If you are someone passionate about animal welfare or environmental issues, it’s likely that you are someone who is very compassionate, and gets upset by all the unkindness and cruelty in the world. And because there is so much of it, it can be difficult to keep your spirits up, even if you are trying to make some corner of the world a better place for all beings. But a bit like the old adage that ‘you have to put on your own oxygen mask, in order to help anyone else’, if you don’t ‘keep your vibes up’, it is difficult to help at all. Read this lovely post on how to take care of your heart, in these brutal times.
Spiritually Fly is a book by Faith Hunter, who is known for her ability to share classic yoga wisdom in a way that is grounded and radical. here she shares her life philosophy, empowering women from all walks of life to embrace their true self-worth, and live their most epic lives. Her own journey (a young black girl in the South whose brother was dying of AIDS contracted from a blood transfusion) meant she often struggled to trust in spirit and God. Her own journey brings a fresh grounded vibe to her teachings, blending classic yoga wisdom with modern-day living. She includes a wealth of ‘Soulprints’ (exercises and reflections, including yoga asanas and kriyas, pranayama and chakra explorations) to help.
Being optimistic is not being the same as annoyingly happy people! Things aren’t looking great, to be sure. You can’t remain ‘upbeat’ when animals are suffering, the planet is burning and people are needlessly dying. Often due to government ineptitude or greed. The recent idea that you should ‘avoid negative people’ means everyone happily hops off into the sunset, leaving the poor, oppressed, bewildered, grief-stricken and clinically depressed to their own devices. If ‘like attracts like’; they will all attract each other, and be even worse. How is that good?
A Mindfulness Guide for Survival is by Ruby Wax. You may know her as a zany comedienne, but she is also an Oxford-educated expert on mindfulness and mental health. Ruby has written this workbook for you as a guide on how to drop anchor when life (and the world around you) gets too daunting.g It’s filled with exercises and information when you are suddenly forced to confront hard truths and the big six realities – difficult emotions, uncertainty, loneliness, change, dissatisfaction and death. Think of this as an evolve-yourself book to help you hold the rudder straight, no matter how turbulent the waves.
A Book for Animal Activists & Others
Aftershock is an important book on how those involved in stressful campaigns can recover enough to carry on. Written for people who work in areas like animal or human rights abuses, the main issue is often a world that does not care. Many activists do so much wonderful work, but then struggling with the physical and emotional reverberations of frightening, horrifying or traumatising experiences in the course of their work. This book explores the culture of trauma that people have created through our violent exploitation of the earth, animals and each other. And says that the obvious solution is to heal these injuries, by creating a more peaceful work. The book is also useful for therapists who treat trauma, and anyone who wants to reduce the amount of terror in the world.