Experiential group work to connect with emotions that arise in response to sustainability challenges and other global crises, building inner resilience, courage and active hope.
An antidote to burnout and despair. Connecting to how we feel and witnessing or being witnessed by others is a powerful experience, allowing development for new perspectives, understanding of our unique contributions and releasing fresh energy to act.
A full-day workshop in Joanna Macy’s Work that Reconnects (WTR) was offered to environmental activists in London after a wave of demonstrations. The workshop followed the four parts of the WTR spiral: beginning with gratitude for the precious gift of life on Earth; followed by exploring and honouring our pain for the world; developing new insights and perspectives through practices focusing on “Seeing with New Eyes”; and ending with making plans and setting intentions for the future.
Pick one or several practices suited to your particular event. Many of the gratitude practices work particularly well as ice-breakers and can be incorporated into other sustainability-related training.
To go deeper, allow one day for each element of the WTR spiral.
Some of the practices can be adapted to online settings with the use of Zoom or similar platforms.
This work is likely to trigger the release of difficult emotions, so make sure appropriate support is offered. Avoid using “Honouring the Pain” as standalone practices: they can be too heavy if not accompanied by other elements of the spiral.
“The sorrow, grief, and rage you feel is a measure of your humanity and your evolutionary maturity. As your heart breaks open there will be room for the world to heal.” - Joanna Macy
Author and teacher, a scholar of buddhism, systems thinking and deep ecology.
Initiator of the Work That Reconnects, a group work designed to foster the desire
and ability to take part in the healing of our world.
The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.