I’ll see you in the meadow

There is much to celebrate and enjoy in this life — take note, be alive to it all, hug your beloveds — it is that joy and love that must feed the work. We must fall in love with life every day. That is what is worth protecting.

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Berry Liberman
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Hello dear readers,

Well how about that state of the world thing we’ve been talking about? Pretty fucked I reckon. My heart has been galloping at pace for weeks now, since before the war in the Middle East broke out. On return from Scandinavia it really took weeks of grieving, anxiety, processing, metabolising, synthesising and general disorientation to land back in my mind and body. How to calibrate to the meta crisis? Truly how? How to parent? We are going to have to figure this one out together.

That’s really what we created Small Giants Academy for – so we could gather around big ideas and deep wisdom and find a way to move it into big action and change. So we can ultimately create the bridge for future generations to live within the boundaries of the natural world and towards human flourishing.

There’s not much flourishing happening right now, although it is happening in the small details of life, and that is the right orientation. What I am truly resolved around is to mobilise to save what is left while refusing to surrender my humanity. This takes work. I have ramped up the therapy, the acupuncture, the daily walks, the mediation, the cuddles, the sauna time with friends and the music: Everyday, regular stuff that can downregulate my nervous system, allow me to grieve what is lost and recharge for the next day’s work in service of life.

One of the most profound meetings I had in Scandinavia was a chance breakfast with Nora Bateson that was supposed to be a short hour and from which I could not tear myself away. Nora’s work is complex to understand intellectually. It took meeting her face-to-face for me to get the download of what she’s doing. Essentially Nora’s thesis is that any logic that fits into the current paradigm will not serve the emergence of a new one. WE NEED A NEW LOGIC.

How to get there though? As Nora began to explain it, I understood a few essential principles: that our Industrialised world view has segmented all knowledge into its component parts – the specialisation and separation of everything. We have not been taught to look at systems from a living ecological mindset – where it is the relationship between things that creates the new thing. It is the connections, the symbiosis, the web of life moved by invisible relationality that creates living formations. Treating everything through industrialised logic will only get us deeper into trouble. We need to become deep students of nature and include ourselves in it. From the relational vantage point, we cannot determine outcomes, we have to learn to be in flow with life. I know it may sound esoteric – a huge part of this is experiential, not intellectual. It’s a deep knowing and something out of reach for many of us born into a dying context. If many of our meta-crisis minds are the Situation Room in their thinking, Nora describes herself as the meadow.

Think of that? The ‘logic’ of the meadow? The organisational principles of the meadow? How cool! How moving! How wonderful! I’m still a student of these ideas. This idea hit me in the heart and I didn’t understand any of it fully. It was a whisper of a profound suggestion and a way out of this mess.

On return from my trip, as luck would have it, I read Ben Goldsmith’s remarkable book God is an Octopus. It charts the unbearable loss of his beautiful 15-year-old daughter, Iris, and the impossible grief that followed. I wept for days as he described his emergence through that grief into a life of purpose inspired by the process of rewilding his family farm. It seemed to resonate with the seeds Nora had sown in my mind while in Stockholm. I felt a deep kinship with his grief, as I had been soaked in the grief of understanding what we have lost on this planet. How to go on? All I can say is, if Ben can, I can – how about you?

Courage and kindness feel so radical right now. I’m here for it. There is much to celebrate and enjoy in this life – take note, be alive to it all, hug your beloveds – it is that joy and love that must feed the work. We must fall in love with life every day. That is what is worth protecting.

I am increasingly losing my etiquette in social settings. I can’t bear the niceties, I just want to get to work with awesome folk who get it, who can stand the intensity of knowing how bad it is, comprehending what is at stake and then moving into wise action.

I am currently working on the Wisdom & Action podcast, which will be released in the new year and am BEYOND excited to share those epic conversations with you all – people like Ben and Nora are two special guests. Stay tuned.

We are being called to radical kindness, motivated and consistent action, collaboration and the highest principles of integrity. As the systems crumble we must not surrender our humanity. I have love and gratitude for you all.

See you out there in the meadow,

P.s  write to me, I get all your beautiful notes and they give me energy

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