February Guest Dinner Review by Kit
A recent guest dinner led by Julianne Paradis – a young exchange student from Quebec – was a tonic. Through the way she facilitated the group of eight, she had us sharing aspects of personal healing, and then thinking about our contributions to the all-encompassing issue of healing the environment.
We were led through some thinking about shifting language and paradigms – from Sustainability to Regeneration.
- Sustainability – sometimes viewed as ‘greenwashing’, means finding a way to continue ‘business-as-usual’. Technical solutions, resource substitutions for example. Humans taking charge and not changing their consumption patterns. Attempting to patch damage up later by carbon offsetting. For example Shell has proposed planting 10% of the remaining land for forest offsets.
- The personal unconscious mindset is “I’m not my body. Humans are above nature”. Under capitalism, sustainability becomes a business.
- Regeneration on the other hand, has humans embedded in the environment, and partnering with it for the wellbeing of both: restoring, repairing, reconciling with nature and understanding the interconnection of living systems.
- Regenerative design emphasises the unique character of place; it encourages insulating homes, not just converting or renovating.
- Human intervention may not be useful. Our approach needs to be not about inventing a solution but healing oneself while healing nature – seeing waste as a resource for example.
- How to ‘be part of’, versus doing something new? How can human action engage with nature? Sand pits for children, forest bathing, animal therapy, biodynamic farming, gardening.
- Change the thinking from sustainable fashion to responsible fashion.
- Know that our actions create a footprint – for better or worse. We are an essential part of the living systems of Earth.
When we were asked about ways that we ‘heal the earth’, answers included: collecting litter as we walk, becoming informed, being in an active community group that works toward social change, joining the campaign to save the Tarkine forest in Tasmania (standing at the ‘front line’), support others through teaching yoga, offer healing to others through massage, supporting local campaigns and projects like Responsible Cafes, Climate Book Share, Power to the Future and Transition Bondi.
And personal healing practices included: Vipassana Meditation, Co-counselling, exploration, spending time in the ocean, yoga, writing, sailing.
Thanks to Julianne for her warm leadership and courageous, passionate engagement with community and environmental activism. She arrived in Bondi like a comet, and is launching herself out again to combine another love of hers – sailing. She will keep in touch from the ocean research exploration that she’ll be joining in south-east Asia…..until she returns again some time in the future!