A. Poem by Mary Oliver B. Overview of Ecopsychology1.Need for change 2.What is Ecopsychology 3.Definition of Termsa. ecopsychology b. biophilia c.ecological unconscious d. ecological ego4. Actionsa. inreach, upreach, outreach b. ecotherapy c. ecoeducation
II. Need for Ecopsychology
A. Alienation1. allows humans to destroy nature 2. becoming in touch with natureB. Healing1. physically and psychologically troubled 2. linking depression to the state of nature 3. hidden griefC. Modern Culture1. psychological dissonance through technology 2. alternatives to nature 3.distance from nature
III. Religious Aspect
A. Anne Frank quote B. Spiritual aspect of nature1. Jesus' work 2. Hymnsa. examples
IV. Applied Ecopsychology through Ecotherapy
A. General Overview1. by persons other than ecopsychologists 2. see larger world 3. wellness checkup (appendix A) 4. ecological storyB.5 Steps in Ecotherapy1. ecological story 2. express pain and guilt of natural environent 3.connect with natural world 4. earth-caring actions 5. develop self-care fitness planC. Types of Ecotherapy1. Variousa. ECR, reading, videos and healing rituals2. Horticulture Therapya. cognitive, psychological, social and physical growth b. gardens or small houseplants3. Wilderness Treatmenta. exposing 5 senses4. Use of Trees and Animalsa. identify, hug and find a tree friend b. use pets c. hospital statistic5. Other Typesa. ideological change b. experience nature on regular basis
A. Clinebell's attitude B. Roszak's attitude C. Lists
1. summary 2. "Earth Ball" poem
VII. Works Cited VIII. Appendix A
1. Wellness Checkup
- You do not have to be good.
- You do not have to walk on your knees
- for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
- You only have to let the soft animal of your body
- love what it loves.
- Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
- Meanwhile the world goes no.
- Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of rain
- are moving across the landscapes,
- over the prairies and the deep trees,
- the mountains and the rivers.
- Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
- are heading home again.
- Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
- the world offers itself to your imagination,
- calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting-
- over and over announcing your place
- in the family of things.
- "Wild Geese" by Mary Oliver
Mary Oliver's (Clinebell, 1996, p.188) poem has a lot to say about the relatively new approach to conservation called ecopsychology. Ecopsychology combines the human element from psychology, with the study of how biological systems work together from ecology. A more in depth explanation of ecopsychology is that it seeks to help humans experience themselves as an integral part of nature (Strubbe 1997). When this is accomplished, humans can proceed to commit to "helping heal the earth, as well as healing ourselves" (Strubbe 1997, p. 293). In the past, environmental action has consisted of scaring and shaming those who over consume or do not recycle, which proved to be quite ineffective. Ecopsychology, in contrast, attempts to create positive and affirming motivations, derived from a bond of love and loyalty to nature (Bayland, 1995). Before tackling the principles, religious aspects, therapy, actions and education included in ecopsychology, it is essential to understand the reasons why humans need to change.
Need for Change
Because of the present industrial and technological age, most people already know humans are not living sustainably. The earth's resources will eventually run out due to our overconsumption. Yet, humans must realize that current lifestyles and thinking patterns are also not sustainable (Bayland, 1995). People always desire to be part of a group. Humans are now trying to satisfy that need through violence, obsessive work, indulgence in sex or food and use of drugs. Howard Clinebell (1996) suggests a satisfying alternative to these futile attempts at fulfillment by identifying the problem as "alienation from nature "(p. 12). He suggests that the alienation must be healed with nature in order to heal the human problem. Theodore Roszak (1995) agrees that human ignorance and alienation from nature that explains feelings of isolation. Additionally, humans must realize the extent to which they are influenced by their environment(s), and must also realize they have the power to influence it. Humans need to become in-touch with the nature around them.
So what really is ecopsychology? Some describe it as a discipline that encompasses the human psychological relationships with nature. The Ecopsychology web (1998) describes it as "the way our membership of the non-human world, and the converse; the way our mental make-up and cultural expression shapes our beliefs, attitude and behavior toward nature." Ecopsychology is based on the presupposition that people are bonded to nature in the same way they are bonded to their families. Ecopsychology seeks to find underlying motivations for our bad environmental habits (Miller 1994). Lastly, ecopsyhcology is seen as a "positive motivator by helping us to recognize that we don't just need the earth to survive--like some planetary service station we stop at long enough to suck up fuel--we also love it" (Strubbe 1998 p.296). Different people view ecopsychology in very different ways.
