The Caring Human is in Danger of Extinction

Indigenous child hugging a tree

As an ecologist working several decades in various environmental sectors, I will say that I have come to learn that ecological illiteracy is not an accident, it could be considered as a successful form of social engineering that is very convenient for the current greed driven oligarchy.

We were not born ecologically illiterate, a child instinctively knows to care for animals and the environment and often a toddler marvels at every blade of grass and insect it encounters, it is usually when a child is shown or taught cruelty that a child starts to mimic adults by example and not respecting its fellow creatures or environment.

Biophilia is an instinct we were born with, an inner sense of feeling good and being uplifted by nature. However systematic deprogramming in  humans has turned us into good capitalists and consumers but appalling environmental protectors, making us ignorant of ecology and how we are affected by or affecting key ecosystems on the Earth, solely by our lifestyle choices. Society has conditioned people to become so distant from or even scared of nature to being repulsed by it, to the point that many people can be called biophobic. Society has done this through schooling and lack of emphasis on ecology (we are mostly taught we are superior to and separate from nature). Social media, movies and television programming has been convenient in this way to government, so have many religious beliefs.

As a result of humanity’s ecological ignorance and belief that we are separate from nature, the ecosystems of our planet show severe signs of devastating impact; from oceans being contaminated with radioactive waste, sewerage, and oxygen depleted zones. Another example of ecological illiteracy is that many people refer to the forests as ‘the lungs of the planet‘, it is actually the world’s oceans and their marine algal and microbial communities that are the lungs of the Earth, producing 80 percent of the world’s oxygen, and the ocean is a keystone ecosystem to stabilizing climate and maintaining good oxygen levels. Yet, the oceans are heavily polluted with plastic and toxic effluence, contaminating major global food chains and yet we continue to over-exploit over 85 percent of the world’s fish stocks.

There may be no rainforests left in twenty years’ time or enough fish in the ocean in ten years’ time, it has already been noted that future generations will not be able to fish as we do today in just twenty years from now. Over half the world will have a water crisis in fifteen years from now.  Bees, which are our most important crop pollinators, are fast disappearing due to toxic chemicals from aerosols being sprayed into the atmosphere via geo- engineering and pesticides being used in industrial scale farming.  The rate of deforestation and ocean pollution is destroying  our major keystone ecosystems and their ability to maintain stable weather systems.

Grandmother and granddaughter appreciating nature-courtesy of image source.com
Grandmother and granddaughter appreciating nature-courtesy of image source.com

Just imagine if things were entirely different, if we all were ecologically literate and aware of the consequences of our daily actions on key ecosystems and on other species and the violence we cause Earth. We would be far more respectful to nature and the greed driven corporate power system as it is, would cease to be destructive to the environment, pollution would no longer be profitable, instead environmental investment would be more beneficial as well us seeing as an expansion of employment in a green ecological capitalism that thrives through pioneering sustainable technologies in industry and ecological economies.

We would have a community orientated management of natural resources, (rather than centralized government management of natural resources), that prioritized nature and all kinds of sustainable technologies in operation in society which would replace fossil fuels, which would be banned and replaced by billion dollar investments into clean technologies (technologies that presently exist but currently lack the funding and support from governments  because they do not make enough money for governments or banks).

We would also have an ecologically based economy, one which invests in the bank of Nature or Natural Capital as it is referred to by ecological economists,  where nature is given a significant financial value for its invisible goods and services, (a simple example are bees pollinating crops, clean water production via mountain aquifers and geological ecosystems and oxygen production from trees in forest ecosystems). Investment in Natural Capital would protect major natural resources from exploitation and destruction by super corporations, especially oil, gas and mineral companies.

One of the incredible benefits from a Natural Capital based economy is that it would wipe off each country’s Gross National Debt, for example The World Resource Institute (WRI) estimates the value of ecosystem goods and services to be US $33 trillion dollars a year, nearly twice the value of the global gross national product (GNP) of US $18 trillion. The USA is in debt by 17 trillion dollars, therefore, if the US transitioned to an economy based on natural capital, it would take care of this debt. Global debt is currently a powerful driving force of ecological destruction (ecocide), an example is that many Latin American countries are in debt to China and therefore China is one of the major driving forces through debt pressures, to rapidly exploiting the Amazon rainforest for oil, hydroelectric power and minerals, it is also now building a 5,000 km railway from Chile to Brazil, which will plough through previously protected rainforest and undisturbed indigenous tribes, a railway to remote areas of the Amazon rainforest will only further increase large scale destruction of precious biodiversity worth more left untouched and protected.

We would also have stringent international laws in place protecting the Earth from Ecocide and every country, not just a few countries, would by now have given Nature the same rights as a human being or a corporate fiction in the court of law, presently corporations have more rights than Nature, and more frequently corporations are beginning to have more rights than people, in this so called modern civilization. 

As it presently stands, many governments profit immensely from destroying the environment and not having 7 billion people to stop them from doing so, is convenient due to our ecological illiteracy and the social engineered lack of care, and media distraction from the destruction of our Earth.

Presently, ourselves and world governments can no longer afford to be ecologically illiterate, this is driving an environmental crisis that has gone beyond critical tipping point where up to 150 species of animals and plants are disappearing daily and key ecosystems are being destroyed beyond recovery if we do not stop and make major changes now.

 Ecological ignorance is good for business, yet business can only last so long while the environment is falling apart around us, everything we do relies on ecology and ecosystems, and we cannot continue to ignore this fact. Ecological illiteracy in government and society is one of the worst things that has happened to Earth and to us, for humanity to become so disconnected to ignorantly treat nature as separate from itself. The Caring Human is in Danger of Extinction.

The Silent Ecocide- the environmental crisis is a crisis of human consciousness by Carlita Shaw

Available on Amazon.com in Paperback

The Silent Ecocide – Amazon UK

Email Carlita at thesilentecocide at gmail.com
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Carlita is an environmental scientist, teacher and writer, currently living in South America.

