North Pole Journey: Epilogue

BY Parvati

A week after my return: Friday, October 7, 2010


It has been about a week since I have been back from the North Pole. Though I’ve slept well these past days, I feel very tired and strangely, I think I feel something like culture shock. My heart is heavy having seen even more clearly and palpably the effect of human ignorance. Yet there is new life being born in me beneath the undeniable process of grieving I am experiencing. Perhaps that baby Inuit I felt wiggling in my soul while in the Arctic is shape-shifting into a wiser, more compassionate self. Though my eyes these days are continual fountains that do not run dry, my chest feels like a chrysalis bursting into freedom. The force moving through me feels like the power of Life itself. As I evolve, I am charged with an even stronger pull to wake up and inspire positive growth for all.

I know that when my heart breaks, I have a choice. It can either break to close down or it can break open. I feel my heart is breaking open after seeing a much bigger picture of the ecological crisis than I previously knew existed. This week doing the media circuit, people seem interested in the problem, but also bound by the perception of helplessness and disconnect. I know my tears are my own, yet I feel acutely aware of the pain of the planet. This may sound grandiose, but it is true: the pain I feel feels like the pain of the world. There I was at the North Pole, praying to be a vehicle for transformative healing for the living Earth and for all beings, offering myself completely to Her. I understand that the spiritual purge I am going through now is the result of the prayers I did from the bottom of my heart at the top of the world asking that our world may be free from all interference. I am part of the world, literally. Resistance to life in the form of fear, judgment, anger, shame…all those painful emotions that disconnect me from my truest beauty, adds weight to my health and well being and also to that of the Earth.

We use this expression commonly: to feel the pain of the world. But when we say that, we mean the pain of the people on the Earth, but not the pain of the planet itself. Yet, the people who live on it are also made of it. I understand now within my very cells that there is no pain in the world that Nature itself does not feel. We speak about being one people, interconnected. Yet we are also intricately connected and interdependent with the living earth as a conscious being.

I knew before going that the planet is in trouble. What I saw at the North Pole makes me even more aware of how big the problem is. Unanimously, elders, healers, politicians, hunters, pilots, environmental activists, scientists shared the same message: the ice is melting very quickly, the animals are dying and people must stop polluting. The winds carry our pollution to the Arctic. People there are experiencing what we will see soon. This is serious and we must take action now.

What my heart is teaching me is that the environmental crisis is a gift to learn to connect more deeply. It is like the call from the planet, our mother, teaching us, yet again (as a mother would), how we must grow up and become wiser and more compassionate beings. She shows us that we are all connected because when we act in a disconnected manner, life dies and so do we. What I do affects you. What you do affects me. What we all do affects the planet. We are not isolated islands but one Earth family.

Through this process of potential awakening, I see that there are two levels of change we are being called to implement. One is external and one is internal. They inform each other. Externally, we must reduce CO2 emissions. This is not new. We have known that for some time now. But it is more urgent than ever. There is a saying that what we resist persists. Similarly what we avoid gets bigger until we must give it due attention. It is like life drops a tiny feather on our shoulder to remind us to wake up, then a pebble, then a stone. Finally a huge grand piano comes crashing down on our head to help us wake up. I see the natural disasters like the ice caps melting, the Tsunamis, what happened in Haiti and Pakistan as the grand piano. We can be easily complacent in Canada and other developed countries because we have not yet personally experienced these horrors where we live. It is happening “over there”. It may well take people turning on their taps and seeing purple water before everyone understands that there is a global ecological crisis and we must change. I do hope not.

Yes, we must plant trees, turn off lights and electrical devices when not in use, conserve water and take shorter showers; look for alternative transportation to cars, such as car pooling or taking the public transport. Beyond these external things, I believe we are spiritually called to awaken to realize we are part of a much bigger whole. When we begin to see that each decision we make, we don’t make for ourselves alone but that we affect everyone on the planet, we naturally begin to act with more compassion. When we have more compassion, turning off the lights when not in use, or riding a bike becomes more natural. We realize the full impact of our actions.

The realization of our interconnection inspires personal responsibility and transformation. That in turn creates global change. We must realize that we are connected and what one person does affects everyone and the planet. We all breathe the same air and live on the same living organism. Varied in race and creed, we are one Earth family, children of the same mother, our planet. On this Earth, there are wonderfully rich cultures, races, creeds that are like a beautiful tapestry window dressing. Let’s look through the window and welcome the light of possibility, of interconnection into our lives.

I wrote on Satish’s fabric, “we are wealthy when our world is healthy”. I believe the ecological crisis is happening now as a call to change, not because we can’t, but because we can. We can meet this as a powerful opportunity for tremendous personal and global transformation.

I am so grateful to all who have supported this North Pole journey. It has been so very graced. May we continue to wake up, connect to ourselves and to each other and realize our true nature. Mall beings be free of suffering.

With Grace, may it be so.