The richness of slow travel

The richness of slow travel

Slow is a very relative term. In the past, traveling by train was considered fast, compared to traveling with horses or on foot even. Now, it’s considered slow, compared to airplanes, that have become such a common mode of transport nowadays.

A lot of people would have thought me crazy or stupid for taking the train to ride from Minneapolis in the center of the United States, all the way to Portland, Oregon on the westcoast. The whole ride took about 38 hours – not counting the different amounts of delay – and almost 3000 kilometers. That sounds like a lot. And it is! But then, time is also relative. read more

How to deal with reports of our negative impact in the world

Photocredit: pixabay.com/domeckopol

I recently read two different articles that showcase how our thoughtless acts can have desastrous consequences for our wild animal brothers and sisters.

touching, viral bear video

One is about a bear mother and her cub, apparently fleeing from a drone filming them. The video went viral, because apparently it shows that perseverence gets you to your goal eventually. But all I could feel is the struggle of the little cub, and her fear. It did show the strength of that small animal that couldn’t have been more than a few months old. both physical and mental strength to handle such a situation.

And it reminds me that I can relate to the fear, but being paralized by that fear, I hadn’t really learned that strength most of my life. Being in that same situation, would I have been so curageous to follow my elder without hesitation, trusting that she knows the way? Would I have the inner strength to not even hesitate or think of complaining how unfair or undoable it is? And after the ordeal, traumatized by the experience, still not have resentment for that thing that threatened me?

While watching I felt all the wisdom that those bears had, that goes beyond words or intellect. And one of my own kind did that to them…

stranded wales

The other story was about two wales that had stranded on the north shores of Germany almost a year ago, and their autopsy now showed all the plastic inside of their stomachs. And looking it up again, I didn’t even find the article, but several other articles on other wales who died with huge amounts of plastic that they swallowed. And again, it is something, that people of my kind did or let happen, and I feel responsible for it.

feeling

And those reports are in essence nothing new. What makes this situation different is mostly myself. For such a long time in my life, I was so disconnected from my feelings and emotions, that whenever I heard a report of something awful, no matter if it was on other people, animals or “the environment”, my trained brain told me that this was something awful and that I need to feel sad or affected or shocked or something like that. But I never really felt the connection. And I would guess I’m not the only one out there.

But since I’ve been on my journey to really learn to listen to my inner voice and my feelings for a while, I slowly learned to really connect with these instances. Even though those emotions are not easy to feel and accept, I’m so thankful that I am finally able to actually feel them. Because the way I see it, it is the only way to sustainably change any kind of behaviour that would stop destroying our own home and habitat.

how to deal

So what can we do in that situation? – Well, if you can relate to not really feeling the connection, a good way to start might be to honestly acknowledge that state you’re in, and consciously decide that you want to change and that you’re ready to learn to connect with your feelings and stay on your path even if it’s hard or you’re scared.

If you can already really connect with a certain situation or more, and you feel overwhelmed, stay with the feelings anyway. Really connect with all aspects of the situation. What characteristics does nature show us over and over again? How do plants and animals deal with hard times and fear? Let them be your guide to grow your inner strength. Trust in it and be a role model to others.

is it too late?

There is also a lot of discussion of “it” being too late to turn things around. But is that really important for your decision? What if predictions are wrong? What if we could still influence the development in a way that is not so destructive and maybe even productive at some point? Wouldn’t you want to take the chance and still plant an apple tree even if you knew the world would be gone tomorrow?

The Great Turning

Well, I guess this is not a new concept. I still only have heard little and haven’t read Joanna Macy‘s books about deep ecology, the Great Turning and the work that reconnects, but it goes in a similar direction to what I just wrote about. There is also a wonderful talk of her on youtbe.

The way I see it, connection with yourself, others (not only humans but animals, plants  many more) and nature is a vital part of our way of healing.