Committing to Activism from the Heart: Reflections on Bioneers 2014

I am feeling overwhelmed, full, excited, tired, inspired and grateful after the past days at Bioneers conference in Marin. This annual gathering brings together many practical, visionary, + connected people from the environmental movement, the arts, indigenous movements, innovators in business, science and academia, education, and spirituality.  Revolution from the heart of nature is was an overarching theme.  This complex and intangible notion of revolution, originating deep within the heart of the cosmos and the earths systems, leaves me with many questions, asking for guidance and insight into my role in this great revolution towards a totally new society.

I am here to share some insights and brief reflections. I also want to share so much gratitude to the donors and coordinators of the youth program, which enabled me to attend, and to the restaurants who donated food, and all the people who made the weekend happen. So much was given to me, at a very low cost, thank you for this!

Commitment to change amidst heartbreaking loss

Two main messages echo in me: the immense and unimaginable loss of habitats, species, peoples and cultures that is ongoing, and will continue for some time into the future. To be fully present to the situation on the planet today requires willingingness to feel grief, pain and anger as the details of what has happened on planet earth become more and more clear. To balance this paradox is the all-connected, powerful and vibrant movement of movements converging to form a viable, livable future.

During the morning keynote lectures, talk after talk, I was slammed  and awakened by heartbreaking truths about the state of the world that we are inheriting. I learned today that so much wilderness and nature spaces have been destroyed that the earth does not have the necessary evolutionary to create new species. This came from Terry Tempest Williams, in her talk A Love that is Wild. She said, “Death is one thing, but, the end of birth is another thing altogether.”

I also learned that every day, 200 species go extinct. My friend Samantha puts it this way: “200 species die everyday as a result of human-caused environmental destruction. If you listen, you will be quietly shattered daily by the soft voices of these creatures and plants leaving. If you listen, you will be called – to act. THEY are teaching me to fearlessly break my own heart – and yours – as often as needed – to gather the courage, the vision and the commitment to RESPOND to the call for the BALANCE OF ALL.”

The 'golden toad' has been lost from the planet, thanks to a shocking decline across toad species: 30 per cent of frog populations are threatened with extinction Read more:
The ‘golden toad’ has been lost from the planet, thanks to a shocking decline across toad species: 30 per cent of frog populations are threatened with extinction
Read more:


This weekend left me with a longing to reconnect with land, with the earth, with myself, as well as to re-connect with activism, to directly take a stand and organize in the movements that are coming to a head to address interrelated crises head-on.

To me, activism at its root is about connecting to life and reconnecting to the aliveness that we are. I see the task at hand to be together, finding aliveness and then creating social systems, institutions, and  culture that celebrates life. This entails both challenging and de-constructing the culture which we live in which is often destructive, as well as re-connecting with our own indigeneity and using this internal connection to the earth to foster and birth a life-affirming world.

It is about remembering how many ancestors stand behind us to allow this moment to be possible. 14 billion years of Earth’s energy and evolution are running through us now.  Everything that came before us are our ancestors. To me, activism is also about honoring the past, and all that makes life. And letting this ancient and powerful energy give wings to our deepest selves so that we can fly above the chaos and move towards an unknown future with grace and curiosity.

Activism from the heart is going to the roots, going to the deepest truth accessible within our beings, and speaking it fearlessly.  Walking forward with that truth cupped in our hands and daring to look at those in the face who numb out begging them to remember their own humanity.

The truth-telling duo Climbing Poetree helps me remember

Where to go from here? All I can do is ask for guidance and inspiration, that my actions and words may be guided and aligned with the highest good for all on the planet. I do not know what exactly it will mean for me going forward, or what kinds of work I want to do. I know I want to help people remember their aliveness and access the deepest passion for change. I know I want to take a stand. And I know there are many others standing with me.

some Organizations and movements from Bioneers which stuck out to me

RYSERising Youth For a Sustainable Earth 

Weaving Earth 

Idle No More

Climbing Poetree


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