 

Surviving Depression in a Depressing World-What Happens when we are Disconnected from Nature?

Why does the contemporary Western lifestyle influence the rise in mental illness and depression? Why is our separation from Nature detrimentally affecting human health and consciousness? Our growing distance from Nature doesn’t serve the Earth or us. It is clear there is an increasing need for humanity to reconnect with Nature and why it is crucial that western society needs to become more ecologically sustainable within the means of the Earth’s natural limits.

Carlita is an independent environmental journalist and project developer who provides information overlooked by mainstream journalism funded by political agendas, since Carlita has worked closely with indigenous groups in Latin America for the last fifteen years.

Video by Carlita Shaw.

Author of

Surviving Depression in a Depressing World, an Ecological Perspective

 

The Silent Ecocide, a Crisis of Human Consciousness

 

Thanks to videoveo and pexels.

Protection of Ecosystems is Critical for the Future of the Planet- We are running out of time to save them.

Three Monkeys in a Tree by Quang Nguyen Vinh

Monitoring and tracking the protection of every countries’ ecosystems – from wetlands to reefs, forests and more – is critical to protecting Earth’s biodiversity. That’s the plea from The University of Queensland, Australia and the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Professor James Watson, as policy makers from 190 nations prepare to meet in Rome next week to develop the UN’s Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.

Professor Watson said the current strategic plan for biodiversity was not working, and the new plan must address the conservation of ecosystems. “Since 2010, targets for conserving species have shaped policy and galvanised efforts to halt species loss worldwide, as part of the Convention on Biological Diversity,” Professor Watson said.

“Yet no such targets exist for ecosystems — despite the wealth of evidence showing that their health and functions are essential to the processes that maintain all life. The last decade has seen an extraordinary increase in our ability to map ecosystems and the pressures human increasingly place on them. We must act now as we’re running out of time to save them, with many already severely damaged.”

Professor Watson and his colleagues assessed more than 2800 ecosystems in 100 countries across all continents, finding 45 per cent of those systems were at risk of complete collapse.

“There is no excuse to ignore the fate of ecosystems in the post 2020 agenda,” he said.

We need targets that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely – the SMART parameters – that are essential to project planning and have proved to be effective in policies that seek to address global problems.

For example, during the 1980s, a group of 20 nations agreed to set various limits on the production and consumption of chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs.

This helped to guide the phase-out of these substances under the Montreal Protocol, which came into effect in 1989.

It’s now possible to establish a SMART target for ecosystems, as well as metrics to track progress in meeting that goal.

All we need is the political will to set an ambitious ecosystem target, alongside an ambitious species target.

This will be a game changer for biodiversity, as it will ensure the level of accountability needed for both nations and industry to enact change.”

Professor Watson’s commentary piece has been published in Nature (DOI: 10.1038/d41586-020-00446-1).

Media: Professor James Watson, jwatson@wcs.org, +61 409 185 592; Dominic Jarvis, dominic.jarvis@uq.edu.au, +61 413 334 924.

 

Evolve to Ecology News

The Silent Ecocide 

Surviving Depression in a Depressing World, an Ecological Perspective

Carlita is an independent environmental journalist and project developer who provides information overlooked by mainstream journalism funded by political agendas, since Carlita has worked closely with indigenous groups in Latin America for the last fifteen years.

The equivalent of 987,500 football fields of Amazon Rainforest have been destroyed over the last few years in Brazil

 

Isolated Amazon indigenous people. Photo taken by author.

60 million to 200 million indigenous people are almost wholly dependent on forests, these indigenous forest communities live in the world’s last remaining forests which are critically endangered as the equivalent of 987,500 football fields of Amazon Rainforest have been destroyed over the last few years in Brazil.

These indigenous forest communities are facing ecocide and they are key to the protection of the Amazon rainforest and climate balance. There are at least 80 indigenous tribes in the Amazon rainforest still living in complete isolation from the outside world. Human contact would be detrimental to their very existence, they are the most vulnerable communities since they have no resistance to disease and would be wiped out upon first contact with people from the outside world. We must respect their way of life and leave them in peace and protect them from gold and oil miners.

The Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC) and WRI  Report found that Indigenous Peoples and local forest communities manage at least 54,546 million metric tons of carbon (Mt C) in the tropical forests they live in globally, or just under one-quarter of the total carbon found above ground in the global tropics.

Indigenous Peoples and local communities manage at least 24 percent of the total carbon stored aboveground in the world’s tropical forests, or 54,546 million metric tons
of carbon (MtC), a sum greater than 250 times the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by global air travel.

There is a deeply intrinsic relationship between the health of the Amazon rainforest and the health of the planet. Rainforests  contain 90-140 billion metric tons of carbon, not just in the tree trunks but also stored in the soil below, this helps stabilise local and global climate. Deforestation, oil extraction and mining activities releases significant amounts of this locked carbon, which is having catastrophic consequences on the climate around the world.

The Rights and Resources Initiative offers Amazon forest and global governments to consider  improving protection of deforestation and forest degradation pressures, to enhance local livelihoods, tropical country governments and the international community should:

• Support the efforts of forest peoples’ organisations to document and secure their collective forest
rights by scaling up dedicated funding streams and technical assistance;

• Make Indigenous Peoples and local communities part of the climate solution by incorporating
community-based actions in Nationally Determined Contributions;

• Develop/adopt institutional safeguards that significantly increase the voice and contributions of
forest peoples in the design and implementation priority actions to conserve/enhance forest carbon stocks and non-carbon benefits.

The Amazon rainforest is the worlds largest biodiversity rich biome containing more than half the worlds 10 million animal and plant species, with green capital preservation we can emphasize the immense value of the rainforest and its contribution to the planet.

The Amazon rainforest contains:

One in ten known species on Earth
1.4 billion acres of dense forests, half of the planet’s remaining tropical forests.
4,100 miles of winding fresh water rivers.
2.6 million square miles in the Amazon basin, about 40 percent of South America.

