In this video I wanted to talk to you a bit about your mother and more specifically what I plan to do with my one wild and precious life.
It is my belief that I am here to spread my light and heal the world with love and play. I will empower boys and therefore tomorrow’s men to lead an unrestrained, unfettered life. My inner wisdom is strong, but I have been holding myself back. I promise you that I won’t do that anymore.
It is time to let my song be heard by the world and I am being told that my writing and my voice is key. My pen is like a magic wand. With it, I will heal hearts, change minds and spread my light.
There are three things that I think my soul is here to learn and teach on this planet. Fun, compassion and justice. This is what I want to say about them today.
Life is far too serious sometimes. We are forgetting how to play and connect to joy in our lives. Even our babies are being taught to sit quietly and learn like grown ups in the classroom. Play time is concertinaed, squeezed like a lemon into five minute slots here and there and is the first thing to be sacrificed when we are short on time. And we wonder why we have children growing up unable to imagine or be creative.
Fun is everything in life. Without fun, our lives are grey and monotone and we lose all motivation to give back. Fun is how we connect to others and ourselves. It is how we make room to hear messages from the universe and manifest miracles. Having fun and playing is where we tap into our creative genius and pave the way to a better world. None of us play nearly enough.
Love and compassion is how we will heal our hurts and reconnect a divided world. In these polarised times, compassion is how we will thrive and learn to live in harmony. Masculine and feminine. Black and white. Rich and poor. Adult and child. Tories and Labour supporters. Compassion will help us to overcome all roadblocks.
It is not always easy to come from a place of compassion but it is so important that we all get there in order to be happy, and not just with others, but in ourselves. In a place free of judgment, free of walls and free of hatred. When we all start to accept each other as we are and see through our mirror’s eyes, then we will be able to achieve a happier world together.
When we have truly embraced and learnt the lessons of love, fun and compassion across the globe, there may be no need for justice, but until then we need to embrace our inner warrior when necessary to defend the world from hatred, bigotry and division. It is up to us – the voices of love – to defend the earth and those who cannot yet speak for themselves – against those who would do them harm.
This is my path and this is why I am here. And remember, sometimes to bring a light into the darkness, you have to walk into the cave and stand with the monsters.
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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.
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?
There’s a monster lurking in my room.
I can’t bear to turn around.
Just there…in the corner of my eye.
I mustn’t make a sound.
There’s a monster prowling in my room,
That I’m trying to ignore.
But it takes up so much space.
Creeping up to roof from floor.
There’s a monster biting in my room.
I wish someone could save me.
But it also lurks inside their house,
If only they could see.
Maybe if I just don’t look,
The monster will leave me.
Someone else can deal with him,
And I can run and flee.
I feel the monster moving now,
Heading for my babies’ rooms.
I promised them I’d keep them safe –
Yet here the danger looms.
And whilst our generation may escape
The monster’s full attack.
Our children will most certainly
End up taking all the flak.
There is only one way to defeat
The monster that waits there.
We have to look it in the eye
And show how much we care.
Accept that we have put him there
And through our actions made him grow.
We have to grieve and shed the tears –
Let those healing waters flow.
Then when all the tears are done –
And there will be a few –
We’ll roll up our sleeves and face this mess
The way that humans do.
Together arm-in-arm we stand
Against that monster grim.
With kindness, love and empathy
We can challenge him.
And when we stop to really look
At the darkness up above,
We’ll see there’s no monster after all.
Just a world in desperate need of love.
By Sarah Claire Ryan