Blessed Unrest – The Wheels are Turning

orange-184838_1920Few days are so packed with gratitude and pain for the world and active hope as it is today, April 22, 2017.

Yesterday I attended to SFU organized Hopeful Economics (Day 1)…a summit for problem solvers and activist of hope (you know, the kind of people who won’t sit in a corner crying, complaining, shaming, blaming or giving up and even when their pain for the world is huge, their gratitude and hope are even bigger)

I stayed until 3:30 only…after listening to people from all levels of society talking about what can be done but more importantly what they are already doing, and then taking a tour to visit social enterprises in East Side Vancouver (the most discriminated and impoverish neighbourhood of this city, full of homeless, addicts, people in disability or welfare, with mental illness an multiple barriers, many of them of aboriginal origin), I couldn’t continue: I had to be by myself and think. My brain was dizzy with all the ideas and emotions, with all the active hope…there’s only one way to make cities, places and people resilient and it is by keeping them engaged in their local communities, encouraging them to engage with each other by treating them with dignity and respect and providing them with the tools and skills they need, at their level and from where they are, so they regain the dignity that should be a birth right for every being in this planet.

I met people from a community in Sunshine Coast (Gibsons) investing locally to create a vibrant local market, co-op, workshops area and share-work space; people from Manitoba creating “an army of problem solvers” to do geothermal, insulation and other footprint reducing work to regain their dignity in a community where they have been displaced and discriminated; a co-op building gardens and kitchens among children to reduce diabetes and obesity among aboriginal people from the North; a boutique sewing, creating and repairing clothes and art while training and providing a safe workplace for women from the street and in poverty who experienced abuse; a catering place and cafe employing people with mental health, disabilities an addictions when they have a good day and providing a safe place to just be when they are not OK; a temp-agency recruiting an paying liveable wages to the same people with multiple barriers, serving breakfast and creating a safe space for them to come and be.

I could be all day sharing all the stories, and what one of these problem-solvers said: “It is not us, it is Mother Earth fighting back through us”…

Today is the second day of this amazing summit but I had to choose: it is also March for Science at different cities (including Vancouver), a march against false facts and the war on science, particularly the science of the Earth and ecosystems…it is also the day of Open Source Social Permaculture with my mentors and permaculture friends from all Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast, some coming from farther places…it is also Vaisakhi day in Surrey, a day where many of my co-workers and Sikh and Punjabi friends commemorate the day of the Punjab massacre where British colonist fired against unarmed people, killing hundreds and injuring thousands…

I was not surprised to see that it is also Rosemary Morrow’s birthday, a lady in her 70’s, probably the oldest permaculturist alive who is currently in Afghanistan teaching real hands-on permaculture to people who need it desperately to rebuild their food security and resilience…

In “The Work that Reconnects” Joanna Macy speaks about the cycles of the spiral: starting with gratitude for what is, acknowledging and allowing yourself to speak your truth and feel the pain for the world, seeing the world with new eyes and eventually choosing to go forth…the cycle is a spiral and a fractal, meaning it repeats and re-starts at different levels…

A day where it is so much to choose from is a bless…it is also a sign that along with the Big Unravelling of chaos, wars, social injustice and ecosystems collapse, the Great Turning (as Joanna Macy calls it) is also happening.

Blessed unrest, and grateful to e alive in these times…

Gaia is certainly fighting back…through us!

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