We are at a critical time where global governments, rainforest conservation groups and non-governmental organisations need to reinforce protection of environmental laws for Indigenous people’s defence treaties for the last remaining Amazon rainforests on the Earth.  After spending fifteen years working on conservation projects  with indigenous people in the Amazon, their challenges involve dealing with many front line issues that the largest established charities, governments and academic institutes know very little about. One common example in the Amazonia regions of South America, is the ongoing internalised governmental corruption where some government affiliated corporations provide finances and arms to military and vigilante groups to attack and continually persecute indigenous environmental activist leaders and to drive indigenous people forcefully off of their land.  This is why there is an exponential rise of murders of Indigenous environmental activists every year.

One such story I learned in 2012 at Shell airport waiting to fly deep into the Amazon, here I met with Cristina Gualinga. Cristina is from the Kichwar Sarayaku territory in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The Sarayaku community were subject to violent force to remove them from their ancestral land by illegal invasion of oil companies and their government sponsored military soldiers. Cristina Gualinga and many in her Sarayaku community are life long activists against oil exploitation, after they were subject to brutal expulsion from their territory and Cristina witnessed systematic destruction of her ancestral lands for an oil pipeline, there is a documentary about the Sarayaku’s experience called The Children of the Jaguar.

Governments who are included in the Amazon Basin region countries must collaborate with international conservation organisations and governments from all global countries to step up protection through reinforcement of environmental laws and indigenous peoples rights and powers to indigenous leaders of key communities who are our environmental protectors of the Amazon.

The international governments have a responsibility to the conservation of the planet and especially the Amazon rainforest  and should be providing reinforced prosecution for indigenous communities threatened by oil extraction, hydrodam building or gold mining and every other activity that is rapidly causing ecocide in the Amazon rainforest.

The above map shows the amount of industrial activity in the Amazon and the red crosses show the amount of indigenous people assassinated due to conflicts over rainforest that they are fighting to protect.

Between August 2017 and July 2018 some 7,900 square kilometres of forest were logged in the Brazilian Amazon. In addition to the ongoing illegal logging and goldmines, in 2019  over 7,200 square miles of the Brazilian rainforest  burned—an aggregated area nearly the size of New Jersey. The worst annual rate of deforestation in a decade, according to official government data. This represents an increase of 14 percent over the same period last year.

Greenpeace Brazil pointed out, approximately 1,185 million trees were felled in an area equivalent to the size of 987,500 football fields.

The above graph from Global Witness report ”At What Cost” shows Brazil has the highest rate of environmental defenders being killed than any other country in the world.

Meanwhile, Jair Bolsonaro ignores invitations towards implementing and reinforcing conservation action by other Amazon countries and he encourages persecution of indigenous people, conveniently overlooking the continued murders of Amazon protectors and environmental campaigners, further accelerating the destruction of the Brazilian Amazon, last year many of the raging fires which raged through the Brazilian Amazon were a result of arson as a preliminary measure to clear forest for oil drilling and illegal gold mining in indigenous territories that should be protected areas of the Amazon. Bolsonaro has publicly declared his hatred of indigenous communities, specifically the Kawahivas people who are on the edge of extinction, his promise to corporate interests are to continue to open more the Amazon to the development of the mining and  timber industries.

Global Witness’s latest annual data into violence against land and environmental defenders shows a rise in the number of women and men killed over the last few years to 207 in Brazil especially. What’s more, Global Witness’s research has highlighted agribusiness including coffee, palm oil and banana plantations as the industry most associated with these attacks.

Therefore, corporate sponsored murders of indigenous environmental protectors are conveniently overlooked, increasing the kidnappings, torture and assassination of  key environmentalists. Consequently, illegal mining and logging activities are rising with corporate land grabs and violations of indigenous people’s rights to critical escalation Brazil and other countries that the Amazon basin covers, Ecuador, Peru and Colombia.

The Amazon rainforest is deadlier than ever for land and environmental defenders, with mining and oil industries and agribusiness, these industries are the most linked to murder of environmentalists and indigenous rainforest activists.

Many indigenous communities live solely off of the land, many live in isolated regions that are difficult to access, they are adept at survival from the bounty of nature and in tune with the spiritual elements that come with their connection and close relationship with nature, therefore most of these communities are not  in need of money or the materialistic  way of living that Westerners are used to, and this goes in their favour to be the world’s best and most trusted conservationists. Their lives depend on the preservation and conservation of their ancestral land, not on money. Their connection with the environment is not just dependent on daily living, it is part of their spiritual ancestry, their spiritual ecology, part of their souls and beating hearts. This is what we have forgotten in Western civilisation.

For these reasons, Indigenous people are the best conservationists to manage and conserve the forests and last great wildernesses, as their immediate survival depends on the land and they are attuned to the environment around them, because of this, they are also the most vulnerable when it comes to ecocide, their cultures and survival is ultimately threatened. Read  previous article People on the Edge of Extinction-The Last Tribes of the Amazon

There are indigenous conservation treaty recommendations supported by many Indian and Alaskan Native organisations. A recent convention set up by the Indigenous peoples of all the Americas allowed them to form sixteen principles for building a sustainable and harmonious world community.

These principles are rooted in the concerns of hundreds of Indigenous Elders, Spiritual Leaders and Community Members, they are also rooted in deep ecology values, they recognise the interconnection of all life on Earth and how we affect one another and the Earth with our actions. They recognise how humans must work on internal balance to create external balance and a sustainable world. They recognise the importance of morals, and ethics in communities. These guiding principles constitute the foundation for the process of healing and developing ourselves (mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually), our human relationships (personal, social, political, economic, and cultural) and our relationship with Mother Earth.

The senseless annihilation of the Earth’s last rainforests is part of an ecosystem, not only providing vital equilibrium for the climate but also plant medicines and foods and resources everyone takes for granted. Corporate ecocide has to stop along with the global unfolding ecocide of other ancient wildernesses where our great indigenous people remain.

