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Dianne Dain, co-founder of COPXX, explains why our survival depends on the feminine principles of connection, restoration, nurture and care
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod

This article first appeared in our Women: time for action issue of My Green Pod Magazine, distributed with The Guardian on 02 July 2021. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

Like every human since the dawn of humanity, I was born seeking a connection to my mother.

My connection was broken at birth when I was abandoned at a Salvation Army hospital.

I searched every moment of my life for the compassionate care of my mother – her smell, her touch, the safety of her arms and the love in her eyes – and though I had caregivers and was eventually adopted, my search for connection continued.

Several years ago, as an adult mother of four, I was asked to visit a Salvation Army hospital for Mother’s Day and play the harp for the inner-city mothers there. When I arrived I realised that this was the hospital I was born in, and that these were the halls my mother had walked through.

What I felt was the fear of being in this dark, cold place of detachment, where giving birth was not celebrated and honoured, but a terrifying trial and lonely burden to get through. There was a palpable loneliness and a lack of connection.

Prioritising connection

As we think about the world we live in and that my children and grandchildren will experience, I can’t help thinking about how we, as a collective, live. Often we treat our planet in a way that lacks connection, and we become filled with isolation and loneliness.

Our collective future has to be different. It has to be hopeful, with more compassion, connection and care, so we can nurture each other, the planet and all the life that it supports.

I think the most important thought that persists for me is that we must prioritise the feminine principle of connection. Humanity has ignored it, undervalued it and neglected it, and this shows in the present condition of Mother Earth.

This need for connection is something we all have in common. Without it we develop coping mechanisms that are based on the imperative to protect ourselves; if we are not careful this can cause distrust, anxiety and fear to become dominant traits.

A more feminine world

COPXX is a call for a new voice and a new – yet ancient – connection point for the planet. The decision-making currently governed by manmade laws has neither included nor valued our connection with nature and the feminine.

In the words of Boris Johnson at the opening of the G7, we need to build back in a ‘more feminine’ way. Whether those words were spoken with a much deeper understanding of the fundamental shift that is required is unknown, but they represent the most important call for humanity as we restore ourselves and our planet.

We need to value as a source of power and wisdom the keepers of life, the feminine principles in us all and the indigenous people who revere future generations and protect over 80% of the world’s biodiversity, which is a beautiful machine that works in perfect balance.

Their knowledge and power are some of the greatest untapped resources we have on this planet, and we must learn to listen to them with an open heart and an open mind.

From exploitation to restoration

Looking at the rise of violence against women and the extraction from and exploitation of the planet, it is hard not to see the parallels of abuse and neglect between our planet and the feminine as key hindrances to climate change reversal.

We must recognise there is resilient power found in the feminine to regenerate and restore. It is time we let our leaders know that we care more about compassion, balance, harmony and love of nature than profit and consumption.

In building back better, we need a new agenda of equality that uses the multiplying power of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 – ‘Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’. This agenda should prioritise Mother Earth and drive the way businesses are run, the way laws are made and the way we design our lives.

In short we must transform our relationship with our planet from exploitation to restoration and regeneration.

We have much of the science and technology we need; we have drive and ambition and creativity and energy, and these can be powerful tools of connection between humankind to show more love, respect and gratitude for each other and for our planet.

Reflecting on my need for my mother and my own children’s need for me, I have come to realise that the relationship we have with our mother (or father) is often one of need. It is inherently unbalanced.

Our planet needs us now. Nature must be recognised as the unpaid resource we draw from when we buy, move, act, support or decide policy. As we take, we must give back – or we should give before we take, as indigenous cultures do.

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