Setting the Scene
The cicadas are buzzing outside, their volume indicating the humidity of this Sydney day in December. We’ve just re-entered lockdown, our second wave being late to hit but making it just in time for Christmas.
The word ‘surreal’ gets bandied about far too much in reference to the year that’s been, but I can’t think of a better word for it as I sit at my small desk at the top of our stairs, tapping away my reality.
It’s three days till Christmas but I feel a million miles from it. The shopping has been ordered (sometimes my German efficiency comes in handy), and yet still somehow I can’t imagine what the day will look like, such is the swift and quicksilver nature of change this week.
I can hear the sounds of our new TV downstairs. We traditionally haven’t owned one, preferring to limit screens and distractions, but this year we lashed out and purchased it to accommodate desires of our growing family being able to sit together to enjoy documentaries and such indulgent moments.
Life Goes On
In the distance there are sirens. It’s a sobering reminder that despite us all being asked to stay home except for essential gathering of supplies, people still have heart attacks and accidents – possibly more if the activity of our children running wantonly around our house going stir crazy is anything to go by.
There is a hush to the suburb despite the layered audio tracks of cicada, television and siren. Traffic has all but stopped. Visitors have ceased to visit. Social engagements have ceased to engage. Lockdown 2.0 is upon us.
Across the world I have relatives who are old-hands at this. In England they have a new virulent strain that is 70% more infectious. So daunting is this that the borders from the areas that grow England’s food are closing. France is declining to allow lorries (trucks, in English-speak) across the borders. What will happen? The only certainty is that we have no idea.
We are Part of Nature, Not the Other Way Around
It feels like we are being forced to acknowledge our essential lack of control over nature. It feels like we are being bludgeoned into acceptance of the fact that not everything is up to us. Humans are not in fact the equal to the larger forces or nature and the universe, we are subject to them.
I’m wearing a favourite secondhand dress. Many of my clothes are used. I both love them better – their quality, price and uniqueness – but also ethically agree more with shopping secondhand. I’m not a vegan, but I do aim to eat less meat, and meat farmed regeneratively. I’m not plastic free, but I’m almost single-use plastic-free. Every day we get better at foregoing small things in order to choose better ones.
“We need everyone to strive imperfectly to better our world, we don’t necessarily need every single one of us to be radically different to create change on a massive scale. Small changes add up to larger ones.”Me, just now.
It is becoming more and more clear that our agency, our ability to choose, is one of our superpowers as homo sapiens. The skill of thinking for ourselves, and critically, can have a huge impact on how we approach our decisions and the ways in which those decisions build – or destroy – our future.
Change is an Inside Job
In life as in the world. When aspects of my personal life have become untenable, it hasn’t been until I was able to (or sometimes forced to) make a decision, that the process of change genuinely began. There was a time in the past that addiction was a problem. It wasn’t until I was homeless and broke, in thousands dollars worth of debt, with a two-year-old, and single… that was able to make the decision to do whatever it took to change.
It feels like as a collective we are in that kind of place right now. We are losing our home. We are losing our sustenance. It is time for us to decide.
But like any transformation, the seeds of change begin within us. They are not in the outside habits, they are in the inside habits. Once we manage to re-shuffle our priorities and re-organise our values then it follows that the choices out there in the world will be far easier to make. They become obvious.
What I Can Offer
So yes, here on this blog, I may share ways to make a wholefood lunch, or start a kitchen garden, or use essential oils and natural substances to make cleaning products (instead of buying toxic chemicals in plastic bottles).
Honestly, though, you can find those things all over the internet. The focus really for Soul Mamma is the inside changes.
That’s why I’m building a community of people, like you and I, to support each other to stay clear on the values we hold deeply and to help us bring them from the inside of us to the bigger wider physical world we live in.
In the meantime, until early next year, you can join my Facebook community for FREE. I’ll be checking in there periodically to support us all to get moving, and keep moving, in that direction.
For today: stay clear and keep calm. Change is coming, and it’s very exciting.
Alena Turley is a founder, mentor, ethical content creator and mother of three based on Sydney's Northern Beaches. She is equal parts loved and fired up to support mums in making deep and lasting changes inside and out. We at the Soul Mama Hub acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands upon which we live, learn and create and invite you to feel deeply and tread lightly.