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Azi Khalili:                 SAL Online Event Saturday, September 24

Mental Health Liberation for Everyone: Webinar    Sunday, October 2

Class, Climate & Collapse: Webinar            Sunday, October 23

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Continuing to Expand My Work (Bonus—My Life Gets Better!)

Things are moving ahead well. One idea has led to another. One person has led me to another person. It’s lovely to see how the slow process of building relationships has led to tangible results. Meanwhile, I’m still scared, partly from taking a big financial risk—I’ve decided to dedicate a lot of unpaid time to this work—and partly from being out in front, leading more visibly than ever.

I think millions of us need to decide to spend the rest of our lives working to sustain life. Have you made that decision? I think we can do it from whatever position we are in. Hopefully some of us are in paid positions in which it can be the focus.

I am continuing to benefit personally from setting big goals and am fascinated by the process.

My starting goal was for everyone in my community to become aware of climate change and inspired to act. I’ve moved faster than I would have had I set a smaller goal. My goal led to the creation of Regeneration—Pajaro Valley Climate Action, an organization I’m directing. We now have six projects in motion. Five are led by Women of the Global Majority (including one teen and two young adults). One is led by me. Here are the projects:

  • The Our Mother Earth film series—four documentaries with environmental justice themes, initiated by the Watsonville Film Festival
  • A Community Mural—a student-designed art project with a theme of community resiliency and ecological health
  • The Watsonville High School Video Academy Senior Research Project—short videos on themes connected to climate change
  • Participation in a county-wide fundraiser called The Human Race—a great opportunity to ask people what they think about climate change and share what Regeneration is doing to build community resilience and awareness about climate change
  • A mini-environmental festival, Healthy Bodies for a Healthy Planet—to be held in low-income apartments where two of our young leaders live
  • A community-based research project that is a survey about climate change

Each project provides opportunities to draw in community members as consultants, participants, donors, and partners.

The best part is the personal benefit. I’m shedding fears, embarrassments, and heavy grief as I move into action. What was hard a few months ago is no longer hard. In general I feel happy and energized. I’ve arrived at the perspective that I can be happy for the rest of my life doing whatever I can figure out to do to help life go better for the most people possible.

Having sessions on my despair about the possibility of much of life going extinct has led to some degree of acceptance and more ability to be happy in the moment. I notice trees, clouds, sunlight—all the beauty that surrounds me—on a daily basis. I find pleasure in simple things, like lying down in bed at night. I am usually not tempted to spend money on “stuff” [material possessions] and am living more simply.

One of my big goals is to promote and back [support] the leadership of others so that we are continuously developing new spokespeople, especially people from the majority Mexican-heritage population of Pajaro Valley. I love hearing someone talk beautifully about our organization while introducing our work to a person or an audience.

I’m figuring out how to teach RC tools and concepts as I go. I regularly use some form of listening partnership in meetings and at events. I talk a lot about supporting each other, not doing work alone. Ultimately I hope to bring many of our core team members into an RC class. I am generally holding off on [postponing] talking about RC while we build relationships among people at different levels of the organization—advisory board members, team leaders, general members, donors, community partners. It seems too complicated to bring into RC people who have not first established some kind of working relationship with each other.

I can’t emphasize the following two points enough:

  • Most people still don’t understand the dangers of climate change and the risks we are facing worldwide. Basic information needs to be brought out widely and repeated often.
  • Most wide-world meetings do not build in opportunities for people to have a voice, debrief, discharge, or formulate questions. The mini-session is an essential tool. We RCers are the ones to introduce and teach it everywhere.

I keep in mind that we can sort things out as we move forward. They don’t have to be perfectly figured out ahead of time. Thank you, Yolanda, for this: En el camino se acomoda las sandias. (The watermelons in the truck settle into place along the way.)

Nancy Faulstich

Watsonville, California, USA

Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list for leaders in the care of the environment

(Present Time 191, April 2018)


Last modified: 2020-07-17 20:50:52+00