At Clement Waters our mission is to elevate healing spaces by restoring a cooperative balance between humanity and nature, to empower us all.
Customizing Your Sustainability Measures for Personal Effectiveness
The process of creating this sought-after cooperative balance with nature looks like a simple 4-part progression applying personal practice:
1. Begin within. – To really be able to work with nature to help the Earth, first reconcile the nature within you. From the beginning of human existence, this has been the best way.
2. Healthy at home. – Because our nearest and dearest are on team Earth too, they can benefit from a family focus on closeness with nature in nutritional, physical and observant ways that build up bodies, hearts, minds and spirits... and all can become stronger.
3. Group up with others. – Our elders and other previously unheard people have wisdoms that can build the best local bases for collective effort. Yet we must only serve as requested. Listen, and sustainability will follow.
4. Ask the world to care with you. – Once we touch base with ourselves, our homes, and our communities, then it is finally time to bring awareness to the world about what everyone needs. Working together, we'll make it through.
A word about extraction, appropriation and healing the ills of colonialism … as PART OF your dedication to sustainability.
Did you know that over 50 of the top-100 solutions identified by the multi-institution research team at Project Drawdown as most likely to cool the climate … over 50 of them are linked to Indigenous lifestyles or Indigenous land management practices. Of course, only some of them actually contain the word "Indigenous" to give credit where credit is due, but for people familiar with Indigenous lifestyles and Indigenous land management practices, the link is pretty clear: Humans have known what to do to keep their habitat healthy for hundreds of millennia. Just one example: Carbon-dated evidence of 250,00-year-old cave art bearing similar cultural tenets make the longevity of the human-Earth relationship clear.
But today's technology-obsessed society has a way of taking very old wisdom and warping it or breaking it, often using the new 'sustainable' technologies to do so.
In true extractive fashion, we've seen re-brands of Indigenous practices rise and fall in popularity (Permaculture, for instance). However, the average sustainability wonk has put assuredly no effort into listening to an actual Indigenous person tell about their culture's very old and very efficient sustainable solutions for global survival of the human race. Oftentimes, Indigenous-rooted people themselves don't realize the power of their old ways, since they have long been forced to adopt lifestyle solutions that feel unnatural to them. Indigenous communities have felt their connections to those potent old ways dwindle, thanks to the encouragement of well-meaning helpers pushing 'first world' solutions, often attempting to alleviate poverty.
So how do 'first world' people care for people who we think are suffering in evident conditions of poverty AND respectfully apply the sustainable wisdoms those same people might intentionally or unintentionally impart upon us, without committing even one hint of cultural appropriation?
Seek within for your core beliefs from your own predecessors. Pursue humble partnership. Remember, there are certain values which strengthen cross-cultural relationships and make trustworthy collaboration and respectful co-use of all eight forms of capital a very real possibility—one that we'll need to see transformed into a reality if humanity is to survive the end of this global age and the beginning of the next. Clement Waters learned about these cross-cultural values from Lakota community members. They are:
• Constant Presence/Prayer – This is done through living consciously and gratefully recognizing your constantly exposed and intimate relationship with the great mysteriousness that makes everything related: Humans, animals, creepy crawlies, single-celled organisms, plants, inanimate objects, flowing breezes and streams, even the stars. Your connection to all of them is absolutely real. Very old cultures take this very seriously.
• Respect – Revere the Earth and everything in it. Revere the serendipitously mysterious. Revere the very small to the very big. Revere the very young to the very old. Revere those with feminine and masculine aspects of self. Revere yourself.
• Compassion – Try to see things through the eyes of everyone mentioned above who you are to respect, starting with having compassion with yourself, so that you can attempt appropriate compassion for all of the others. That said, understand that doing something out of compassion is not as compassionate as asking, "How can I help you?" Then take time to listen until the one in need of compassion tells you the answer.
• Honest Truth-telling – Be truthful to everyone mentioned above who you are to respect, even and especially to yourself. Have faith that a truthful world reveals the best solutions that beneficially serve as many as possible.
• Humble Courage – Someone more skilled than you at something is a role model, not a competitor. Their expertise can teach you and help you find strength in times of need, but that requires that you humbly and patiently follow the intent of their advice if you really need it, and that patient humility takes true courage. Come to terms with your problems, accept them, and pursue solutions that would be good for as many as possible.
• Wise Discernment – Knowledge is not wisdom unless considered with discernment and applied wisely. Wisdom happens during times when we apply our knowledge the right way according to our many personal life purposes. Mistakes are a lesson helping us know how to become better aligned with our internal purposes of helpfulness toward the world.
• Generosity – Share your possession of any of the eight forms of capital, freely with a grateful and contributor's heart. Release any perception that something is 'yours only.' Everything will eventually be shared, you just get a chance to do so with certain gifts you are in contact with right now. Relish that.
Equipped with those global guides for a good way of life, you will have more success at navigating the difficulties set up by our extractive world as you attempt to apply sustainable choices to your own life in a non-appropriated manner. But when you mess up, be ready to admit unintended fault, express your intentions, and diligently try again. This patient persistence will pay off when you realize a more peaceful, sustainable influence on the world's collectively survivable future.