All this senseless destruction of the Amazon rainforest, is for logging, gold, hydrodams and mostly for petroleum oil, the black life blood of Pacha Mama, Mother Earth, these resources are valued over human life and over the most essential biome of the Amazon rainforest, a major oxygen producer for all life on planet Earth. How many of us have to suffer and to what limit of destruction will this planet be pushed to, before we realise human consciousness is now an ecological issue? Humanity is a threat to itself unless we change the way we live on this planet, we have to live with nature, not separate from her, we are our environment, we are nature. Meanwhile there are solutions that we at Evolve to Ecology are working on to give more power and protection to indigenous communities in the Amazon with the Biobank Green Economy initiative.

by C S

Author of

The Silent Ecocide 

Surviving Depression in a Depressing World, an Ecological Perspective

Carlita is an independent environmental journalist and project developer who provides information overlooked by mainstream journalism funded by political agendas, since Carlita has worked closely with indigenous groups in Latin America for the last fifteen years.

 

Evolve to Ecology News

The Reality of Grief and Learning the Art of Living again

 

Meeting the Shadows by artist Colette Shaw

 

Anyone who understands profound grief, the loss of a spouse or a child, understands that we become walking zombies, we spend all our time consumed with pain, the first few days, weeks and months are the worst, they are blurry memories, breathing even feels like hard work, and the crying is so hard, you think you will suffocate from your own tears and you don’t care because you don’t want to be here, you want to be with the one you lost.

Grief and Bereavement is something that every person will go through in life, it is a normal experience, yet those around us react as if it is not normal, it is alien to them, and only those that have been through it understand what you are going through. It feels like your life is destroyed, when the person you love dies, a part of you dies with them. The life you had together is also suddenly gone, you are in shock and left with a great deal of pain and loss, it´s the worst feeling in the world and very overwhelming. Bereavement is the experience of losing someone close to you.

Elizabeth Kübler Ross identified the five stages of grief
• Denial
• Anger
• Bargaining
• Depression
• Acceptance

Grief is the emotional experience associated with processing that loss, the first stage being the mourning. Acute grief can be challenging to distinguish from depression. Many refer to Elizabeth Kübler Ross’s five stages of grief.  Still, I feel her studies are flawed and don’t apply to a person who has lost a loved one. Firstly, they are based on people who were themselves coming to terms with death after being diagnosed with terminal illnesses, so although it maybe useful for someone who is dying of a terminal illness, it cannot be comparable to most people who have just lost their soulmate or their child, or someone close to them in their family or friends. It is completely different.

Secondly, one deals with shock and the worst emotional pain that physically hurts the body so much so its hard to breathe. In my case I felt as though I was suffocating myself with grief since when I cried so hard, my sinuses swelled up so much I couldn’t breathe, this was a daily occurrence that went on for over a year. The mourner has a sense of carrying a huge concrete block of pain, accompanied by being disassociated with the world and the pain of missing the person we are grieving for is so overwhelming and it continues for years to come. Although the mourner can recover some strength to focus on life again two to three years after the initial death of the person they lost, but they never feel that life is ever the same as it was before they lost the person they love. The griever’s life has completely changed and is a different person with this pain, they have to navigate through the pain daily and find a way to live with the pain.

The griever never knows when they will get triggered to cry, and when they cry the tears are uncontrollable, it can happen any moment. This process is not an ordered stage of grief that one can tick off on a check list. It’s more like going through a tornado of Kübler Rosses mixed and scrambled five stages, very complex waves of these messy emotions and fragmented feelings that are completely uncontrollable and unexpected. I call it the Grief Monster or the Grief Earthquake, followed by constant aftershocks.

 

Suicide Grief

This is like no other grief, and there is a great deal of guilt that those left behind are burdened with. It is extremely tragic for all concerned. There’s an overwhelming sense of disbelief regarding their death, which can still occur for several years after the person´s death. Suicide grief is like an internal earthquake that fragments the heart and soul into a thousand pieces. The deep shock that they initially feel replays in the body’s cells again and again, and mixed with the rest of the emotions it will feel like aftershocks of a giant Earthquake which can go on for a few years or more afterwards. This requires long-term therapy and counselling on one to one and possibly in a group with others who have experienced the same. Self-blame and guilt is a perilous stage of this grief, since the phenomena of feeling suicidal, goes with the self-blame. Therefore, seek counselling, talk therapy and as much emotional support as is possible to be able to get through each day and stay with the rest of us and to stay with the living world.

Acceptance is near impossible with suicide grief; its the toughest one to resolve, no one wants to accept death but especially suicide. When the death of a spouse or a child or a family member is suicide, we are left to blame ourselves for not doing the right thing to keep that person from taking their own life. Acceptance of what passed is very challenging, as the person who ended their life may have kept how they were feeling a secret. They may have felt they were a burden to everyone else, and by doing this they are relieving everyone they love of their burden, in fact, if only they knew their action instead creates a legacy of much more pain. The person who ended their life, did so because they were utterly desperate to stop feeling the pain they were in and they felt there was no other solution.

We know there are certainly far better solutions. For many mourners left behind after losing someone to suicide, there is a period of dangerous despair that also drives the mourner to feel suicidal themselves; this is a phenomenon that many go through, at this phase try and find a local group where you can connect with others who have experienced losing someone to suicide, there are forums online everywhere including on Facebook, but it helps to speak to people in a local group that you can physically go to, to share your experiences with others face to face and to work through your feelings.

I have been through this, very acutely after my husband ended his own life. When I was going through this stage, I ended up in tears at the doorstep of a grief counsellors office, I was the first person in all his years of grief counselling who had turned up in a very bad state asking for help without an appointment. I had spent about 6 weeks before in a comatose state of raw grief wanting to commit suicide and I was at the time in a new country and city which didn’t help. My counsellor was  and still is Alvero at Sentido based in Lima, Barranco, Peru, a suicide grief counselling centre, Alvero helped me a lot and invited me to the free local group that he hosted for people like me who met every two weeks. They had lost their sons, daughters, husbands or wives, and siblings to suicide. I met these people and heard their stories in Spanish, we cried together, embraced and connected on that profound level of understanding the lowest of grief pain.

