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How’s your existential dread today?

If you’re feeling like the world doesn’t make sense, I hear you. Because I feel it too.

If you’re afraid for the future but don’t know how to make meaningful change fast enough, I understand. I’m there too.

If looking at politics or the news media plunges you into existential crisis, me too.

If you don’t want to put your head in the sand but you also want to be happy, damn it, yeah, I get it.

This feels like the challenge of our time, at least for those of us with privilege.

I know what I need to do — degrowth, stop burning fossil fuels, stop travelling, stop eating animals, stop buying non-essentials, spend money I don’t have on renovating.

But hang on, how did you respond to reading all those things that have to stop? It gives me contraction in my body. It feels tight. I hold my breath. My face gets frowny.

We’ve tried to make change on climate by telling people to stop. It doesn’t work.

They feel like they’re being told off by a teacher or parent and they shut down.

They feel disempowered and nothing changes. Maybe they even rebel and order a burger. This is basic human behaviour.

The challenge is finding a balance and a way to promote behaviour that nurtures instead of destroying, to remind people that being calm and happy is allowed, even as the world burns around us.

To help people get out of the rat race of life where consuming is the societally-acceptable drug to numb the pain. And to take time for our relationships, for community, nature and most importantly, for ourselves.

It’s not selfish to take care of ourselves. It’s super important. Walking around as shells of ourselves in existential despair does not lead to anything good, for ourselves or the world.

Where can we find pleasure, gratitude and peace? How do we connect to love, compassion and service? By slowing down, by doing less and by allowing ourselves to feel what is actually there in the present moment.

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