I often find myself in the spaces in between. For example, in the Myers Briggs I shift between ‘introvert’ and ‘extravert’ and between ‘thinking’ and ‘feeling’ – in the other two areas I remain pretty much the same – high on the ‘intuition’ and ‘perceiving’ scales – veering between an INTP/ENTP and an ENFP/INFP. Now I realise that the value of the Myers Briggs is often questioned these days, but in many of the jobs I have had in the past it has been used as a tool to understand peoples working styles. Check out this fun interpretation using Star Wars Characters!
Personally speaking I think the variance in my own type rings true depending on the situation. I also think it is in part because of the interests and skills I have acquired over my life time. For example, as many of you know my background is in the arts and media and my interest in human behaviour and science has come through my linked interests in the environment, social action and how people can feel empowered to make changes. These concerns have become more acute over the recent months where I have felt an increasing need to help people affected by the bushfires and crazy weather events in Australia. Here is a letter I recently wrote to the Treesister’s community.
Has there been any talk about what has been happening in Australia?
I would like to talk about what we are experiencing here. The impacts of the weather events and especially the fires have not only devastated the land, the forests and towns – the loss of life human and animal is catastrophic.
Over a billion of our native animals, some will never recover. The Lyrebird for example was commonplace in the forest but is now endangered because it has lost its habitat. The Platypus might be lost and some say the Koala is ‘functionally extinct’. I guess many of you are aware is it has been broadcast around the world.
I would like to talk about something different though. I would like to talk about how we are faring. My personal experience is one of constant anxiety – always feeling like we need to act at any moment. The problem with fire is it goes on for weeks, months.
Last week we opened the house for the first time in two months as Canberra has been suffocating in bush fire smoke at levels much hight than that of New Delhi. The next day we had a freak hail storm which ripped through Canberra smashing hundred of cars and houses. Our deck roof was reduced to shreds with our car windscreen smashed and the body pock marked from hailstones the size of golf balls.
I feel like I am always on amber alert. And I am not alone. My friends and colleagues speak of this anxiety as we share stories of what friends and family have lost. It is all pervading. I dream of fires invading my house, of trying to run from the fire – finding no escape. One day I counselled a woman I hardly knew at work for nearly an hour in the toilets as she expressed her pain and anger about what we are facing. There is a horrendous sense of loss and fear effecting us all.
What horrifies me more is the stance of our political masters. I feel full of dread for our future, for if this is the new normal, Australia is already lost.
The First Nations peoples are in mourning for their Country – their sense of loss about so much that they hold sacred is profound. I read a story about the loss of a Grandmother tree, it brought me to tears. But tears are never far.
Despite the lack of leadership from our political leaders – true leadership has come from communities, from the brave volunteer fire fighters to the support offered by restaurants providing food, to people opening their homes for emergency accommodation to people knitting pouches for baby Kangaroos and Koalas, to generous people donating money from around the world.
One beautiful gesture has come from the New Zealand firefighters – offering their “Baches” (Holiday homes) to firefighters for free ❤ Another sad story was three American volunteer firefighters losing their lives when their Hercules Water Bomber crashed in the mountains trying to save a Koala rescue organisation. Sadly all the animals and the foundation owners home was also lost.
There is no leadership and Justice from the political class – there is Just Us.
I leant yesterday that there is an organisation trying to buy some of the last pockets of tropical rainforest in the Daintree – https://www.rainforest4.org/ Their plan is to buy the land and turn it over to traditional owners for listing as national parks. I am going to donate.
If you have made it to this part of the post, I thank you for taking the time to read this.
As I mentioned in the post, I have been feeling very anxious about the situation and also at times counselling friends and colleagues also experiencing these constant feelings of dread. This is where another aspect of myself is now coming into play. Those who know me well, know that I am a spiritual person and that my upbringing was one of faith and belief. This does sit well with the INSP aspect of my personality. I have also been guided to learn more about this, hence my ongoing evolving interest in ancestral knowledge and deep connection to place, which has been taught to me by some of my First Nation friends and teachers. This drove me to explore my ancestral lands of Norway, a place which I have dreamt of since I was a child.
When I was a small child I was told I had a gift, one in the realms of the esoteric and spiritual. Most of my adult life I have tried to find out what that meant. When I first went to Aotearoa, a key started to turn in the lock. It turned even more when I was with the Yorta Yorta people later that same year. My ancestors were part of that story. Since then I have made many discoveries – that my father’s line were dowsers going back many generations, that my mother’s line had the ‘kenning’ and my grandparents were members of the Druid society. I have realised I am an empath – all these years of feeling so drowned others emotions now all make sense. I am learning.
Now this is all a bit at odds with my interest in science. But it doesn’t have to be. I spoke to a genetics professor at uni about my ancestral connection to Norway and my DNA results and he was not surprised – you carry memories in your DNA – epigenetics. Anyway, my interest in these many seemingly disparate things has led me to learn dowsing – with my Uncle Garry as my teacher I am making small steady steps to understanding the earth through a different system of knowledge. Garry has also guided me towards another practice which connects with earth energy and healing – Reiki. He has been a Reiki Master for over twenty years, which I find fascinating – just how his journey has forged a path where I am following. I was often compared to him as a child because of my interest in creative pursuits.
What I would like to do with my Reiki training is to bring it to my other work in the realms of the arts in some way as well as finding the connections to social empowerment and environmental awareness and positive action – meshing together arts, science with the spirit. Once I have had the appropriate training I would like to offer it to people experiencing stress and anxiety because of the fires, in the hope it will alleviate some of the distress.
I also want us to talk about what is happening to our country, its creatures and its people – not avert our eyes and pretend everything is business as usual.
To be honest, I am not sure what will evolve but I am open to the journey ❤
Elliot, B., (2018) Reiki Made me cry and it was great
Caro, J. (26 January 2020) In praise of noisy Australians
Australian Reiki Connections https://www.australianreikiconnection.com.au/