Everyone had a safe space to share what they were feeling at different stages of their grief and to talk about the insensitivity of others and the social stigma that they were experiencing as a result. It helped me come to terms with some of my pain and it helped me work through my own suicidal feelings.

The most vital thing about the group counselling is it allowed me to connect with other people that knew exactly what I was going through and how I felt. For me it was a lifeline and I hope others will find the same supportive groups locally. Such groups are useful to those of us who are grieving due to a suicide death. Friends and family around you do not really understand, its hard for them to imagine what it is like if it hasn’t happened to them. And there is a social stigma surrounding this topic in all societies and cultures no matter how open they may seem on the surface, people are very judgemental about suicide.

Due to the social stigma, it is rarely discussed in public and that makes suicide grief the hardest to understand, and for people who carry suicide grief, it is the hardest burden to process and the most complex form of grief. We can lose people we regarded as close friends and even some family members who don´t understand why we also feel suicidal or cannot move on with our grief. I lost a number of people I previously thought were close friends and even family members slipped out of my life, this is common for people going through suicide grief, unlike normal grief where people are more sympathetic.

There should be no expected recovery time period or rush with grief, especially suicide grief, which takes a lot longer than most other kinds of grief to work through and is notoriously hard to process. As I explained earlier, acceptance and self-blame are some of the obstacles in suicide grief. Once I was told just a year and a half after my husband died ´´to move on´´, by someone else who lost their wife, and similar advice from a friend who lost their father at a young age, however their loved one’s deaths were not by suicide, but people who go through normal grief assume suicide grief is the same, so they need to be aware of the obstacles and differences.

In normal grief, one can blame the illness or accident or what ever killed their loved one, in suicide grief, one always blames themselves and feels very guilty. I’ve had so many insensitive comments that people have said to me, its best not to get angry at them, they really couldn’t possibly understand, unless they lost someone the same way. So it is important to discuss the complexity of it and for people who are friends of the person who is grieving, friends need to be patient with the person who is grieving, and be as supportive as possible, don’t pressure the griever, allow them all the time in the world to process their pain.

The path back to the living

Living with depression in the contemporary world is challenging enough, living with grief, even more so, as we are continually under pressure to tread the hamster wheel and when we are grieving, we can barely put one foot in front of the other.  There is an art to learning to live again when one is this depressed. After the first year and a half, or more, one may start to come out of their grief cave and begin to see the light of life of what is going on around them shine in.  It takes a lot of time and patience to get back into learning to live in the land of the living again. If you are someone who has lost someone to suicide, it helps to change your environment to a completely different one, change your living space, or redecorate, if you really cannot move location, but moving location helps a lot to move forward in life. Firstly, I didn´t want to do this since, I wanted to be close to all the memories of our last days together, but in the long run, it is healthiest for your progress and healing to relocated to another town, city, or country. Relocating is always hard for anyone and when we are suddenly a widow or grieving the loss of someone close to us, its harder as we don´t feel we can connect to anyone as it is.  With all forms of grief, there is constant yearning to be reunited with the deceased, and missing them is an overwhelming feeling for years.

If you lost your partner or loved one in a traumatic way, in suicide or in some tragic circumstances that you may have witnessed, the mourner will also be dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, where you will relive flashbacks to their death and the circumstances around it. Especially at morning when you wake up and at night before you go to sleep, these are the worst times. I tried to make sure I distracted myself during the day if these invasive thoughts entered my head, meditation didn´t help, I found mantras and Yogic Kapalbhalti breathing techniques helpful. Avoidance of situations, people and places are best during the rawest periods of grief and even years after that remind one of their painful loss, hearing or seeing the person or pet that died, suicidal thoughts as a way of wanting to reunite with the deceased., especially if you are also suffering guilt and blame yourself due to the loss.

Bereavement is a normal process, and there are times when a person will become stuck in one stage of the grieving process for a long period of time, which can become detrimental to their own emotional well-being and ability to function in everyday life. So no matter how well you think you may be coping try to seek support to work through some areas that you may benefit from talking through with a professional to find a way to come to terms with the emotions.

A person is more likely to grief abnormally when the person was unable to view the body of the deceased or attend the funeral and be able to express grief at the appropriate time when death was sudden or due to suicide. Or if there was a problematic relationship or unresolved issues with the deceased, or if there was a very dependent relationship with the deceased. Or if the loss was the child of the person, or their parent, or the person has lost an unusual number of people in a short time period.

When we are in raw grief, unable to clean the kitchen and keep it tidy, it may take six months,  eight months or a year before one can really start caring for their surroundings because losing your loved one feels like your heart has been wrenched out of your chest and a larger part of you has gone forever with that person you love. You have no interest in self-care.  When my mum visited me a year and a half after I lost my husband and had just returned to Europe, it was a big occasion, so I had to tidy my apartment before she arrived, and it was the first time I had seen her in three years.  She took an interest in my balcony plants, she and her partner helped buy a few more pots and plants, and we spent a few hours organising the terrace plants together.  You can invite friends or family to help you tidy your rooms, or garden or redecorate your house. I recommend this as part of your healing process.   A way to reintegrate pain into joy and new chapters in life is a way to learn to become whole again.

When we have experienced being broken into thousands of fragments, we don’t see that the way to reintegration is by allowing the spaces between those fragments to fill with new things, accepting the new experiences we have of life with pain and with grief. Over some time, we focus less on the thousands of separate fragments and start to see that healing is the process of wholeness being the glue that fills the spaces between the fragments with new experiences. We then focus more on the space between them and start to see that just because we feel broken, its an illusion and that fragmentation and wholeness are one the same.

