By Lisa Bland, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, The Green Gazette –
The winds of change have shaken the golden leaves from the branches of the trees, and we are steadily moving into the darkness of winter. With the changing season comes the sense of creating order and gathering resources to sustain us as we get ready for the long winter ride.
Post-election, it also feels like the dust has settled after all the hype, and it’s time to focus on what lies ahead, for better or for worse. In times of intensity, whether globally, locally, or personally, sometimes the impulse is to pull in, lie low, and not participate. The 34 percent of people across Canada that didn’t vote reveals a large portion of the collective not engaged with the political forces shaping our lives.
Whatever the reason—apathy, deep disagreement with the current political system, despair, or barriers to attending—feeling like we make a difference and have a voice in the world is a struggle for many. A sense of belonging to something where we can contribute and are recognized for what we offer—whether to family, our community, the region, or our world—can lift the spirit and offer strength where so often isolation and lack of connection defines modern living. Finding common ground and connection can be the underlying motivation behind the causes we support and efforts we align with, and the need to identify with something is a binding and, at times, blinding force.
Beyond the need to cover our basic needs, creating a life we are excited about and that gives us a sense of purpose, meaning, and means of self-expression seems the ultimate challenge. Achieving this is also a privilege, and it depends on many inner and outer factors. Overcoming personal or situational challenges and persevering is often sold to us as the holy grail with miraculous results if we could just get things right—work harder, do better, think more positively. But this can drive criticism and judgment inside and ignore hidden barriers and the complexity of managing our modern lives. While I believe there are many ways to rise beyond challenges, I can only reflect on my own experiences and hopefully see what led to learning and growth.
With each passing season, the words of the Serenity Prayer seem to come into sharper focus for me—learning to accept and recognize what isn’t in my control, resting in what is, in all its imperfection, finding humour, being honest, and offering acceptance and kindness to myself and others. Maybe we are enough as imperfect works of progress and process. Our world is a sure reflection of this.
Our collective backdrop is an economy sustained by endless growth. It doesn’t make much room for the depth and richness of simply being alive and the seasons of the soul or addressing our relationships beyond the commodification of the natural world that sustains us. As we uneasily face the crushing needs of our current economic growth model, most of us, least of all our elected representatives, don’t know how to step off the train. They have no real solutions for downshifting in a broader sense. What we do know is that we’ve put our system of wants and needs above all other species and ecosystems, and we can’t deny it is no longer working.
While we don’t know for sure what lies ahead for humans or the planet, the sense of urgency to come up with solutions feels omnipresent. Collectively, we are waking up to the fact that we must do something. Many are rising to the challenge of transforming their lives, challenging the status quo, or advocating for systemic changes. This process is messy and conflict laden, and the temptation to polarize and choose sides is great, as we’ve seen most recently in our federal election.
But maybe this process is the most important one we’ve ever played out. Maybe we need lean into it to move forward collectively.
The balancing act between holding on and letting go is essential to our lives as individuals and could be considered a natural part of societal change, as well. While creative transformation can be scary, when we embrace change and are willing to take the next steps, the process of discovery can open the door to many new possibilities.
On this issue #54 of The Green Gazette, with a full season of our new magazine format behind us, we are also seeking new ways to transform and adapt to the winds of change.
Thank you to everyone for the effort, dedication, and love around which this network of caring, connection, and meaning was created.
At this giving time of year may you be blessed with precious moments spent with friends and family, and may you enjoy your journey!