The leaflet slipped innocently through my letter box late one morning. Inside was information about how the area in which I now lived was in discussions to house the UK’s first Geological Disposal Facility.
A Geological Disposal Facility (GDF), I learned, is a series of underground vaults used to store higher activity radioactive waste. The UK needs a solution for its radioactive waste. I don’t know enough to say whether this is the best solution or whether the area in which I live is the right place for it.
But in the nights and weeks that followed, I often fell asleep in tears over the state of the precious planet. How had we got to a point where we had to dig deep down into the beautiful Earth to dump highly toxic waste?
One question repeated itself over and over again in my mind. How can I be here?
All my life I have felt both deeply connected to and deeply alien to this world. Connected to the moon and the stars and the sea and the birds and the flowers. Alien to our modern culture, with its endless pressure to work more, buy more, achieve more.
Being here was feeling increasingly difficult and I could feel myself falling deeper into despair. I needed to find a way of not just struggling through and surviving, but actually thriving and living in a meaningful way. Not despite the problems of the world, but as a response to them.
One evening, an answer bubbled into my heart: Create beauty or die.
That one question and that one answer lit a new spark within me. The options felt clear. Fall deeper into despair. Or reassess and reimagine my life.
It was a call to bring my life fully into alignment with my values. A call to break free from the apathy and despair I was feeling and to take a stand for the things I believed in and cared about. A call to fully commit myself to living the life that felt good and true in my heart.
I needed to pour love and beauty into myself, into my new home, into the Earth around me and into my work.
It meant being more deeply in touch with myself than ever before and more deeply in touch with the spiritual dimension of life. It meant taking the time, every day, to connect to what was important to me and what I wanted to live for.
I long to live in a world where we know how to love ourselves, one another, and the Earth. A world where simplicity, slow living and silence are valued. A world where we can each offer our unique gifts and talents in service of the whole. A world where we are once again deeply connected to our true selves and our true place in the web of life.
Many of us today are in a great deal of pain about the Earth and the myriad global problems we face. In desperation, we are asking ourselves, how can I actually be here?
It’s a question worth asking and sitting with. The answers that come to us through our hearts are what will help lift us out of our despair and take us through a new doorway of purpose and possibility.
They are what will help us not just struggle through and survive, but actually thrive.
Love and courage,