Right now we are living in the midst of the 6th great mass extinction… and current estimates say we are losing between 100 and 200 species a day.
The most recent UN report says over a million species are threatened with extinction in the next few decades.
Stop. Breathe. Feel.
But for most of us, the whole idea of mass extinction is pretty abstract… especially when the majority of who we are losing at this stage are species we didn’t even know existed in the first place or species that seem inconsequential to most of us, like snails or insects… or maybe those endemic to environments we will never see or visit…
Unless you are someone very connected to a wild environment, or a scientist/naturalist/conservationist who is studying or protecting a certain species… chances are, they will pass unnoticed.
Even if we have heard of them, keep track of extinction records or donate to conservation efforts… The truth is, due to our modern lifestyles, most of us do not have a direct relationship with those being lost and so we do not really feel the full impact of their passing.
Imagine how different it would be if we all consciously felt, everyday, the losses we are currently experiencing… Imagine holding space as the last horse, lion or kangaroo passed out of existence.. That is already happening… hundreds of times a day, whether we notice it or not.
The fact of our interconnection leads me to believe that we are all experiencing this great loss on some level, even if we aren’t consciously aware of it. I personally feel that our inability to mark these losses and grieve them, is contributing greatly to the increasing levels of anxiety and depression we see around us… and that this is then being personalized and pathologised.
At this stage, finding community that can hold space for the grief and pain in my heart feels very important to me, as does developing emotional/psychological resilience so that I can be present for my world as it is and bring the best of myself to the crisis we are facing as an interconnected whole.
“Pain for the world is not only natural, it is a necessary component of our healing. As in all organisms, pain has a purpose: it is a warning signal, designed to trigger remedial action. It is not to be banished by injections of optimism or sermons on “positive thinking.” It is to be named and validated as a healthy, normal human response to the situation we find ourselves in. Faced and experienced, its power can be used. As the frozen defenses of the psyche thaw, new energies and intelligence are released- Joanna Macy”
Neurognostics (plant medicines) and the work of Joanna Macy have been been invaluable to me in this regard, both functioning to help me grieve and begin the slow process of healing the disconnection that I feel is at the heart of this mass extinction .
Grateful to all of those willing to step into the fires of feeling the immense losses at hand 💔 your heartache is real and so welcome here.