The police officer, suitably suited up in yellow and blue, spread his legs further apart to widen his stance, firmly rooted on his turf, the Southwark Bridge. A slight breeze in the air but otherwise a gorgeous sunny morning, a fine morning, overlooking London’s River Thames. I broke into a mild cold sweat as I looked this musclebound man in the eye. I needed to do something to calm my racing heart. As the other “arrestables” from our Extinction Rebellion Totnes group verbally start to justify our actions of physically blocking traffic of the five major London bridges, I stay quiet, realising that the officers wouldn’t care what our cause might be…they were simply doing their job as public servants. I immediately feel the need to connect on a human level with them. One officer is relatively near me. I hear myself say to him “hey you look just like the actor from the US TV show Emergency Room.” He is quite attractive. I tell him this rather loudly as his superior officer is shouting at us to vacate the bridge or be arrested. He looks at me surprised and then his eyes dart down to the pavement in apparent embarrassment. “I’ve never heard of that show ma’am”. For some reason his blossoming red face reassures me…..“yes you are human too, we are all the same – feeling beings.” He is just doing his job and I’m doing mine as a concerned citizen of this planet. We have lost 50% of our wildlife in the past 40 years which is causing a complete breakdown of biodiversity, upon which we rely to survive as a species. I feel more than just in this cause! However I really don’t want to be here. I’d much rather be home in Devon, on my 11 rolling green acres, with my huskies and beautiful daughters. But I know that in order to leave a world behind for them and for their children, urgent action, unthinkable action, is needed now. We have had decades to change our environmental protection laws, and nothing has happened. The ones we trust, the ones we elect, authority figures, establishment, have let us down in the most detrimental way possible. The point of the sword, civil disobedience, needs to make its mark in order for the more moderate Earth centred organisations to start to penetrate the un-penetrable. Extinction Rebellion literally is the Trojan Horse for the world.
How I found myself on the front line in a protest with individuals I barely knew, joined in passionate dedication to protect life, boggled my mind. How did I arrive here? Three years ago I was happily shopping on Bond Street, attending cocktail parties thrown by my fellow Kensington jet setters, not too fussed by my consumerist, “all things disposable” ways. Yes I recycled, went to the odd charity event, I was doing my bit. I was a good citizen. But it was never enough to fill the seemingly bottomless pit of needing more. Numbing agents always, always, were just a purchase or cocktail away. “This is success baby.”
The officer interrupts my train of thought. “I appreciate your peacefulness, but I’m going to have to take you in.” I expect to feel fear at these words but I feel nothing. I take courage in the fact that the police couldn’t possibly arrest the hundreds of others who had gathered behind our front line. He was bluffing in order to intimidate us! Had he known that only the front line, 8 of us, of which I was part, had volunteered to put their civil liberty on the line, then perhaps he might have had a different course of action. One by one, three of my newly made friends standing next to me, were taken away to the police van ominously waiting at the bridge’s end. I admired their courage and dedication, as the sacrificial lambs of this protest, given freely in order to spotlight the urgency of this looming catastrophe. I too was willing to go. Quite frankly, given the latest findings of the IPCC and our limited time frame of 12 years to get things turned around or it’s the final curtain, I was surprised not more people were willing to stand up. What was more important than this? What good is it to concentrate on sending our children to school when there won’t be a habitable world left in which to live and work? This should be the priority of every family, every politician, every topic of conversation at work, school, and on the street!
So how had I ended up here? I had made a promise to Mother Earth during a shamanic initiation ceremony three and half years ago, when I spent the night buried in a grave that I had dug myself. During my time in the dark I had come to realise that the my very best times in life were spent with Her. She had been my best friend and had given me so much. What had I done to give back? Nothing! I had been the ultimate Amazon, Evian, Waitrose, Harvey Nick’s, meat eating, diesel guzzling consumer! She was just a resource to be used. A backdrop to my busy stress filled life. Everybody around me was doing the same thing. What difference could I make? Over the next three years I discovered how powerful one individual could be! The power of one, of THE ONE. Empowerment through LOVE.
A level of calm had descended upon the bridge after the arrests had been made. It appeared like the authorities had orders to stand guard but do little else. This was London after all. They were used to this sort of thing. During a Rebellion “pause” in which all the music and voices were silenced in order to contemplate our love for the planet, I felt my heart split open and hot tears freely flowed down my face. I felt ashamed at the pain our species had caused all other lifeforms. We had lost our place in the circle of life as stewards, protectors of all that is. The sorrow in the air was tangible.
I left London that day, travelling back to the warmth of my Devon home, knowing that I had been irrevocably changed. I had found true community for the first time in my life, with others who felt as passionately as I, about the greatest good of humanity and the planet. These people weren’t the radicals that I had expected, they were my neighbours…just concerned families.
I am a Shamanic healer. I work with masculine and feminine energy and help heal imbalances for individuals, as well as, ancestral lineages. I can now clearly see that each of the 7 billion+ who make up our species at some point, lost their connection with the land, with nature, with the nature of themselves. Perhaps some can remember this “sacred marriage”. Others have family lineages, where the divorce happened so many generations ago, that they can no longer remember what wholeness feels like. They can’t understand how and from where the feelings of emptiness and sadness come. “Material Things” won’t heal this grievous trauma. To connect with nature within, is to connect with the nature without. This is the key to happiness, love and compassion for all. I endeavour to work day and night to reconnect as many as i am able with this sacred marriage.
All proceeds go to Extinction Rebellion with best hope for sustainable action in the endeavour to keep our beautiful world beautiful. Please take action for all of us.
Empowerment Through Love.