top of page
  • Writer's picturemichelle atterby

Facing a Planet in Peril; What Society Outliers can Teach us About the Changing Earth

Updated: Jul 20, 2021

The scientific and empirical evidence is mounting, the dramatic consequences of the Earth changes can no longer be avoided. The necessary changes that have been required to avoid this event, have not and will not be implemented. Collectively we are facing a transmutation on a global scale unlike anything in our recorded history. But, perhaps there is some good news that may elevate our hearts, and give us a moment to pause, and consider the possibilities of what lies ahead.

It appears as though we are living in two worlds simultaneously. As the old world systems continue to collapse, (and necessarily so), a new and emerging world is taking place. A world built upon cooperation, compassion and connection. A world that seeks to regenerate and heal the earth, while healing our own individual stories, and evolving consciousness. Perhaps, these dramatic times are required, and are part of Gaia's plan to bring us to a place of peace, and an embodied understanding of inter-being. Perhaps, there are those among us, who have a deeper understanding of this crumbling process.

What can the outliers of society share with us that may assist in this transition? Those who speak with nature, talk to plants, communicate with animals, participate in earth ceremonies, meditate in the forest, listen to the birds, sing with the whales, create sanctuary, tend to the earth. What if answers lie in dreams, creative imaginations, poetry and art? What if this movement is led through beauty, devotion, goodwill, intuition and love? What if spending time in nature, in solitude and silence is the invitation to open our creative gifts, and develop compassion for all beings?

I wrote this poem, while meditating in the forest. I dedicated it to earth elder, Joanna Macy, when I was a student in the facilitators program for the Work that Reconnects.

Beloved mystery, give me the strength and fortitude to remain witness to the suffering and sorrows of our beautiful wounded world.

Take me to this holy ground and dissolve all that I am.

Lead me across this threshold, and teach me these gifts of grief.

As I rise from the ashes of this pain, and reach for the light that leads me to the tender arms of our mother, may these continued tears be a reminder of how deeply I care, and

may these waters of solitude and stillness continue to wash over me, softening any remaining jagged edges.

Let the beings of the more than human world know that I hear their cries, and my heart breaks ever more open to the call of compassion that awakens my true nature.

May the ancestors and those yet to be born, guide this flickering flame, and help me to surrender this life, so as to be an instrument beholden to the animism that breathes through this form, and lights the way for those set afoot upon this spiral labyrinth.

For the unravelling of this time has been prophesied. The eye of the needle is on our horizon. Those that have heard this clarion call have been preparing, and step forward in service.

For we are now here, witness too, participating in, and taking action in this revolution of love, as the braided voices speaking on behalf of the earth.

Here's to those that remember the magic of the animistic world.


This divided world is purely illusion, a trickster of sorts that would have us believe we must choose one side or the other. The truth is we are all participating in a system that has conditioned our thinking, and shaped our behaviours in order to feed a never ending, glutinous need for more.

So how do we meet the conditions of a divided world? How do we see one another, not as perpetrators and victims, but as people conditioned by a culture of thinking that has led us away from our true nature. Addicted to habits that are now so deeply embedded, it takes a crumbling world to ignite awakening. Is it possible, just for a moment to see the world through the eyes of another? Not for the sake of doing a good deed, but to break open our own hearts, and invite compassion, to embrace truth, to dream a new world into being.

Perhaps, it begins with quietly sitting beside a tree. Imagine seeing the world through the life experience of a tree. Then imagine the life experience of a wild animal forced out of her habitat. Now imagine the life of a caged animal, forced to live a horrific existence of unending suffering. Now imagine a refugee forced to leave their home and fend for the survival of their family. The steps to compassion begin in simple quiet moments that build our capacity to see more, feel more, and bring us to a cross roads that asks how can I transform my own suffering? This leads to the next question; what can I do to alleviate the suffering in the world?

Mending the divided self begins with being courageous enough to look at our own pain, and as we build the capacity to sit with ourselves, we can widen the circle to sit with the pain of others, both human and more than human....

Credit; picture found on the internet - still seeking source

10 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page