Terms Related to Ecopsychology
As all disciplines, ecopsychology has words and lingo that are specific to the discipline. Laurie Tarkan (1997) gives a specific definition of ecopsychology as the study of the relationship between "human psyche and the natural environment" (p.33). Biophilia is the "innate, genetically rooted affiliation of humans" to other animals and living organisms (Clinebell, 1996, p.9). Many ecopsychologists believe that each person has innate love for the environment, they need to uncover it. In the same way that Sigmund Freud spoke of the unconscious, ecopsychologists describe the "ecological unconscious" as something that makes people "feel guilty about overconsumption" (Miller 1994, p. 7 ). Once again the ecological unconscious is built in every human, waiting to be uncovered. The "ecological ego" follows the same pattern. It encourages individuals to be responsible to others and also to the environment (Honora Kineavy 1996).
Clinebell (1996) describes three types of action related to ecopsycholgy: inreach, upreach and outreach. Inreach is opening the self to be nurtured by nature. Upreach consists of an "energizing spiritual awareness that motivates and empowers us to engage in outreach"(p. 7). Finally, outreach is when humans participate with others in action to help save the environment. Clinebell also describes how these three components (inreach, upreach and outreach) work together to create the ecological circle. The ecological circle consists of a healthy relationship between humans and the earth. To put words into action, many ecopsychologists use ecotherapy. The goal of this therapy is to use nature to promote healing and growth. It incorporates "biophilia into healing and growth practices" (Clinebell, 1996, p.7). Lastly, ecoeducation can be used in schools or many other situations. Ecoeducation is defined as a "growth-stimulating process, working with persons' relationships with nature" (Clinebell, 1996, p.188).
Alienation from Nature
Although ecopsycholgy has not been studied scientifically, there is a rationale for the discipline. One major principle in ecopsychology is the adverse effects resulting from alienation from nature or in other words, how humans are linked to a greater group of organisms. In her short article, Tarkan (1996) implies that alienation from nature accounts for the human ability to destroy it without conscience. Roszak (1995) says that humans must see themselves as both part of a whole and yet a small separate unique part simultaneously. By becoming in touch with nature, humans may be able to help solve the multitude of environmental problems. When humans are "more in touch with the natural world we're more in touch with ourselves"(Hilgers 1997, p.70).
Another major idea in ecopsychology is the healing of persons who are troubled. As in psychology, in order to help persons, healers must first understand their problems. One suggestion for understanding persons in need is to look at their current situation. Earth is a planet that is "deteriorating ecologically" and is inhabited by people who are psychologically troubled (Brown 1995, p.xiii). In his short description of ecopsychology in the Wall Street Journal, Tim Aeppel (1995) reported that when ecopsychologists work with people, they find that the relationship with the natural world is their problem, usually causing depression. Sometimes persons also feel grief for things happening in nature, such as deforestation, because they are losing things they love such as trees they played in as a child. However, many times this grief is not expressed and creates hidden psychological problems (Bayland 1995).
Problems with Society
In many cases our modern culture is to blame for humans' ecopsychological problems. Because urban-industrial culture is both capitalistic and collectivistic it creates psychosocial dissonance (Brown 1995, p. xiii). One example is the effect of technology. Television and modern conveniences "psychologically numb" and disconnect humans from nature (Mander 1991, p. 95). Humans have successfully overcome the natural need for nature by filling it with video games and CD ROMs (Bayland 1995). Ironically, one of the best explanations of our psychological numbing comes from a web site dedicated to ecopsychology. This web site explains that overall, the root of many global environmental (and personal) problems is a cultural malaise. This is caused, in part, by the increasing literal and metaphorical distance of the majority of humans from nature (Ecopsychology Web).
Ecopsychology is focused on healing, yet, a spiritual or religious aspect is also part of its scope. Howard Clinebell (1996) discusses in great detail the religious aspect of ecopsychology. He includes a quote from Anne Frank from February 23, 1944 when she was hiding from Nazis:
The best remedy for those who are frightened, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere they can be alone, alone with the sky, nature and God. For then and only then can you feel that everything is as it should be and that God wants people to be happy amid nature's beauty and simplicity. As long as this exists, and that should be forever, I know that there will be solace for every sorrow, whatever the circumstance. I firmly believe that nature can bring comfort to all who suffer (p. 89).
