There is no denying that this has been a particularly huge last week for Australia and the foundations on which this country stands. I think, If the recent explorations of things like the extinction rate and the impact we as people are having upon our environment has done anything, it has actually been to unify us as a planet and a people in a whole new way. All of a sudden we’re all (beyond just the "normal, usual" panic attacks people tend to have as parent's thinking about such things) thinking about our children’s children in the West, a little bit more like Indigenous Elders have been thinking of it forever. That’s been unconsciously connecting us more than we realise.
But then, we just witnessed an election, in which:
-As Kevin Rudd put it in his tweet about the elephant in the room no one was talking about, we saw "the Murdoch Empire run possibly the most biased campaign in history", and the secret power plays and agendas that swung this, were seemingly made more transparently obvious to the average person than ever before
-According to the numerous sustainability experts i talked to this last week in the course of my work, it would appear, so they all tell me based on their research, that the likes of Alan Jone's take on our 1.3% impact on climate change being only equivalent globally to a grain of rice in a whole bag, used repeatedly to dismiss our nation's climate impact to the masses as negligible and a hoax (so why bother to change a thing), is a bit of a misrepresentation. When you look at it from another angle, the data says that, if everyone adopted what Australia does, it would apparently raise the temperature of the planet 3 degrees. So Australia, make no mistake, climate and environmental IMPACT (whatever your opinion of global warming) is still very much a thing. Plus
-Unfortunately, it would seem, this election saw the rights of children, youth, women, the elderly, Indigenous rights, anyone with an illness, a mental illness, a disability, recovering from trauma, homelessness or in poverty, animal rights, along with all other life on the planet, put a distant second to big wins for business, for the longevity of the existing leaders term of service and saving an economy that is undeniably broken for a reason...that we wont fix trying to do the same old broken, corporate greed driven stuff that broke it in the first place.
And scary, isn't it, to think that it's progressively resembling more and more the same set of conditions that we as humans have come to exist in, just before the majority of falls of human civilisation in times past.....is it any wonder people are angry, disheartened, disappointed and scared, when they were crying out in the lead up to this election for more heart centred, soulful, truly connected leaders (and more female ones at that), when they had such high hopes that things might genuinely be about to change and this is how it went. I just feel like that all needs to be acknowledged before we move on. If i was with you in person right now, i'd be pausing here for a breath, before moving on to the next bit.
All is not lost though. Meanwhile, in New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's is still leading the way. Her government is requiring new spending fit one of five categories promoting “well-being: improving mental health, reducing child poverty, addressing the inequalities faced by indigenous Maori and Pacific islands people, thriving in a digital age, and transitioning to a low-emission, sustainable economy.” [1} Why would she too want focus on these things, instead of just fixing the economy?
And while, after our initial reactions, the majority of people i know, including me, then called out last week and said "time then to step up and BE the change for ourselves" because we know massive change needs to happen faster, why you might ask, is widespread change not happening faster?
It's easy to point the finger at corporate corruption, greed and consumerism, but there's also a bit going on, that is a lot closer to home. If we want to truly understand why many people are finding it hard to pull their focus to climate change, we can take a look back over 3 things:
1- Maslow's Hierarchy of needs 
(the version he published at the END of his life, not the one you still see en masse from the 1940's that omits his highest stage)
In this, Maslow talked about all of the basic human survival, safety and security needs that need to be met, before a person can ever get to being able to consistently focus their energy outside of themselves, on the bigger picture. And, from a higher level of consciousness (as in the step he later added of "Transcendence", focus on their higher purpose in what they're here to give back to the world in soulful service.
At the end of his life, Maslow himself actually adjusted the hierarchy of needs, to incorporate the top level of transcendence . From an ecological perspective, we are actually also, in reality, part of a planetary system and a universal system simultaneously. So i've also added the planetary needs and the presence of the universe as the most basic level reminder of the true nature of our existence. While Maslow originally stated the goal was to move up through these over the course of ones lifetime, it was also noted that, in reality, life events can challenge us at times to revisiting the challenges of the previous levels. So movement up the pyramid or through particular sections, can also, realistically be considered more cyclic at times. For example, when we divorce and re-partner, change careers or a natural disaster like a fire leads to us having to find a new home and re-build.
