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UP #88: Reviving Ourselves In Our Capsized Culture With Mary Pipher

UP #88: Reviving Ourselves in Our Capsized Culture with Mary Pipher

“Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.” —Benjamin Disraeli

There’s a lot of crazy stuff going on in the world lately. Between our altered planet, repetitive mass shootings in the United States, global terrorism, heightened racism, misogyny, and xenophobia, it appears that species homo sapien is being flushed down the toilet.

In a time when the planet needs us most, the violent events on the world stage are in many cases, causing more division. But you know the old saying, “united we stand, divided we fall”. My belief is that our collective unity will be instrumental in birthing a radically new world … but not without a whole lot of chaos along the way.

Gaia is awakening with greater force. This cannot be denied. She’s awakening outside in the natural world, and she’s stirring a deep awakening inside – a sacred, primal awakening that has been silenced by an oppressive and violent patriarchy for thousands and thousands of years. We are all wounded by it: women, men, animals, and nature. We have all been deeply hurt, and my feeling is that to find our way back, we need the powerful force of Gaia to lead us. Because we’ve collectively severed our ties to her, we’ve severed our ties to ourselves and all those we label as “other”. But Gaia is forcing us back into the web of life and we have the choice to answer the call … or to fall.

When we reconnect to Gaia, to ourselves, and to each other, we reclaim the power of our voices. Our actions then become more potent in their life-affirming nature.

This week’s Unplug podcast guest, author Mary Pipher, speaks very well to this. Mary is the author of, The Green Boat: Reviving Ourselves in Our Capsized Culture, a book about facing the reality of the mess we’ve collectively created on this planet, owning our deepest feelings of grief and despair, becoming more whole in the process, connecting with like-minded community, and uniting for paradigm-altering action.

Abuse of power thrives in our silence, but it dissolves in our light. Mary’s experience opposing the Transcanada Keystone pipeline in her hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska is a perfect testament to this.

This week, we discuss a number of inspiring topics such as:

• How if we act as if we have power, we create it out of thin air.
• How action is the antidote for despair.
• How action ignites hope.
• How willful ignorance is about both knowing and not knowing (i.e. knowing that something is wrong, but refusing to acknowledge it).
• What is the transcendent response.
• The difference between distractional intelligence and actionable intelligence.
• How we are the change we’ve been waiting for in the world.
• How we must own our despair and grief in order to allow the process of transformation to morph into action.
• How like-minded community is the terracycle for social change.
• How we must find ways to regularly experience bliss to counterbalance all of the grief in the world.
• How the healthiest human reaction to stress and pain is to be present to the beauty of the world.
As Mary writes in her The Green Boat, “Neuroscientists have discovered that the human mind functions best when it acts as if there is hope and organizes itself to make good things happen. We can never fully know the significance and impact of our individual actions, but we can behave as though our actions have significance. That will create only good on the earth and will allow us to function in a sane and intelligent way.”

Enjoy this week’s inspiring conversation.


• Mary Pipher’s website.
The Green Boat: Reviving Ourselves in Our Capsized Culture on Amazon.
Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet by Bill Mcibbon on Amazon.
States of Denial: Knowing about Atrocities and Suffering by Stanley Cohen on Amazon.
This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein on Amazon.
Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Social Movement in History Is Restoring Grace, Justice, and Beauty to the World by Paul Hawken on Amazon.

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