The more I reflect on the root cause of my personal struggles and on the growth of ill societies, sick people and unjust systems of oppression, the more I find the same sense of the unconscious misplacement that harms us all. From the origin of disconnect to land and place – when cityscapes grew from simple mud dwellings and Sapiens settled into bigger communities with more delegation and hierarchy, we lost a vital part of the human experience that is needed to maintain our grounded sense of peace and belonging.
We lost our deeply rooted communities who lived so close to nature that they did not differentiate themselves from her. Communities who practiced an honorary harvest; respecting what can be taken and what must be given back to sustain regenerative practices of existence and total reciprocity with life. Of course, many indiginous groups remain with their virtuous strength against ever oppressive toxic colonial misuse of industrial power and it is their wisdom and perspective that is vitally needed.
No more white saviour supremacy making the assumptions that we must help indiginous communities ‘progress’ – but an outright recognition that we must save ourselves by stopping the harm and asking these wisdom keepers to help us as ‘the younger, more ignorant siblings’ who trample the Earth forgetting ourselves.
We all hold an indiginous soul.
A soul that wanted to be born into a world alive with the curious, caring eyes of a healthy community. A soul that wanted to feel the wonders of this sacred Earth, barefooted and free.
I will not admit to the romanticisation of indigenous life. I have seen first hand and later divulged in my own research into ways of life that remain in close contact with nature, in both practical and spiritual capacities, where deep and ancient cultural wisdom can intersect with our most pressing modern problems.
For me, I can feel a tremendous difference in my body when I have spent the entire day in nature with friends, connected, playful and perceptive. My immune system down regulates and I feel my entire being grounded into the present moment, senses heightened and thoughts clear.
Our bodies yearn to sync with the cycles around us and within us. We crave sensations, smells and tastes that have left the modern human experience and have been replaced with materialism.
Burning fires, fresh food straight from the land, sweet meadows, the smell of thunder approaching, moist earth, seasonal shifts, water from the river pure enough to drink…
The obsession with stuff comes from this unknowing.
There is an oblivion of loss and grief that can never be filled with things. It can also never be filled with societal projections of material success. Whether consciously or unconsciously, we have been grieving a way of being that still wants to sing and dance with the changing seasons and look up in awe at the night sky or great falcon flying overhead.
Our imaginations are starved of mystery and myth that embedded us into the living landscape in a more than visceral way.
Since the root of our suffering can be traced to this place of disconnect to community and nature’s rhythms and wonders, then the healing must begin here.
Collective healing goes far deeper than the wellbeing trends that are carried on the wings of continued colonial privilege and consumer culture. Collective healing asks us all to look into our past without blinkers or bias and to see the anthropocene for what it is. It asks us to feel deeply into the present, showing up vulnerably, willingly and wholeheartedly to honour the healing within and without that takes a whole community to sustain. And finally, it demands us to look forward, to reimagine and rebuild a world with the recognition that we must all belong – a part of nature, in full reciprocity.
The calling and quest to belong is the urgant calling and quest to collective healing and showing up for radical revival.
How can we create and strengthen healthy communities and the nurturing container of thriving nature for abundant, sustainable living?
Here lies the bridge between worlds of current suffering and confusion towards forward thinking innovation and prioritised practices of indigenous lead regeneration. If this question lay the foundation for all actions taken, we would see a tremendous paradigm shift.
How do we shift systemic stakeholders to take a broader view – to think of the next seven generations rather than only this one?
Of course, the CEO of Coca Cola will say that they are doing the best they can for their community – their vast number of employees who rely on them for work and they are right within government legislation. We can all find our own rationalisation for our behaviours.
It may well take many global disasters to shake us up enough to embrace a new way of living.
Radically, yet necessarily, it is only through deep observation and participation with nature, that we can see the answers clearly. Nature needs to be our highest source of council. The wisdom of nature must reclaim a place at the round table in a way that says No, enough and Yes, less.
Our pace of ‘progression’ is much like a runaway train bulldozing its way through vast landscapes. It will take a mountain, river or creek to stop the ever more devastating damage. It will take nature’s sustenance, wisdom and protection to save a world calling for us to remember.
Through deep remembrance, we belong and through deep belonging, we remember. What it is that we are remembering is still etched in our bones, in our DNA. Stories that shape us from billions of ancestors who have walked upon this Earth are seeping out through our broken choices.
There is an inner knowing waiting to be listened to, guiding us home.
“We can awaken within the depths of our souls one who is both magic and medicine” – Clarrisa Pinkola Estés
So this is my journey to belong – to awaken the magic and medicine my soul yearns to express in community, to re-envision a world where nature and her wisdom keepers are respected, listened to and their words acted upon – where we heal and rebuild a future where we can all feel nurtured.
That somehow, in whatever way life presents to us individually, that we find the clues along the tracks towards a way of living that places us back into full reciprocity with life.
So that we can all feel that deep, beautiful peace that radiates when we know (in our very soul) that we belong.