Opening your heart is the key to everything. ❤️
I will always remember 2019 as a pivotal year in my life. It has been a year of incredible vulnerability, and incredible connection (a direct result of the vulnerability). It’s been a year of opening up, daring to speak about what I believe and how I feel, and discovering just how many people have actually shared my views … including people who had never displayed the remotest sign of being interested in spirituality, for as long as I had known them. They, too, had been keeping quiet! 😉
Since the end of this summer – when I began to make videos and put myself out there a little more – I’ve become more content. I’m at ease in my own skin. My ability to articulate my most heartfelt beliefs – to use words more intelligently, and place some kind of comprehensible form on concepts that were once far too nebulous for me to fully understand, let alone share with others – has grown exponentially. So … here I am, preparing to speak from my heart about plastic (yet again). It’s a cause that is increasingly dear to my heart, and I’ve found it increasingly difficult to shut up about it lately. 😊
Last week, I mentioned that I was planning to start running workshops on the topic of plastic, and now I want to provide some extra details on that.
My beliefs around plastic are very much informed by the basic understanding that, at a sub-atomic level, all physical matter is composed of pure energy. Therefore, the energies we send out to plastic, and the beliefs we hold concerning this material, carry the potential to reshape it in a way that renders it less harmful to the natural environment. The workshops I plan to run are my tentative way of moving us closer to that possibility.
A lot of people are too uncomfortable to delve deeply into the issue of plastic, because of the difficult feelings that this evokes within them (anger, despair, guilt, sorrow). It is very important for those feelings to be acknowledged. I’m hoping that my workshops on plastic will help people to envision a more positive timeline for how we deal with plastic in the decades to come – but this does not, by any means, entail ignoring the very negative timelines that could play themselves out if we do nothing to change our consumption habits. One example of such a timeline is the widely-cited prediction that the world’s oceans will contain more plastic than fish by the year 2050, if we continue on our current trajectory.
The solution does not not lie in further denial or evasion of the problem. It lies in allowing ourselves to clearly see exactly what we have done with plastic … and yet, having the courage to envision a more uplifting possibility.
Another belief I hold about plastic – despite the widespread anger that surrounds its very existence – is that this material is, in fact, sacred. As a byproduct of the petrochemicals industry, plastic is derived from oil: a substance formed through the intense compression of organic materials. Oil – and, by extension, plastic – carries the energetic resonance of species who have long since ceased to exist on this Earth. These are species who lived and breathed and lived full, active lives, millions of years before humans ever entered the picture.
Whenever we get angry with plastic for simply existing, what we are expressing in that moment is the collective anger humanity holds against itself. We are all angry with ourselves for having created a material that now threatens the continued existence of the natural world from whence it came.
If we are able to shift our attitude towards plastic, as soon as possible – if we are able to see it as being worthy of receiving healing, and respecting it for the journey that it has taken – we will, little by little, come to understand what this substance needs from us in order to gently disintegrate.
Some people are so disgusted, heartbroken, and angry about the grave environmental toll that plastic has taken on our environment, that they are not currently able to perceive any positive side to the situation. This is absolutely understandable. ❤️ However, it’s important to bear in mind that:
- Plastic has had countless medical applications. Since it was invented, it has saved many lives and met many needs that couldn’t have been met by any other material at the time.
- For medical reasons, some people will need to continue using plastic drinking straws until such time as an appropriate alternative can be produced.
- During a recent conversation I had with the wonderful Vix Maxwell of New Age Hipster, she pointed out that without the advent of plastic packaging and pre-made meals during the 1960s, many women may never have been presented with opportunities to work outside the home, if they so chose. I thought this was an amazing point!
- We are all complicit in the system, to some extent. There are some exceptional people out there who have all but eliminated plastic from their lives … and I will never stop being in awe! For the vast majority of us, however, if we were to point fingers at other people, criticising them for using plastic, it’s important to bear in mind that this will always involve a certain degree of hypocrisy.
- N.B: Acknowledging that we are all complicit in the system doesn’t mean we should never hold companies to account when they use far more plastic than is necessary! There is a big difference between acknowledging that no one is perfect, and recognising when a truly ludicrous amount of packaging has been used and someone really ought to say something (anyone remember the plastic-wrapped oranges scandal?) Common sense and discernment are everything. 😉
- When I talk about people displaying a certain degree of hypocrisy, I’m referring to those who would – for example – begrudge people with disabilities for using plastic drinking straws or other tools that may be medically necessary. This point also covers those who would take aim at low-income families for choosing a convenient, plastic-heavy option, without bearing in mind that they may not be able to afford the more eco-conscious version of the product.
- As with veganism, privilege, power and ease of access are crucial considerations here. There is no doubt in my mind that if we are to heal our planet, this entails looking at the unequal power structures that have proliferated across our planet – structures designed to keep certain groups of people down – and then doing whatever we can to dismantle them.
It’s also important to note that, however insignificant our everyday choices may seem, they do make a difference! By choosing to use less plastic, we are helping to build up a sense of collective momentum in terms of healing our relationship with this substance. Remember, too, that many dedicated people are out there, helping to turn the tide: I wrote about a number of them in a previous blog post: People Who Prove We’re Not Going to Hell in a Handcart.
My Hopes For the Workshops
My workshops will be based on exploring what plastic has meant to us over the years. They will involve discussing the impacts it has had on modern society, both positive and negative. The aim of this conversation will be to help people move into a state of mind where they are able to acknowledge the extremely nuanced role that this material has played in our lives, and – having acknowledged it – can graciously let it go.
I feel that there are two things we all need to say to plastic: ‘goodbye’ and ‘thank you.’
I’ll be guiding participants through a meditation where they connect with what plastic used to be: travelling back in time, back to the Earth of ancient times, to an era when every bit of plastic that surrounds us was still oil, and then further back … to the land and aquatic animals whose bodies once formed this substance (an especially poignant association, to me, as wild animals have suffered so severely because of our attachment to plastic).
I hope to hold my first workshop in a Dublin city centre venue in January or February, after the Christmas rush has been and gone.
Before formally approaching any venue or organiser, however, I want to make sure that there are, in fact, people who will turn up. 😁 If at least two people express interest in attending the workshop before January, that will be sufficient to create the group dynamic I’m hoping for – three people in the room is the minimum number that feels right – but if more than two people come forward, great! 😊
I’m definitely taking a leap into the unknown – having never run a workshop of this kind before – but I’m being led onwards by a sense of quiet peace. I’m not afraid to come across as ‘weird’ anymore – at this point, I’m pretty much owning my weirdness, and I’m very much done with being embarrassed about it. I know that this is a path I want to follow. I know that these workshops will happen at the right time and in the right place. If the first one doesn’t happen in January or February, I’ll simply know that the timing or conditions aren’t quite right, and I will set this idea aside until another time.
Meanwhile, as an avid witch, one practice I’ve adopted is to include plastic items on my altar, side by-side with my beautiful crystals, stones and other natural objects. This is my way of acknowledging the INCREDIBLY sacred energies plastic holds, as a material that once took the form of oil.
For those who haven’t seen me YouTube videos on plastic – in which I ranted about all this in greater depth 😉 – here it is. It’s around forty minutes long.
Opening your heart is the key to everything. ❤️
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