Once you have lived a massive trauma, you are not the same person you were, that has to be accepted, it takes time coming to terms with the new you. But you can explore what you are now and what you will become may surprise you. I know all too well what it feels like to be broken and lost and not recognise who I am, and having Aspergers makes that challenge even more confounded. Another reason why practising gratitude and the art of living can bring back the sacredness into my life.

It´s your job to restore this quality back into your life; a therapist cannot do this for you, although they can help you make the steps and facilitate a space for you to gain momentum, no-one else can write your new chapter, only you can do that. Don’t see it as a chore; see it as an experiment, a process, a learning curve that can lead to a new standard of living for yourself.

Start with better self-nurturing and self-care, where we learn to self-care, self soothe and nurture ourselves in a healthy, gentle and constructive way. You will feel that your quality of life will improve as a result. Start a weekly self-care list, but tailored to suit your needs, here is an example below-

Week 1
Get a hair cut
Go for a walk in nature
Make a healthy green smoothie
Watch a Funny movie
Hang all the clothes up on my bedroom chair
Research something. For me it was Equine therapy

Week 2
Meditate for ten minutes a day
Do a few Yoga stretches, its okay to stop when you feel you have had enough.
Listen to music for at least 1 hour a day
Speak to a close friend
Bake some gluten free cookies

Week 3
Tidy up the lounge
visit a new place and take pictures
Make a photo collage
Learn a new language
Get a memorial Tattoo
Do some volunteer work

Week 4
Put on your favourite boogie music and dance
Invite a friend over for dinner
Get a Massage
Do some gardening or buy some plants for your house and water them weekly
Eat more fruit and drink more water

We all had the inquisitive nature to explore learning how to live as children, everything is magical and children are in awe of nature and natural beauty. When you have even an inkling or a tiny desire to change, since you are tired of suffering from depression and would like to manage it better, the most practical way to take steps are to change your current habits and to reframe it from this perspective. Instead of being a victim of an illness, become self-empowered and learn to play with life again.

Ways to start helping to improve your daily feeling and your state of mind begins with your diet, doing new things you have never done before, and taking care of what you put in your body.

Depression is partly an auto-inflammatory illness; therefore, we must pay attention to what we eat and notice how we feel afterwards. Eating more kale and spinach, introducing at least 40 percent more greens into your diet can help heal inflammation. This, we will discuss in more detail in the following chapters which includes recipes and meal plans to help you take better care of your mental health, as well as your emotional health. In human ecology terms, your body is the soil to nourish your mind which is the flower that you want to see bloom. Treat the soil with care, keep it watered and give it plenty of healthy nutrients and nourishment, avoid an acidic environment, keep it alkaline, then your mind and emotions can become more balanced.
Lifestyle choices are an important factor, avoiding certain foods and drinks that contribute to inflammation and acid environment and overstimulate mood.

Try to moderate wheat, sugar, alcohol and caffeine, it requires discipline but switch to alternatives, instead of coffee drink Yerba Matte, it’s an Argentinian tea that gives you a nice healthy energy buzz, I mix it with other teas to create different flavours, such as Chia tea or Jasmine. Instead of sugar use Stevia, its a natural sweetener. Instead of wheat, eat gluten free products. The reward is more valuable since you will feel calmer and suffer from less anxiety and depression. Eating more greens and adding superfoods and probiotics helps to promote a healthier gut and eradicate candida. I suggest foods like Kifer, Kombucha, Chia seeds soaked in pure water, 100 percent pure Cacao, Maca, Spirulina and Ginseng, to your diet. These foods help boost energy levels and antioxidants and improve your gut flora.

Eat well, nourish your body, nourish your mind, learn to take care of yourself again, learn to be kind to yourself and you will find a way back to the land of the living.

 

“Pain is like the cold deep in the winter, if it is endured for too long, we will die,
Joy is a soaring moment that inspires you forever, or makes you cry,
Love is both of these things because without them we cannot grow, neither can love”.

– C S

 

 

Author of

The Silent Ecocide 

Surviving Depression in a Depressing World, an Ecological Perspective

Carlita is an independent environmental journalist and project developer who provides information overlooked by mainstream journalism funded by political agendas, since Carlita has worked closely with indigenous groups in Latin America for the last fifteen years.

 

Evolve to Ecology News

New Book-Surviving Depression in a Depressing World, An Ecological Perspective.

My new book is now published and available here in Paperback and Kindle
This book provides a fresh perspective on the exponential rise in depression and suicide in modern western society. It’s an alternative book for alternative people who  have tried conventional medicine or who aren’t interested in treating depression with allopathic options, and who are open to trying other options. Scientists have studied depression is in fact a normal response to a global environmental destruction, with growing scientific peer reviewed papers that confirm our degrading environment affects our mental health. There is an urgent need for humanity to reconnect with nature and change society to become more environmentally friendly. The author offers advice on how to manage depression better with nutritional advice and controversial health hacks, recommended lifestyle changes including learning the art of living after surviving grief, deep trauma, and loss.
The aim is to help the reader see their depression as a calling to look within, connect with their truer inner being and begin to nurture themselves spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Furthermore, this book invites the reader to consider their own place in human evolution and redefine their lost purpose to one that is more aligned to Ecology than to Western Materialism, to become self-empowered, not a victim of depression. We look at talk therapies and radical new alternative therapies for managing depression in a challenging world.
Contents-
Introduction
Poem-Faithful Black Dog
Chapter One- I am Not my Story
Poem-The Exiled Dissidents
Chapter Two-Corporate devolution vs Ecology
Poem-My Friend, My Shadow
Chapter Three-A Brief History of Depression
Poem-The Thief
Chapter Four- The Art of Living
Poem-The Heart’s Compass
Chapter Five- Gluten Free Living, Health the Gut, Heal the Mind
Poem-Patented Flower in a Planet Sized Laboratory
Chapter Six- Health Hacks to Avoid Inflammation and Depression
Poem-Beat Your Drum
Chapter Seven- A Look at Different Talk Therapies
Poem-Illusions of Polarities
Chapter Eight- The Therapeutic Benefits of Entheogens and CBD oil
Poem–Merging Galaxies
Chapter Nine- The Noosphere, Consciousness and Biosphere
Poem-Love
99951 word count
414 pages

by C S

Author of

The Silent Ecocide 

Surviving Depression in a Depressing World, an Ecological Perspective

Carlita is an independent environmental journalist and project developer who provides information overlooked by mainstream journalism funded by political agendas, since Carlita has worked closely with indigenous groups in Latin America for the last fifteen years.

