Alliance Training: Thriving in a changing world

IMG_1382 I have been watching words lately.

Intensely aware of how they shape our belief systems, paying specific attention to how they shape our belief systems re: what we believe is possible for the future.

The earth quake in Japan has rocked our world, allowing us to feel the impact of our connection~ making the “oneness” so many speak about make sense in extremely tangible terms. How the actions of one nation, one individual, literally has a ripple affect, through the wind, through the water, to influence all in it’s path.

I am watching my communities in the bay area take the potential earthquake preparedness to a new level, even dawning the term, “resilience training.” At first I liked the term: it seemed to claim a different kind of ownership over the term, “disaster preparedness.”

I read an article in TreeHugger today that spoke about the term resilience vs. sustainability. It stated that the sustainability movement was never on the right track given our current models of production..were never… sustainable. They say we should be aiming for a resilience model. There’s that word again.

But then today~ A trend in my news feed shouted a little louder today: New England is speaking about their “battle with the ocean,” a story coming out of Iceland headlined, “A killer whale is terrorizing residents.” Read closer, and the battle with the ocean speaks about how houses are built too close too the shore line, and the Orca in Iceland was captured and placed in a small enclosed area to draw tourists. This is what causes fear in me: when I see common language used to describe our relationship with the world associated with war.¬† All of a sudden, I didn’t like the term resilience any more, after all, check out what it means:

1: the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress
2: an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change

Well Boo Hoo. It feels…too negative to me. It sounds like we are preparing to survive a war with mother nature. I searched for other terms, and returned to the language we used when I worked as a wilderness guide when we taught youth¬† the ancient methods of building a fire using a bow drill. We called it self reliance.

Is that what we are going for as we move towards a more sustainable model of living? Self reliant communities, neighborhoods, and individuals who aren’t dependent upon a industrial model that can’t continue?

noun: reliance on one’s own abilities, decisions

But something is still missing~ the word feels cold to me, not fully connected, too independent. So I rolled the word around in my mouth and I heard the alliance in the word.

And THAT feels good. Yes. Alliance training.

The definition (since I knew you were curious):

  • a connection based on kinship or marriage or common interest; “the shifting alliances within a large family”; “their friendship constitutes a powerful bond between them”
  • an organization of people (or countries) involved in a pact or treaty

And now we are cooking for fire: yes, I want my disaster preparedness, my self sufficiency training, my continued learning about living sustainably on the planet that involves a give take relationship with the planet, my permaculture course to be categorized under:

“Alliance Training.”

Alliance with the natural cycles and seasons of the earth, alliance and respect for animals in the way that I treat and consume them for nourishment, alliance in how I relate to the natural world~as I take part in both loving, and restoring, and yes, alliance with how I respond and recover from large storms, earth quakes, and other naturally occurring events that affect and destroy built societies. Alliance makes me think that even in the face of crisis, we are working together. It’s like signing a contract of marriage~ there will be good days, and there will be bad days, but we are aligned to make it through, we are aligned to stay in relationship. And that is what I want my relationship with the natural world to feel like as we move through this shifting time…aligned.

So I’m signing up for alliance training.

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