You could see the impact of the lower pink and purple layers of this model playing out as clear as day in the political polls from earlier in the year, and from my perspective, when i was at the polling booths, listening to the content of the average conversation. People voted their highest priorities as financial income/security, housing and health. Environment factored in about 5th then. All of those things sit in Maslow's lower levels....showing what? The reality is, far too much of the country, are still in a constant state of survive. (And not just those without money. In fact, you can have a wellness supplement company in start-up 2 years in, 40 billion in debt, just turning around into profit and STILL, be paying yourself a salary from the company to yourself that barely puts you above the person at an office job earning 55K per year). When you're in a state of survive, the reality of the way the brain and our genetics programming is wired to work, is that it's hard NOT to have to focus on getting yourself out of survive first, before you have stable enough foundations, available internal resources and just enough inner peace (homeostatic balance) going on again to be able to start consistently focusing attention outwards on what the rest of the world needs.
2- The unresolved impact of trauma (and trauma bonding)
Anyone finding themselves either leaving an abusive relationship, or in the early stages of first acknowledging and working to heal past trauma of any kind, can finds themselves in a state of revisiting the challenges of every level of the pyramid already travelled, and in a similar state of survive; having to work through their personal safety and security needs, before being capable of focusing their attention out again. To a person enduring either one, someone, or group of people, who can help them cope and survive the intensity, while they're in such a heightened fight-flight state of stress and high emotion, is often considered, by far, more important in the moment, than someone who can help them lastingly heal and move beyond the wound , to the later stages of taking responsibility for creating a life they love again and a path of soulful purpose they love.
3- The role of love (and spirituality) in overcoming Climate Change
As Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh puts it from another perspective, it's a little hard to get the world to focus on climate change, when so many people are drowning in their own suffering and using any external means of escaping it  (from things like Netflix, to sugar, junk food, alcohol, drugs, to sex...name your means of escapism.) And little can change until each individual makes the choice to go within and deal with their stuff. In other words, global change must start as one of my virtual Mentors would put it, as an inside job. He also suggests that part of this challenge is acknowledging, as Maslow eventually did, the nature of our existence beyond being merely physical beings. There is much healing and liberation to be found in the realisation of the interconnectness of all things and the remembering of both our connection to Mother Earth and to our true nature as love. Ask any Indigenous or Spiritual Elder the world over, they'll all tell us part of the answer to our current global state of affairs, is re-awakening to our true (universal) nature. As i was saying on Facebook this week, awakened beings don't cause harm...they can't, because it's against their true nature.
On the way to our continued collective re-awakening though, as our mental health system, allied health and holistic health systems all well know, we're drastically under-resourced trying to assist a whole country to deal with the surface symptoms of the before mentioned deeper issues and developmental challenges though. The surface symptoms often being stress, anxiety, depression and a host of lifestyle related illnesses we're seeing en masse like never before. And, while globally speaking, we're running out of time to have the luxury to do it at the more leisurely speed we could afford in recent decades gone by, now as a country, we need to be simultaneously, as the NZ Prime Minister suggested, continuing to work on both environment, economy, sustainable technology, holistic health and our host of sociological and socio-economic challenges concurrently, if we've got a hope of making both a local and a global difference. Plus a hope of freeing a whole population to be able to truly see the forest for the trees and step into the purpose they may well have come here for at this time, to do something about it.
What can we keep doing individually?:
-Prioritise self care and learn, adopt or keep doing the daily wellbeing practices that reconnect us to the truest version of ourselves and keep you connected with your higher purpose
-Re-prioritise and engage in human connection like never before. We wont get on top of any of this, internally or externally alone. And on a planet of almost 7.7 billion, we nor do we need to.
-Keep speaking our truth with love and ask for a harder stand to be taken where change is needed
-Keep working on our own stuff, so that we're ourselves breaking through anything in Maslow's hierarchy that's holding us back from stepping into being our highest potential and living from a higher purpose. When we dare to go there and heal it, we also ensure our past stuff is a legacy we're NOT passing on to the next generations to have to heal FOR us. That too is more important now than ever.
-Then keep looking outside of ourselves for ways we can solve problems, help people become self-empowered and thus help raise the consciousness of the people. so that they're able to ultimately reconnect with the bigger picture and step into being the important piece in the puzzle of global change each of us came here to be at this time.
Easier said than done for sure. But, when all the emotional fall-out and processing of last week is said and done, it's time to double down on our efforts all the same. All of you, all of us, the heart-centred, soulful leaders of the world, are needed now more than ever. Time to keep on BEING the change.
Big love to you <3 Until next time...
Nat talks about Self Expression, Heart Centred Communication and Lifestyle for Leaders.