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The climate of change
Accidental Leadership

The climate of change 

How healthy are you?

And what does healthy mean to you? How do you measure it? Is it by your own yardstick? A comparison to the waistlines of the Joneses? A health professional? Or perhaps you do what one of my primary school teachers did and grab a pinch of your waistline and deem yourself fatty boomba, skinny rake or hot as hell (it was the 1980s and such judgments were a teacher’s right – PS I made the last category up, even a teacher of the decade of indulgence was smarter than declaring that).

Coaches speak of towards and away from motivation i.e. towards; you jog right up to that goal and give it a big high 5 – away; you implant thoughts of cancer, liver failure, cellulite and run like hell away from the mofo. What is your motivation of choice?

When it comes to anything but work where for some godforsaken and self-depriving reason I gallop towards goals, I am, without a doubt an away motivation kinda gal.

Weird spot on my arm? Eeek remember to put sunscreen on for a whole week. Ache in my back? Certain kidney failure better drink 2l of water a day, that’ll work won’t it? Wait. Where are my kidneys located? Too much ‘muffin top’ hanging over my waistline? Get vitamins. That’s what they are for, right?

And that’s exactly where I found myself the other day. In the health food shop, buying vitamins. OK, let’s get real. This had nothing to do with vitamins, I was buying the promise of health without having to do a whole lot to contribute to it.

It was that moment I entered my pin approving a $145 spend in the health food shop that the penny dropped for me. On a usual day to day basis I’ve got to admit health food shops are not a place a stalker would choose to locate me. If I was to be perfectly honest the combination of carob and righteousness makes me feel kinda queasy.

But the self-imposed health intervention had already commenced and in a zombie like state I sidled up to the rostered on naturopath and started to state my case.

“Look” I told the guy “my job involves eating out and drinking, it’s the end of the year and it’s time to detox” I blurted (noting the complete omission of personal responsibility as I rambled). “OK it’s’ not going to be a complete detox being Christmas and all but, you know, I need to get healthier”. He nodded.

The guy applied his best sense of Christmas spirit (if I was in his shoes I would have rolled my eyes long ago) and served me up a combination of sure-fire problem solvers. Not a bad sales skill set for a health practitioner. OK so he did speak of blah blah nutrients and rahda rahda radical elements OMG I zoned out back at health food store.

“So” (I ignorantly stated) “maybe you should just recommend what I need and I can get started”. And that’s probably how my bill ended up at $145 as opposed to what could have been fifty bucks. Yes, I know there are some friends now rolling their eyes over the self-entitled “up myself” person I’ve turned out to be. Just let me make my point… I ask of you. (youse if you prefer).

So I marched my little bottles of promise home, lined them up and commenced the dosage as instructed. (how long that will last for is anyone’s guess, the past tells me I’ve got approximately 9 days in this round). But geez it feels promising right now as I enjoy a cold glass of chardy on the back deck.

Fact is, I know full well that putting just a little less IN the tin and moving myself about just a little more is all I actually all I need to do. And I know that doing that is free of charge.

But, quite frankly after spending two months on the road working this year I’m feeling just a bit entitled, like something, or someone else should do the heavy lifting… just for now.

Damn those dropping pennies. I realised with a great clatter that, THAT thinking is just what led us to the shit we are in with climate, with our world right now. That ‘ol “I’ll do me… tell me how you can do me within a minimal effort of my behalf” thinking.

Argh! We humans. We self-centered, righteous, self-protecting humans. Running so fast from the things that we don’t want to happen TO us as individuals that we forget to stop and consider how we could collectively contribute to a better future for all of us, the collective us.

Perhaps it is that we humans and our fancy pants fast-paced world aren’t really that great at the longer-term thinking required to preserve us into the future because we are conveniently focused on NOW – that’s what we were told to do, right?

Although simple, collective solutions are my ongoing practice, there are few things that have spurred my recent thinking about this;

  • An article I read in the November copy of Dumbo Feature by Dorian Cave about change “Embracing Deep Adaptation”, reminding us that the future is imminent and the only options we really have are based around for R’s (following). Quite frankly, this is the most terrifying and whiplashing article of my most recent times. Groundbreaking truth? No, not really – but it was a matter of right time, right place. This article really and truly enabled me to hear that the FUTURE WILL NOT, and CANNOT replicate the past. And – more to the point… we missed that boat some time ago and now is the time for a brief window of choice about what we want our future to contain. AKA – Holy Shit !! My grandchildren are not going to enjoy the same clean, free world that I grew up in. The smoke that’s been making my eyes water and throat hurt over the past weeks is something that I’m going to have to get used to – we are hurtling towards a new normal… Enter the R’s:
    • Resilience; “What are the valued norms and behaviours that human societies will wish to maintain as they seek to survive?
    • Relinquishment: “What do we need to let go of in order to not make matters worse?”
    • Restoration: “What can we bring back to help us with the coming difficulties and tragedies?”
    • Reconciliation: “What could we make peace with to lessen suffering?”
  • A podcast I’ve been listening to by Fi Poole called Little Green Pod about the simple ways that we can contribute reminding me that in doing little things we can all contribute – and, for that matter we all have a responsibility to do so. (Thanks Fi).

As I write I look out into my backyard with the green trees swaying in the cool breeze, chickens joining the alpacas in a fun game of distributing the fresh lucerne hay about the yard. Abundant water in the pool, filling the stock trough, and providing an abundant drinking and washing source for the humans. Our citrus trees display the buds of the promise of an abundant winter crop and the front yard’s herb garden extends a welcoming waft of sweet herbs at ready for any meal. We are lucky.

I wonder if considerations of my health with be a simple ‘away’ motivation into the future or will I be running towards the goal of survival – or is that the domain of my grandchildren, my great grandchildren?

And I wonder… What is it that I could have done today – instead of expending that worry – and that $145 on vitamins that could make their lives just that much better????

What are you thinking????

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