Exploring Nature to Tame my Fears

Taming My Parental Anxiety:

Building a Connection to Nature

 

“ We will be known forever by the tracks we leave” -Dakota

I used to be so anxious about so many things when our son was born.

First it was of course- the vaccine debate, and then breastfeeding him while taking chemical stabilizers. Then somehow, as he became older, it evolved slightly to more outward concerns, like, how much screen time is he getting? Is his development “normal”? Is he getting enough time with us or too little at kindergarten?”. So many of the worries and concerns that other parents share. Although, I realize I am extraordinarily lucky being able to support him with a stable family environment in 2 relatively safe countries. The irony isn’t lost on me, rather, it fuels me to want to make a difference even more than before.

In the last year, my anxieties have shifted completely. It’s become a more urgent surfacing anxiety regarding whether he and his children (should he chose to have them) will survive on this planet.

Because, as much as it frightens me to say it, our planet is in a crisis.

And it’s no secret to those who have known me during my parenting journey so far that I’ve struggled with mental and extraordinary physical health difficulties. But what I’m grappling with now is far worse than anything I’ve previously experienced. What I, and all of us as parents and grandparents have to deal with now is existential crisis.

Past generations have had their own worries, I make no mistake about that. Wars, famines, disease, displacement, to name but a few. They had to raise their children in times where the future seemed ominous to say the least. But did they ever worry about, quite literally, the scientifically proven possibility of the end of the human species? Possibly.

 

My son is 5 years old. Here in Sweden, he’s about a year away from entering the official preschool system, before at 7, he’ll be starting his very first day at “big school”. I already know which topics and subjects will come up; what remains for us as parents is how will he cope? I dread the moment his teacher tells him about climate change. I dread that moment because it will be, to me, the start of a fall down the metaphorical rabbit hole. He’ll likely come home and ask us about it. He’ll likely ask his friends, his peer group. (Although he might forget about it within a few minutes)

But I won’t.

My anxiety is rising, in fear of what the uncertain future will bring. But some things seem certain- global warming is set to rise to above 1.5 degrees in the coming decades. Some scientists project that we are looking at far greater temperature increases in that time.

He has, supposedly, his whole life in front of him- but what will that future contain if the entire planet is thrown into times of climate chaos, shortage of food, water wars, species extinction, and biodiversity loss?

So to tame my parental anxiety, I escape to nature and reclaim my birthright- freedom of mind. I do as much yoga as I can. I’m trying to phase in a vegetarian lifestyle. I’m conscious about how I emit the carbon that is rapidly warming our planet. I’m so certain that these life experiences help ease stress, that I simply want to share my learnings with others.

Wishing you, the reader of this- a moment of calm in this busy life.

For it is precious.

This Generation will Change the World like Never Before

This Generation of Youth Will Change the World Like Never Before

 

He aha te mea nui o te ao
What is the most important thing in the world?
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata
It is the people, it is the people, it is the people
Maori proverb

 

Ngā mihi,

We live in extraordinary times. Where teenage youths are school striking for the climate. Where movements such as Extinction Rebellion are gathering traction across the world, with youth being the primary participants. Where we are moving out of the confines of fear and into action. And at such young ages.

Action is what we so urgently need. And this generation of youth are not going to disappoint. They are already out there, in various avenues, in various means, but no less effective than us adults. In fact, their passion, their unbounded enthusiasm, and their urgency are placing them to be the most effective generation yet.

Let’s take Greta Thunburg for example. A 16 year old Swedish schoolgirl, with the growing movement of striking schools every Friday over Europe, who was fed up with the lack of inaction from the supposed “adult leaders” of the world. So she started sitting outside the Swedish parliament with signs protesting for more climate change action. Not only is she remarkably composed, wise and succinct in her speeches, but she comes to the table armed with an incredible background. Diagnosed with depression at a young age, and proudly on the Austism spectrum, she pulls no punches when it comes to pulling up the global population on their inaction and seeming indifference to the greatest threat to our species that the world has ever seen.

Yes, this generation is full of heart, passion and love for our planet. It gives me hope, at 28, that we are carrying forth the torch of activism to the younger inhabitants. But it also makes me realize we are not doing enough. We must do more.

Online networks, with their low carbon footprint, yet vast reach, can be our vessel for touching all corners of the planet with the message for urgency. And what message is that?

 

The youth need us.

 

But they need us to lead the way with integrity, not falseness, to show honest leadership in the face of enormous challenges. They need us to show conviction yet be balanced. They need us to guide, but not to smother. They need us to stand tall, to shoulder the burden of previous generations.

For if anyone will decide the future of this planet, it will be these youth. Their generation is borne into the cusp of the now famed “tipping point” of climate catastrophe. While they study in school just how fragile Mother Earth really is right now, we must try to raise them to be adaptable to change. For, as Albert Einstein famously said, it is not the most intelligent or wealthy that will survive the coming changes, but it is those that are most able to dance with constant change.

 

I have a 4-year son. He asks me questions I cannot answer. When he is a young school student, what will I say to him? That I did nothing? That I stood by the wayside, not preparing for his very own survival?

I want grandchildren one day. I want to be able to tell them that I stood for something. That I stood peacefully for change.

And so, I will, and so I do.

 

The youth of today are going to change the world in ways we cannot yet fathom.

The youth of today are going to be the ones inheriting what is a burning house.

Because our house really is on fire.

 

Let’s raise them to love, to care, and to cherish.

Let’s raise ourselves the same way.

There is no Planet B.

 

Healthy people will result in a healthy planet. I dare you to glimpse inside your own world and see what changes you can make.

We all depend on it.

 

Arohanui,

Temiko

The World is Awakening

What is it about today’s world that has us so puzzled, so stumped, so frozen?

Could it be the looming crises we are facing, but seem to ignore?

Could it be that as humans we are grappling with how to face our external and internal challenges?

We are coming into a new age, where the past is rapidly being shed, and the future being forged by brave souls. Things that were once important are now obsolete, and things that seemed to once be of no importance are rapidly becoming priorities.

That’s why I have entered the online world. To learn. To inspire. To communicate. And to challenge.

We need awakened humans to heal, both ourselves and our planet. Without this, we stand no chance against climatic changes, technological shifts, and worsening global health of all species.

Awakened humans will stand together, tall, inspired and ready to take action.

And action is what we so desperately need.

I look forward to posting soon!

Much Aroha,

Temiko