This wise fifteen-year-old not only offers an explanation as to how nature heals, but she also offers insight into the role of God. In the Christian tradition, the works of Jesus demonstrate that he did most of his teaching outdoors. Furthermore, some of his healing work included symbolic use of water and other earth elements (Clinebell, 1996). Clinebell argues that nature and spirituality cannot be separated because "spirituality is earth-grounded and sensual" (p. 144). Spirituality is related to everything in everyday life. It is expressed and enhanced by its "interrelationship with nature" (p.144). One way to see the link is to look at words from hymns. Many of the writers were inspired by nature and connected their natural inspiration to God. For example, Francis of Assisi communicates his feelings in the following lines from a hymn:
All creatures of our God and King, lift up your voices and with us sing,
O praise ye! Alleluia!
O brother sun with golden beam, O sister moon with silver gleam!(Clinebell, 1996, p. 113).
The hymn continues describing air, clouds, rain, water, light, flowers, fruits and many other aspects of nature. A more recent hymn,"For the Beauty of the Earth," describes all the wonders of nature and ends by thanking God for them. These are only two examples of many songs linking nature and God.
In light of these examples, ecopsychology is not just a discipline for environmentalists, but also for pastors, teachers and psychologists. For many people the first step to utilizing the principles of ecopsychology is to develop a relationship or understanding of the larger world. Humans should not just focus on themselves as modern culture suggests. Instead, humans progress through building a relationship to the natural world (Bayland 1995). Possibly before any action is taken, an ecological wellness checkup is given to determine a person's relationship with nature, almost as a diagnostic tool (See Appendix A). Most persons agree that one of the first steps must be telling an ecological story as a starting point for a change in lifestyle (Howard 1997). Persons must recall and verbalize an imprinting experience with the earth (Clinebell, 1996). This could be a childhood link to a natural setting such as a mountain, forest, river or even a plant (Hilgers 1997).
As an introduction to lifestyle change, one may first look at simple means. Mysteriously, nature allows many people to let go and escape (Clinebell, 1996). Simple suggestions of how to use nature are to take daily walks through the non-human world (Strubbe 1998). Along with taking walks, Tarkan (1997) suggests caring for plants. For those who have progressed further through therapy, persons may engage in environmental action activities, which help persons find purpose in life which increases their mental health further (Clinebell, 1996).
In his book, Clinebell outlines five distinctive steps that are used in ecotherapy. The first is to invite people to tell their ecological story, either positive or negative. By this she/he can start to make a diagnosis (p. 177). The next step is to help clients, students and family members become more fully aware of and express both their painful and good feelings about their natural environment (p. 179). The third step is to encourage people to strengthen their sense of organic connectedness with the natural world by letting themselves be nurtured by nature often and deeply (p. 180). Roszak's equivalent is his idea of an ecological ego (1995). The fourth step takes place as the energy and motivation of persons is generated by ecobonding (p.182). Clinebell (1996) encourages persons to reciprocate this bonding by earth-caring action to heal the earth, which elicits hope in the persons. The last step is to encourage people to develop a "self-care fitness plan" including an earth-caring dimension. This is also called a "self-earth care plan" (Clinebell, 1996, p. 185).
Ecopsychologists vary in the type of treatment they prescribe once the steps have been started. Each person must decide for him or herself which type is the best. Ecological Consciousness Raising is one type of treatment (p. 189). Reading a book, watching a video or any other environmental education resource can provide this consciousness raising (Clinebell, 1996). On the opposite side of the spectrum are the unique healing rituals. These vary from traditional Chinese medicine to Native American dances and sweatlodge rituals. A very typical psychological approach can be taken through projective methods. These methods include telling a story, drawing pictures, taking photographs, writing poetry, performing music, or any other Thematic Apperception Test which can be analyzed (p. 212).
One of the simplest, yet most effective types of treatment is horticultural therapy. This method outdates ecopsychology and many other disciplines, originating in ancient Egypt (Clinebell, 1996). Clinebell (1996) states four areas of growth while participating in horticultural therapy: 1) cognitive growth due to awareness of outside and oneself in it, 2) psychological growth because individual feels more productive and useful because she/he can grow things, 3) social growth because persons usually work in small groups to reach a common goal and 4) physical growth from the safe work environment and fresh air (p. 222).