 

Evolve to Ecology News

Surviving Depression in a Depressing World, an Ecological Perspective

Carlita is an environmental journalist, author, project developer, hypnotherapist and educator who wants to share her insights and experiences to benefit people living with autism, anxiety, trauma, severe depression and suicidal thoughts. Here she talks openly about her life and gives an ecological perspective in her up and coming book, ”Surviving Depression in a Depressing World, an ecological perspective”.

If you want to put your name on the email list to be notified when the book comes out, please email below at
thesilentecocide@gmail.com  and to receive  updates and learn more about the art of living in a depressing world!

Related articles

An Ecological Perspective on Depression

You can follow her blog below for further updates

The Silent Ecocide

The Benefits of using Full Spectrum CBD Oil

The first important biological aspect to understand about Cannabis Oil before dismissing it, is to understand why it is so beneficial to human health, the human body consists of a complex endocannabinoid system. We have endocannabinoids throughout our body. The latest research has given us a more in depth understanding of the endocannabinoid system, it consists of a group of enzymes, endogenous ligands and endocannabinoid receptors, not just in the brain but also in the body. Endocannabinoids are found throughout the nervous system, the heart, the gut, liver, pancreas, skin, reproductive system, and so on. Researchers have shown that disrupted endocannabinoid signalling indicates in the body are connected to many illnesses including diabetes, hypertension, infertility, liver disease and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

This is an area of expanding research that is so vast, scientists are only just embarking on a deeper understanding about endocannabinoids and why they are in humans and other species of animals, as they are present in all vertebrate species, (Elphick and Egertová, 2005), which was a discovery only made 35 years ago when endocannabinoids were identified in a rats brain.

Therefore, it is only in the last ten years that substantial financial investments are becoming more ubiquitous in this rapidly growing field, hundreds of thousands of dollars are being paid into scientific research on endocannabinoids and the benefits and effects of Cannabis oil on human illnesses. This has led to the strengthening of testimonials with positive results, developing within both academic science, peer reviewed journals and the growing CBD oil industry in an area of natural medicine that is finally gathering academic respect and huge momentum. We are seeing more and more people consider its medicinal benefits after trying the usual allopathic medicine route, by those who choose cannabis as a serious therapeutic treatment and by doctors and scientists.

Endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors (primarily CB1 and CB2), and the enzymes that synthesize and degrade endocannabinoids are involved in brain function, body function and help regulate sleep, appetite, pain and reproduction. Basically, endocannabinoids are involved in receptor activity and the regulation of every physiological function in the body. We have been shaped by plant ecology, nature and evolution, when we understand our internal ecology and connect it to our past evolution, we can use plant medicine very effectively. We have everything we need in our environment as a form of natural medicine. We have evolved with endocannabinoids in our physiological make-up because we have used marijuana plants and other medicinal plants for as long as we have existed from apes, Ramapithecus Sivapithecus, to other early Bipedal Hominids and eventually, Homo Sapiens.

The main endocannabinoid receptor, CB1, was first discovered in a rat brain in the early 1980s and is now known to be among the most abundant G protein. Since then our scientific understanding is developing much deeper. Tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), is the primary psychoactive component of the cannabis plant, and produces psychoactive effects by engaging CB1 cannabinoid receptors. Its therapeutic effects are efficacious for multiple therapeutic indications and maladies, (Dhopeshwarkar A, 2014), (Grotenhermen and Müller-Vahl, 2012; Borgelt et al., 2013).

THC and CBN are able to fit like keys into the existing network of our body’s endocannabinoid receptors. Stimulating our internal endocannabinoid system with plant-based CBD restores balance and helps benefit our system. The compounds produced inside of the body, interact with these receptors. As many say, it’s like we were made for each other. Although there exists many types of endocannabinoids, one of the most widely known and studied is N-arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA). In humans, the CB1 receptor influences memory, learning and disease states associated with CB1 receptors are observed in addiction disorders, motor dysfunction, and in bipolar depression and anxiety disorders.

Moreover, aside from the brain, CB1 receptors also function in liver and adipose tissues, vascular as well as cardiac tissue, reproductive tissues and bone. (Howlette et al, 2010). CB1 is also present in the bone marrow, bone, brain, lungs, vascular system, muscles, gastrointestinal tract, reproductive organs, immune system, liver and pancreas, CB2 is also found in the spleen, bones, skin, immune system, liver, bone marrow and pancreas.

CB2 is also noted for its analgesic effects on pain. Endocannabinoids regulate cell function and stimulate regulation of pain, anti‐excitotoxic, anti‐inflammatory, and vasodilatory effects. Analgesia, the ability to supress pain, is the main therapeutic aspects of cannabinoids that interest scientists. Cannabinoid analgesia is based on the suppression of spinal and thalamic nociceptive neurons. The chronic pain that occasionally follows peripheral nerve injury is very different from inflammatory pain and is an area of considerable unmet therapeutic need in medicine.

Due to the expansion and deepening of research in endocannabinoids, scientists are making considerable progress in understanding the role of the endocannabinoids in the regulation of pain and its therapeutic effects on healing inflammation and cancer. We now have a growing scope of research on endocannabinoid analgesics in models of both acute and clinical pain such as inflammation and painful neuropathy.

