Renée Lertzman (TED Talk)
“Lertzman discusses the emotional effects of climate change and offers insights on how psychology can help us discover both the creativity and resilience needed to act on environmental issues.”

2.  “Climate Crisis as Spiritual Path,” interview with Joanna Macy
“How are we going to live our lives fully, with inner peace and courage (and even joy) as we confront a world that is destroying itself?”‘

3.  “Climate Change as Spiritual Practice,” with Joanna Macy, The Work That Reconnects founder, and Jonathan Gustin, Purpose Guides Institute founder, 6/14/22
“What do I want to be able to look back on and know that I have given to contribute to greater love, purpose, and meaning in the world, to reveal love, to let it show through me, within this time of danger and discontinuity? What am I called to do at this time, something that I am uniquely able to do? What can my work offer? How can the way that life sings through me help to bring people together to help with the regeneration of humans’ presence on earth?” —Joanna Macy

4.  “Climate Change as Spiritual Practice,” with Charles Eisenstein, visionary and author of The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible, & Jonathan Gustin
“Deeply effective activism works at the level of story. In the long term, effective activism happens through changing the story. … The New Story is actually the ancient story. The New Story is the story of reunion and inter-being. You are not separate. Who you are is a nexus of relationships, and actions of love counter the story of separation.”
—Charles Eisenstein

* * *

Some of my favorite quotes on Nature and Spirit.

Inspiration from Rachel Carson, a foremother of the modern environmental movement.

“Our Mother Earth is now teaching us
a critical evolutionary lesson,
a lesson in universal responsibility.
On it depends the survival
of millions of species—
even our own.”
—The Dalai Lama

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Photo is by Josh Edgoose, from Unsplash.

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