I have heard the phrase “Snowflake Syndrome” a number of times recently and it makes me feel very sad. Men and women who are connected to their emotions are being described as being snowflakes. This is particularly used to insult men who are open with their emotions or defend the rights of those who don’t have a voice.
To me, being called a snowflake is not an insult. How could it be?
Snowflakes are incredibly beautiful. A spider’s web of ice and snow, weaved into a tapestry. A feat of engineering. Each line, angle and pattern is geometrically designed. Nature’s miracle. Who knows how they are made, but each one takes my breath away.
Snowflakes are unique. Each one is different, like a fingerprint, daring to show the world their faces.
Snowflakes are magical. Just watch a child’s face light up when one hits his nose.
Snowflakes are refreshing. Feeling the cooling burst of snow against your cheeks. Enough to wake you from the deepest of sleeps.
And snowflakes are fierce and strong. Together, united, they can halt entire cities and send them hiding with their force.
Like the snowflake, a human being fully expressed, open and unrestrained is a wonder to behold. Full of joy and light to give to the world.
They are magical – for in shaking off our limiting beliefs and unexpressed emotions, we can strengthen our ability to hear messages from source and manifest miracles in the world.
They are unique and refreshing. In a world of hatred and division, if you can express your heart’s true message without fear of judgement and shame you should be revered and supported. That is one reason why your mum is using her voice today to speak.
And they are fierce and strong. Bravery is not waving a sword or starting a fist fight. It is diving deep into ourselves to face the shadows that we are afraid to see. Those who can go there and return renewed are the bravest souls on Earth. And so strong. There is nothing stronger than someone who can stand in their truth without giving a damn what the world thinks.
As Aristotle once said: “to appreciate the beauty of snowflakes, you have to stand in the cold”. To those who would use “snowflake syndrome” to insult someone, I suggest that you take a long, hard look at your own shadows before you cast stones. What are you afraid to see in yourself? Where are you not being brave? For in the mirror of our own annoyances and frustrations, we see the parts of ourselves that we do not love.
I would say that what the world needs right now is a snowstorm pounding down in a blanket of love, embracing our differences and standing strong together.
So yes, I do consider myself to be a snowflake. What a compliment. And best wrap up warm my darlings, because winter is coming. And I am ready to rain down.
I know that our world shuns boys expressing feelings and shedding tears. I know that you are afraid. Afraid of the shame and the name calling and the laughter. I know that you are afraid of being rejected and so you swallow those tears down. Lumps in your throat the size of a tennis ball, but still we push it down.
I know that when you fall in the playground, you scramble to your feet hoping that no-one saw you. Your knees stinging, you blink back the tears. If anyone asks, you mumble that you are fine. “I took it like a man, miss”, boys are taught to reply.
I am here today to tell you why it is good to feel. This is LIFE. It is what we are here for. It is beautiful – all of it. The raw tears. The feet stamping anger and the uncontrollable joy. The full spectrum of light and rain/love and hate.
This is why I am teaching myself to feel it all. I have two beautiful boys and you need me to show you how to play on the full spectrum of emotions. You have a calling and a purpose in this world and unless you are able to listen in to your heart, you cannot embrace that. You also need to feel for yourself. To be truly happy. Because you really deserve every happiness in the world.
Learning to feel really will help to heal the world. It is so divided right now. Whilst everyone is arguing about surface level differences, no-one is looking underneath at the scared, sad children trapped and unheard inside. When we embrace and love that little boy or girl, we can learn to show empathy and love to our fellow humans and the planet and start to heal our differences.
So use me, let me be your safe space to let your emotions out. Stamp your feet, scream and cry. I’m not going anywhere. Write down anything that you can’t voice in your journal – but GET IT OUT. Talk to your friends. Share your soul.
Leave space for love and reflection in your life. Be bold. Be strong with your boundaries. Don’t let distractions or hurtful people get more of your energy than they deserve. Ask for help and accept it. Draw, paint, sing, play, and be happy. Embrace the scary silences, because it is in there that the magic happens.
You are torn between a life of daily errands and a life of purpose. Your time is taken up with bowls of half-finished rice krispies, rushing from school run to after-school clubs, desperately pleading with your kids to get into bed so that you can just have 5 minutes to yourself. And “oh crap” – did you hand in that form the PTA needed for yesterday?
You are terrified about what you see for the future of our planet. It wakes you in the night with a gut-wrenching pain in your stomach, and a heart racing so fast it feels like it may burst.
But what can you do? You are just one person and there is no time to do the stuff you already have on your plate…
I know you’re thinking that you can’t make a difference on your own. That you don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Your recycled milk bottles don’t stack up against the pollution caused by huge corporations.
I feel your fear. And the “I’m not enough” echo ringing out in your head.
I feel your shame when you leave your bag at home and have to take a plastic one from the cashier. When you are rushing about from meeting to meeting and have to grab a bottle of water. Or when you choose chicken over a sodding cauliflower-steak for dinner! I feel your huge emotions. Because they are mine too.
I want you to know that everything you are doing is enough. Your efforts are amazing and our planet thanks you. I want you to know that it is not your fault that we have been tricked i
nto trying to solve this crisis on our own when really our power is when we stand together.
I want you to know that I stand with you and I can feel into a future where the collective can heal our world. A future where life on Earth HAS a future. We can do this together.
