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Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We're in Without Going Crazyby Joanna Macy
Synopses & Reviews
The challenges we face can be difficult even to think about. Climate change, the depletion of oil, economic upheaval, and mass extinction together create a planetary emergency of overwhelming proportions. Active Hope shows us how to strengthen our capacity to face this crisis so that we can respond with unexpected resilience and creative power. Drawing on decades of teaching an empowerment approach known as the Work That Reconnects, the authors guide us through a transformational process informed by mythic journeys, modern psychology, spirituality, and holistic science. This process equips us with tools to face the mess were in and play our role in the collective transition, or Great Turning, to a life-sustaining society.
Active Hope is about finding, and offering, our best response to the crisis of sustainability unfolding in our world. It starts by accepting that the challenges we face can be difficult even to look at: climate change, the depletion of oil, economic reversals and the die-back of our natural world act together to create a planetary emergency of overwhelming proportions.
The book offers an approach that strengthens our capacity to face disturbing information and respond with unexpected resilience and creative power. Drawing on decades of experience running workshops in an empowerment approach widely known as The Work That Reconnects, the authors guide the reader through a transformational process informed by mythic journeys, modern psychology, holistic science and spiritual perspectives. This process equips readers with tools to help them face the mess were in and find and play their role in the collective transition, or Great Turning, to a life-sustaining society.
At the heart of this book is the idea that Active Hope is a gift that is not only given but also received. The journey of finding, and offering, our gift of contribution helps us to discover new strengths, open to a wider network of allies and experience a deepening of our aliveness. When our responses are guided by the intention to act for healing of our world, the mess were in not only becomes easier to face, our lives also become more meaningful and satisfying.
Most books addressing global issues focus on either our dire problems or grand-scale solutions. Authors Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone focus instead on equipping readers with a transformational mindset. We face the facts of a planet and economies in crisis, and we acknowledge that individuals cant necessarily create their desired outcomes, but rather than allowing these two realities to shut us down, we choose active hope. This hope is something we do rather than something we have. Rather than acting only when we deduce we may succeed, we focus on our intention and let that be our guide.” On this path we discover new strengths, open to a network of allies, and experience a deepening of aliveness. Because we are actively giving — and receiving — hope, we can face global crises without despair and play a personal role in the collective Great Turning” toward a life-sustaining society.
About the Author
Joanna Macy has been an esteemed scholar (of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep ecology) and activist for four decades. She lives in Berkeley, CA. Chris Johnstone trains and teaches on resilience, happiness, and positive change. He lives in Bristol, U.K.
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