#157 | Good Grief: Building Individual Resilience w/ Aimee Lewis-Reau & LaUra Schmidt

In this episode, I speak with Aimee Lewis-Reau and LaUra Schmidt, co-founders of the Good Grief Network, an organization that “cultivates individual resilience to metabolize collective grief.”

In this conversation with Aimee and LaUra, we discuss what it means to build psychosocial resilience in our time of accelerating climate change and ecological stress and despair. Presented in ten steps, the program cultivated by LaUra and Aimee is meant to be presented and worked with in a group setting. LaUra and Aimee expound on each of these steps in this discussion:

1) Accept the problem and its severity.

2) Acknowledge that I am part of the problem as well as the solution.

3) Practice sitting with uncertainty.

4) Confront my own mortality and the mortality of all.

5) Feel my feelings.

6) Do inner work.

7) Take breaks and rest as needed.

8) Develop awareness of brain patterns and perception.

9) Show up.

10) Reinvest into problem-solving efforts.

The dominant culture often discourages us from fully feeling the heavy and difficult emotions that come with recognizing our mortality, in particular when that realization is placed within the context of a rapidly unraveling biosphere -- one in which we fully depend on, not only for our physical wellbeing, but for our spiritual, psychological, and emotional wellbeing as well. Aimee and LaUra have done a tremendous service in providing a means to grapple with these emotions, build psychosocial resilience, and allow us to face our predicament with clarity, focus, power, and love.

Aimee Lewis-Reau was born and raised in southeast Michigan, and is a certified Scholè Yoga Instructor and RYT 200, and received her Bachelor’s degree in English, Poetry, and Religion from Central Michigan University before obtaining her MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Georgia College & State University. She DJs under the name eXis10shAL and takes delight in making crowds dance, because Alice Walker said it best: “Hard times require furious dancing.”✧

LaUra Schmidt hails from Michigan and is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a BS in Environmental Studies, Biology, and Religious Studies. She earned her MS in Environmental Humanities from the University of Utah. She’s a Climate Reality Leadership Corps member and finds inspiration in natural landscapes and honest, open-hearted dialogue.✧

✧Source: http://bit.ly/GoodGabout

Episode Notes:

- Learn more about the Good Grief Network: http://www.goodgriefgroup.org

- Learn more about the “10 Steps to Psychosocial Resilience” here: http://bit.ly/2BtJdPW

- Listen and subscribe to Aimee and LaUra’s podcast ‘WHY?!?’ on iTunes: https://apple.co/2DWqU8g

- Support the Good Grief Network on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/GoodGriefNetwork

- The songs featured in this episode are “Suspirium” and “Has Ended” by Thom Yorke from the album Suspiria (Music for the Luca Guadagnino Film).

#68 | Guy McPherson: On Abrupt Climate Change, Loss of Habitat, And Making Life Suck Less

This episode features a conversation with Guy McPherson, conservation biologist, social critic, and professor emeritus at the University of Arizona. Guy has become known, in recent years, for his lectures and writings on abrupt climate change and the loss of habitat for the human species. Guy has, and continues to, "connect the dots" regarding the scientific evidence surrounding runaway climate change and the various tipping points and positive feedback loops leading to an uninhabitable landscape for much of the life on this planet.  Guy is currently on a speaking tour though the Midwestern United States, and was kind enough to let me pick his mind on his work, as well as his thoughts on the controversial article put out in the most recent issue of New York Magazine titled "The Uninhabitable Earth" by David Wallace-Wells. We discuss the response to this piece, as well as Guy's direct influence on the final product. 

We also get into what it means to carry this knowledge, and he and I converse on the difficulty of integrating this frame of thinking into everyday life. Once you know, you can't un-know. 

Guy's message at the end of all this is to recognize that we don't know how much time we have to live the lives we have been given. What is happening with our climate and our planet is well beyond anyone's control at this point. So, live fully. Attend to those those around you. Make plans, but don't attach yourself to the outcome. Practice compassion and love as fully as possible, which is easier said than done, of course. But as in all things, we must "Let go, or be dragged."

Episode Notes:

- Thank you to  Jordan Thornquest of Thornquest Studios for letting me use his space and for his assistance with the recording and production of this episode. Check out Jordan's work and upcoming events at jordanthornquest.com

- Check out Guy McPherson's work on guymchperson.com, where you can find updates on upcoming speaking events, his writings and essays, as well as an archive of his interviews and lectures. 
Here is a link to information on his Midwest speaking tour: guymcpherson.com/coming-events/

- The article discussed in this episode "The Uninhabitable Earth" by David Wallace-Wells can be read here: nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/07/climate-change-earth-too-hot-for-humans.html

- Guy's response: guymcpherson.com/2017/07/todays-feature-story-in-new-york-magazine/

- This episode features "Tiptoes" by Daedelus and "Helplessness Blues" by Fleet Foxes.