As part of my seven “Share The Magic” articles that share my feelings around climate change, I have decided that I would start with the emotion of FEAR, which feels fitting because it was actually fear that almost stopped me from writing this week. Fear of judgement. Fear of rejection. Fear of people “unfriending me” for banging on about this climate stuff too much. Fear of facing the truth myself.
And even as I write this, I can feel it rising in my body. The heart-beat skipping when I think of pressing the “publish” button. That nervous few hours while you wait to see if anyone has read it. Liked it? Commented? What if there are trolls or haters? But I press on anyway. Because I must.
Climate change and global warming have always been on my radar, or at least since I was a teenager who learnt about it in science class at school. But it always felt like some far-off problem. Something that generations of humans waaaayyy off into the future would have to face. We had time to fix it…I thought. Yeah, it was happening – the science was clear – but it was centuries away from being a problem, wasn’t it?
Then one fateful night, about six months ago, I read THAT IPCC report. (Side note – for those of you who are about to shut off because I used an acronym or mentioned the word “report”, please don’t – it is so important that you hear this!) The IPCC is basically a fancy name for a group of scientists getting together to talk about climate change and how well we are handling things.
If you haven’t read the report yet, basically the answer is “we’re not”. We have less than 12 years, 11 now, to make radical changes to the way we live, or we simply cannot stop the freight train – the Earth will become more and more uninhabitable until all life is wiped out. And that could happen a LOT quicker than we expect. Our children could end up facing a lot of the consequences of a barren planet. Like this terror-inducing post by Marc Doll points out, it is actually much, much worse than the IPCC says it is. Honestly, once you go down the climate change rabbit-hole, it is utterly terrifying.
When I first read the report, it was like my whole world had already ended. I felt my stomach lurch and my heart start pounding out of my chest so fast that I thought it might explode. I felt sick to my stomach and lay there weeping at what humanity had done. It was what inspired me to write THIS poem: The Monster In My Room – which likens climate change to a monster that we are too afraid to look at in the night.
I fell into that rabbit-hole and wallowed in despair for several months. I found myself lying awake every night scrolling, endlessly wading through Facebook and Twitter, and reading article after article about climate change. Note to self – do not read the comments on environmental Facebook posts. There is some seriously dark content there. A lot of people have completely lost hope.
My whole night was spent searching, trying to find just one positive post in the sea of negativity, just so that I could relax enough to go to sleep. To take the edge off the terror.
I was afraid of our world getting hotter. Terrified about what horrors my children might face in the future: famine, sea levels rising, extreme heat/cold, climate wars as countries scramble to fight over territories, uncontrollable spread of diseases, water shortages…the list goes on and on.
I am still terrified for my children’s future now, and for my future, and for all life on our beautiful Mother Earth. It continues to keep me up some nights when another particularly scary article gets published.
As the UK seemed to rejoice at the summer weather last month, I was mortified – could I be the only person who thought that it wasn’t normal to have 20 degree heat and daffodils sprouting in early February?! Was this the beginning of the end? Every time I heard the phrase “lovely weather we’re having”, I felt like I had to clamp down on my tongue to stop myself from talking, or face becoming a bit of a social pariah. THAT person who bores everyone moaning about the environment.
But here’s the thing about fear. It can paralyse us into doing nothing if we let ourselves sit there for too long. It is much easier when faced with fear to just ignore it and do nothing. To block those friends who share articles about climate change, or un-follow those environmental Facebook pages. Or convince yourself that the one article that you read about “that climate change hoax” was actually the truth and 97% of climate scientists were wrong or liars.
Fear can turn us into ostriches, or, if we choose, it can be the spark that sets us into action to creating a new world. I don’t believe that we can reverse all of the effects of global warming now. We have done too much damage already, and I think we have some very difficult years ahead, but the sooner we feel the fear and DO SOMETHING ANYWAY, the more likely we are to create that green-filled, community-based utopia that I see in my dreams.
Because these days, my goal-setting is less personal than collective. I don’t really care how many zeros I earn in a year, or whether we can get a new car with fancy gadgets. I am like the Eagle – soaring above the world surveying the bigger picture, but simultaneously staying laser-focused on that vision. An Earth robed in green. Communities living off and with the land – cooking and thriving together. A life that is abundant AND sustainable, and where greed, corruption and toxic behaviour are a thing of the past. A future where life on Earth HAS a future. That is the only goal that I am interested in these days. That is my vision.
I know that you are afraid as you read this – if your fear has even let you read this far. I feel that fear too believe me. I am terrified. Part of me is to afraid to try, because what happens if we fail? What if we don’t change our ways in time? What does the future look like then? Some days, I am just so frightened that all I can do is weep.
And some days, when the fear gets too much to bear, I take myself off into nature on my own to be with the trees. Sitting at the roots, with my back pressed against a huge oak tree, feeling the support as it holds my weight and almost pushes back on me, telling me it feels my fear too. Feeling the wind in my hair and the soles of my feet rooted into the ground. Standing out there, open and receptive – I can feel our world trying to connect with me. Sometimes, if I listen really carefully, I can almost hear the whisper back from the trees, carried on the wind from their leaves – like a soft voice sliding into my ear. “You can do it. You do make a difference. Help me look after my babies and I will look after yours.”
So, dear reader, this is my invitation. Take my hand, and the hand of your brothers and sisters beside you, and let’s go face this fear head on and do something about this mess. Because fear can only control us if we let it. Instead, let’s start with looking fear straight in the eye and seeing it. Feeling it. Embracing it.
And then we can harness the collective power and let fear motivate us into crafting our own vision of a new world.
Who’s with me?