Gardening constitutes one small part of horticultural therapy, yet it is the most common. Organic gardening provides goals and is process oriented, thereby helping many persons learn how to work toward and complete goals(Aeppel 1995). One advantage of horticultural therapy is that it also works well in urban settings where nature is often not readily accessible. A solution for small apartments is growing small plants and herb gardens (Aeppel 1995). The small plants and gardens have been used for years in helping many types of persons such as those who are mentally or physically ill, geriatric patients, alcoholics, drug addicts and prisoners (Clinebell, 1996, p.223). Both graduate and undergraduate programs now exist that focus soley on how to help persons rehabilitate themselves through contact with nature (Clinebell 1996).
Another type of popular treatment does not have such a long history. Wilderness treatment has only been described as a "treatment" after the establishment of ecopsychology. This treatment enlivens the five senses by exposing the body to nature for an extended period of time, and often shocks persons to their cores (Aeppel 1995). Guides take groups of persons into the woods for a week or two with the bare minimum of supplies. Tarkan (1997) reports that persons first talk about cultural things, such as jobs and families, but then "come to their senses" by "smelling the earth, seeing sunlight and hearing the babbling brook" (33). Many sites on the internet describe ecotrips, as they are normally called, describe various types, lengths and locations for these wilderness excursions. Tarkan (1997) reports that about 90% of the participants describe an increased sense of vitality and energy when returning from a wilderness excursion (p.33).
Use of Trees and Animals
Two other types of therapy use specific parts of nature: trees and animals. The use of trees ranges from identification to touching, hugging or planting (Clinebell 1996). Possibly the easiest use of trees in healing is to take walks in the woods and establish a relationship with a tree; "treat it as a dear friend" (My Shrink, My Sequoia, 1994, p.40). This simple task helps humans to relate to all of nature through one intermediary, the "tree friend." Animals have been used in therapy for many years, yet they can also be seen as ecotherapy by providing insight into the non-human world. Relating with animals helps increase cognitive, motor and social skills in persons because bonding with animals helps them meet a challenge (Clinebell 1996). Research shows that animals, specifically pets, decrease loneliness and increase play in humans (Clinebell 1996). Another study explains that in one hospital, When patients tended gardens and kept pets, they used 50% fewer prescriptions (Clinebell 1996). This evidence indicate that all people can benefit from some type of ecotherapy.
Other Types of Ecotherapy
Not all people may want to participate in an ecotherapy session. However, there are other less structured actions and ideological changes that can be done daily to help ourselves and the environment. Roszak (1995) simply suggests that each person develop a theory and practice which promotes sustainable and enhancing relationships among humans as well as with the world. One simple way to help the earth is to first have better self-care which enhances ability to care for the earth (Clinebell 1996). Since humans cannot change evolutionary processes, humans have to change their culture(s) to become more earth friendly (Howard 1997). Howard (1997) believes that in order to change humans must start with the "inner self and work out." First there is "self-change, then systems-change, eventually leading to policy-change" (p.123).
In order to take action on these changes, persons must have a daily or weekly practice of mindfulness to the environment. Roszak suggests that finding a place near home with something natural (rock, tree or creek) and spend time with it on a regular basis (1995). Maggie Spilner (1997) suggests persons "experience" nature on a regular basis (p. 130). She suggests standing with eyes closed, attempting to "see things with your hands" such as rocks or trees. After awhile, the ability will develop to identify the rock or tree purely by touch. Another very effective way to change is to be involved with ecoteams in local neighborhoods. These groups can examine resource consumption, conduct tours of trees in the neighborhood or have potlucks to link the community to the environment (Strubbe 1998).
Lastly, the way most persons are involved with ecospychology is through ecoeducation. Before starting ecoeducation programs, leaders must begin deepening their own relationships with the natural world and examine their lifestyles to see if they express or contradict ecofriendly living. Only after they are secure with this can they educate others. It is interesting that Roszak (1995) believes that ecoeducation is not necessary for children. He believes that children come with a built-in love for nature. Only when they become part of our mainstream education system is their ecological unconscious muted. Therefore, the goal is to keep children as sane as when they were born, and as adults to strive to be like them.
Clinebell (1996) is a proponent of ecoeducation for all persons, including children, arguing that it is the "primary way of preventing earth-alienation, the cause of destructive ecological lifestyles" (p.237). He defines ecoeducation as any learning experience that increases "earth-literacy and earth-caring, rooted in earth-bonding" (p.237). It brings in a wide range of academic disciplines and helps students discover and adopt earth-caring values that encourage earth-caring actions and lifestyles (Clinebell 1996).
