A recent conference at the Centre for Alternative Technology – a ground-breaking education centre on sustainable living just down the road from Eco Retreats – had as its theme “Inspired Action.” Inspired Action is about actually doing the things we’re been hearing for a long time now are necessary for the sustainable and harmonious existence of our society on our beautiful planet.
The news seems always to be full of severe weather events and disasters around the world. Just recently, two huge cyclones devastated areas of Mozambique where Angus and I used to live and work. Watching the rushing rivers and waterfalls and flooded fields and bridges here in Wales a couple of weeks ago, I was reminded how lucky we are to have abundant water. At the time, Angus and Kai were in South Africa which continues to be affected by drought and a falling water table that affects the agricultural production the nation and its people depend on.
The scientists tell us we can and do make a difference. But our day to day decisions can often seem so removed from these events we see on TV and social media. What can we do when all this knowledge, all these scientific studies and even all these emotive and heart-wrenching scenes in the media aren’t enough to drive inspired action?
Firstly, connecting more deeply with nature and with other people and cultures can provide the inspiration we need. When people visit us at Eco Retreats, they often experience that connection that leads to a desire to shift the way they have been living. Inspired action follows naturally.
A second element of inspired actionis gratitude. When we are running around just trying to hold it together and get to the end of the month, it’s really hard to find the space and time to think about the broader systemic impact of our actions. The more we can live in a state of gratitude for all that we are lucky enough to have, the more spaciousness, concern for others and a desire to contribute and make the world a better place arise.
Most people reading this blog are living exceptionally comfortably by global standards. We never have to worry that our children might have to go to bed hungry night after night if our agricultural production fails, or that our entire house and livelihood could be swept away by a cyclone or destroyed in a civil war. This is the reality for millions of people on our planet.
Taking the time every day just to notice what we are grateful for is a powerful driver of inspired action.
When you visit us at Eco Retreats, you find in the forest there’s time to reflect and re-discover your true values and an often profound reconnection with nature. But returning home, life somehow gets in the way again. Those precious, treasured moments in the forest remain a dream while everyday life is as frantic and disconnected as usual. Our dream is to better support our community to make small changes in their everyday lives so that the inspiration of the forest may translate into more peaceful and meaningful living every day, even while not on retreat.
Thanks to the generous support of our incredible partner and sponsor, the Roshem Foundation, we are thrilled to be starting work on developing a community platform that will enable us to do exactly that by sharing resources that support you with the practice of inspired action. Watch this space for updates!
We’re open till end October this year with a few spots left at weekends and during half term for those who are inspired to join us.