Medicine has only recently discovered lymph cells present in the brain region, connected to the spinal area, we now know that immune problems directly affect the brain region and nervous system, which is interesting when looking at the beneficial effects of CBD oil on immune protection, inflammation and pain control. The framework for such analgesic effects exists in the CB receptors, which are found in areas of the nervous system important for pain processing and in immune cells that regulate the neuro‐immune interactions which in turn mediate the inflammatory hyperalgesia, (Zogopoulos et al, 2013).

Chronic inflammation is one of the precursors of depression and using Full Spectrum CBD oil is one of the best natural medicine options to address this since the compounds help stimulate our bodies own endocannabinoids and we can feel the benefits within ten minutes or so of using the medicine.

Personally, I find full spectrum CBD oil useful for combatting acute anxiety, I have Aspergers, which means I am on the autism spectrum, consequently, I have to deal with anxiety and depression on a daily basis, which is greatly reduced when I am taking CBD oil. I also use it to treat chronic inflammation and have various health benefits. I have tried a lot of different types of full spectrum CBD oil on the market, there can be problems with finding one that is of high quality and that preserves all the beneficial compounds, therefore one of the highest quality on the expanding market which I use is  Green Organics, Heart & Body Naturals   which is one of the most transparent CBD producers in this growing field, with laboratories that are using the most up to date, state of the art extraction equipment, that ensure no moulds or bacteria contaminate their products.
Additionally, HB Naturals take great care to preserve the full benefits of the plant extract properties including- Phytocannabinoids, Chlorophyll, Terpenes, and Omega 3, 6 and 9.

HB Naturals offer strengths varying from 500 mgs   to a 1000mgs, and they are one of the few companies that offer CBD strengths as high as 2,400mg. It comes as organic full spectrum hemp extract oil in 1-ounce bottle. This bottle can last around 2-3 months depending on your health regime and personal treatment requirements, I use it daily.

How to take it

You can take it orally, or in a smoothie or juice, or by using the ancient Ayurvedic way of the Pechoti intake method, place a few drops of oil on your finger and then apply topically to the belly button. At the end of an unborn baby’s umbilical cord is the Pechoti gland, and it stays there long after birth. In Ayurvedic medicine it is believed that every human has a Pechoti gland which is connected to more than 70 million nerves, tissues, and organs throughout the human body. So if you are using CBD oil or any type of therapeutic pure oil, this is a good way to deliver the medicine to let it absorb internally.

To take it orally, you only take 2-3 drops under the tongue in the morning and at night, not only is it better for us than popping synthetic pills, but more cost efficient also, treating the root cause of the health problem. I find it is also beneficial for depression and a myriad of illnesses from cancer, epilepsy, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, alzheimer’s and any chronic inflammation related illness.

HB Naturals also produce CBD products for treating pets. HB Naturals produce other powerful high quality herbal extract products like Black Seed oilNigella sativa is also known as black cumin seed oil. Black Seed oil has a varied spectrum of chemical composition containing phytochemicals such as thymoquinone, crystalline nigellone, antioxidants, amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, and minerals like calcium, iron, and potassium.

Black Seed has captured the attention of scientific research because it is like a powerful natural antibiotic that is resistant to microbe superbugs. It also has powerful anti-fungal properties compound against dermatophytes, molds and yeasts, due to its phytochemicals thymohydroquinone and thymol. Thymohydroquinone has been found to be beneficial to treating Alzheimer’s disease, Autism, Glaucoma and Parkinsons.

Some researchers have suggested that the endocannabinoid system plays a crucial role in cellular homeostasis. This means that the health of this system may be directly related to the health of the rest of the body, understanding this reflects how important the internal ecology of the human body is in relation to the evolutionary relationships between ourselves and our external environment, we have evolved with medicinal plants for thousands of years and there is an ecological and physiological relationship that has evolved as a result of our interaction with herbs and natural plant medicines that are still powerful healing gifts from nature for us to use.

In the course of our development, humankind has forgotten the most obvious and fundamental aspects of taking care of the human body, which means staying connected to Nature. We have become so far removed from Nature which is why even though we have all these technological advancements in science, industry and medicine, that we have seen a sharp increase in illnesses, new pathogens and diseases, it is a result of our biophobically disconnectedness from the Earth. Returning to Natural Plant Medicine is a way of reconnecting with nature, physically, mentally and emotionally. It is crucial we begin re-establishing our relationship with healing plants to gain the benefits on our mental and physical health and to restore our spiritual connectedness and relationship with the Earth. The energetic ecology of the internal body is profoundly connected to and reflected in the energetic ecology of the Earth and Universe.

by

Carlita Shaw

References for further research

Elphick MR, Egertová M. (2005) The phylogenetic distribution and evolutionary origins of endocannabinoid signalling. Handb Exp Pharmacol 168:283–297 [PubMed]

Howlett AC, Blume LC, Dalton GD. CB(1) cannabinoid receptors and their associated proteins. Curr Med Chem. 2010;17(14):1382-93. doi: 10.2174/092986710790980023. PMID: 20166926; PMCID: PMC3179980.

Dhopeshwarkar A, Mackie K. CB2 Cannabinoid receptors as a therapeutic target-what does the future hold?. Mol Pharmacol. 2014;86(4):430–437. doi:10.1124/mol.114.094649.

Grootenhermen F, Müller-Vahl K. (2012) The therapeutic potential of cannabis and cannabinoids. Dtsch Arztebl Int 109:495–501 (PMC).

Nicholas V. DiPatrizio and Kenny J. Simansky. (24 September 2008), Activating Parabrachial Cannabinoid CB1 Receptors Selectively Stimulates Feeding of Palatable Foods in Rats.Journal of neuroscience. 28 (39) 9702-9709

Panagiotis Zogopoulos, Ioanna Vasileiou Efstratios Patsouris Stamatios E. Theocharis. (2nd January, 2013). The role of endocannabinoids in pain modulation. Fundamental and Clinical Pharmacology.

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