Clinebell (1996) ends his discussion on ecoeducation with two lists that seem quite helpful for encouraging persons to change. The first list of key issues addresses the need to help the earth:
The second lists gives us ideas on actions that each person can take to help the environment, even in a small way (Clinebell 1996).
Ecopsychology focuses on what humans can do to fix the problems of this earth. This discussion clearly has principles that provide a basis for understanding this new approach to environmentalism. They can be used to both help human populations and also to help the planet through the use of ecotherapy and ecoeducation. Ecopsychology combines the great ideas of ecology, psychology and religion, allowing each person design his/her system for helping the world and humans. No longer are environmentalists pushed to scare tactics. Ecopsychology is an alternative way to help save the planet. Olaf Skarsholt sums up how ecopsychology may help people view the earth as precious in "Earth Ball" (Clinebell 1996):
Aeppel, Tim. (1995, August 14). Ecotherapists explore the green side. The Wall Street Journal, p. B 1.
Bayland Productions (Producer). (1995). Ecopsychology: Restoring the Earth, Healing the Self [Videotape]. Palo Alto, CA: Foundation for Global Community.
Brown, Lester R. (1995). Ecopsychology and the Environmental Revolution: An Environmental Foreword. In T.Roszak, M.E. Gomes & A. Kanner (Eds.) Ecopsychology: Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind. (pp. xiii-xvi). San Francisco: Sierra Club Books.
Clinebell, Howard. (1996). Ecotherapy: Healing ourselves, healing the Earth. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.
Ecopsychology Web. (No Date). For the Love of Nature? [Online]. Available: http://www.clan.com/environment/ecopsyweb [1998, October 29].
Hilgers, Laura. (1997). Earth-friendly Threapy. Self, 19 (9), 70.
Honora Kineavy, Catherine. (1997). Ecopsychology: connecting our mental health to our environmental behavior. San Diego Earth Times [Online],4,10 paragraphs. Available: http:www.sdearthtimes.com/et0497/et0497s7.html.
Howard, George S. Ecological Psychology: Creating a more earth-friendly human nature. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press.
Mander, Jerry. (1991). In the Absence of the Sacred. San Francisco: Sierra Book Club.
Miller, D. Patrick. (1994). The Voice of the Earth. The Sun, 220, 6-10.
Roszak, Theodore (1995). Ecopsychology: Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind. New York: Sierra Press.
"My Shrink, My Sequoia" Self, September 1994.
Spilner, Maggie. (1997). Connecting with Nature. Walker's World, 128-132.
Strubbe, Bill. (1997). The World as Self, The Self as World. World & I. [Online], 12 (6), 12 pages. Available: http//insite.palni.edu/WebZ/FETCH:fulltext.html [1998, September 10].
Tarkan, Laurie. (1997). Nurtured by Nature. Shape, 16 (7), 32.
White, Jonathan (1994). The Unreturning Arrow. In Talking on Water:
Conversations about Nature and Creativity. San Francisco: Sierra
An Ecological Wellness Checkup (Clinebell 1995, p. 173-176).
Instructions: In from of each item write one of three initials:
E: I am doing Excellently in this area.
OK: I am doing OK but there is definitely room for improvement.
NS: My life and lifestyle definitely Need Strengthening in this area.
Ignore those items that do not seem relevant to your situation.
__I love the natural world and feel a deep connection with the wonderful network of living beings of which I am a tiny but significant part.
__I find healing energy and sometimes joy in getting close to plants, animals and beautiful places in nature. I can get high when I am in a lovely garden or other natural beauty spot.
__Being in forests or mountains, or by unspoiled river, lakes, oceans or in wilderness places, brings me refreshing renewal.
__Being in wild nature or near wild animals does not arouse inappropriate anxieties in me. Rather it stimulates my inner connection with my own creative inner wildness.
__I know how to open myself to be nurtured by nature, even when I am in a cityIn a park, garden, or near a tree or growing plant or a blooming window box.
__I feel stirrings of pain in my body-mind-spirit organism when I am in a polluted place dominated by environmental ugliness.
__I know who to protect myself from the violence of naturefor example, tornadoes, floods, or earthquakeswithout being paralyzed by fear.
__I know how to "ground" my body and my grief and pain, when these occur, in awareness of the dependable supportiveness of the earth.
__I like to share the enjoyment of nature with the people I love. Sometimes we experience our love being deepened by such sharing.
__I am aware that my own and my familys levels of wellness, at any given time, are inextricably interwoven with the level of wellness of our place in the natural world, as well as the wellness of the society around us.
__I regularly examine my lifestyle and the values that guide it, and make changes to enable these to express more fully my loving respect for the health of the environment. I often make such changes even when they require sacrifices.
__I know that there are no individualistic solutions to the societal causes of the ecological crisis. So, In addition to my personal ecological changes, I work for political and economic justice. I Choose to be politically involved in efforts to help the planetfor example, by voting only for candidates who favor strong local, national, and international programs of justice and earth-caring.
__I have a solid support group of friends, family, and others who share my passion for loving the earth by caring for it individually and collectively.
__My spiritual life is enriched with aliveness both when I open myself to be nurtured by nature and when I engage in action to help save a healthy earth for all living creatures. I often experience the lift of spiritual awe when I become aware of the mystery and wonder of nature and of the eon-spanning process of continuing creation called evolution.
__My sense of partnership with God in working for a world of wholeness is a source of hope, challenge, and serenity in what is sometimes frustrating earth-caring work.
__I practice ways of enhancing the love of life that is at my spiritual core, making this love the primary energy source for planet-loving work, rather than guilt or fear.
__I am seeking the continuing growth of my spirituality and value commitments to make them more bridge-building with those indifferent faiths, nations, races, languages, and cultures. I cherish the awareness that they are sisters or brothers in one species, the global human family, and much-needed potential partners in saving the biosphere.
__People-caring and earth-caring are interdependent and mutually reinforcing processes for me, beginning in my home and community, but reaching out to the larger national and international levels. I experience a sense of caring, compassionate relatedness with both people and nature when they are sufferning.
__I know that the dream of saving a viable planet can only be realized by mobilizing broad international, intercultural and interreligious collaboration.
__My ways of expressing my love for and loyalty to my own country do not contradict my more inclusive love for and loyalty to the well-being of the biosphere and of the whole human family. I know that my nation's long-term wellness can be protected and enhanced only if wellness of other nations also is protected and enhanced.
__I try to stay current and knowledgeable about the complex, rapidly changing global ecojustice crisis and the creative ways being developed to help resolve it.
__I am aware that earth-caring and peacemaking are two interdependent sides of the same earth-healing process.
__I am actively involved in working in/and or supporting financially some local, national, and international groups committed to healing and protecting the natural environment.
__When I observe or see photographs of violence against women, children, nature, or animals, I experience intense feeling such as anger, grief, guilt, and commitment to help prevent such violence. And I use these feeling to motivate me to engage in constructive geojustice and peacemaking action.
__I am aware that among the social causes of escalating damage to the whole planet's environment are the widening chasm between rich and poor nations, the population explosion, most pronounced in poor countries, lifestyles or unfair consumption in affluent countries, and the tragic resource waste of the planetwide arms race.
__I recognize that violence against Mother-Father nature and against persons socially defined as lesser, weaker or "other"--for example, women, children, minorities--is rooted in some of the same psychosocial causes, injustice, and inequalities of power, prestige and property.
__The nurture I receive from nature is healing and valuable in itself; it also provides energy for preventing burnout and sustaining earth-caring and peacemaking when the going ahead is difficult.
__Whenever I experience feelings of despair, denial and powerlessness concerning the enormous, complicated ecojustice problems, I use methods for transforming these numbing feelings so as to recover the hope and energy required to do effective earth-caring and justice-making.
__I often use my sense of humor and laugh with my earth-caring and peacemaking partners as a pressure release valve and an energy-renewing method for ecoaction.
__I am practicing parenting and friending for peace, justice and ecological wellness in my family, extended family and other close relationships.
__I am finding ways to practice earth-caring, peace-nurturing and justice-making in my work, my social life, and my faith community--ways that enable me to think and act both locally and globally.
__I resist taking long checkups like this one particularly if they threaten to increase my guilt for not doing more for a cause in which I believe fervently. (If so, welcome to the club! If you avoided taking the checkup, let me encourage you now to quickly scan the list and note the items that seem especially important to you.)
__Add any additional checkup items here: