Inhabiting the gapEthical Consciousness News & Features
In the last few weeks life has changed – and not just for me. Talk about accelerated change. My God. Truth and reality are just waiting to flood in when the blinkers of denial finally drop and let’s face it, there has been a planet’s worth of denial going on.
I call it ‘the gap.’ That place where we don’t want to go. That place filled with feelings we don’t want to feel, responsibilities we don’t want to take, shadows we don’t want to own, truths we’d rather avoid, and more than that, our silent condoning of the greater atrocities towards self, other and planet that allow business as usual to continue.
Losing Polly Higgins
Extinction Rebellion stuck its heart and soul into the gap worldwide and forced the government to address its huge role in maintaining it. The TreeSisters team did major events in London that experimented with paradigm shift processes to seed a different path forward.
The Climate Change and Consciousness conference kicked off in Findhorn as folks from over 50 countries came to feel and face reality as it is and stare straight into the gap. And, heartbreakingly, the world lost wild lawyer Polly Higgins to an almost unthinkably fast journey with cancer. It may well have been the gap that took her.
Polly, who was one of the bravest women I have ever known and loved, didn’t just stand in the gap, she stood squarely and defiantly in the part of it that I call ‘the place with no name.’
The place with no name is the place in human consciousness that few can even bare to look at, let alone relate to or with, let alone take on and challenge. Polly did it all. She stood and looked squarely into the face of the systems that reflect the part of humanity’s shadow that uses dominance, deception, greed and cruelty to condone the conscious destruction of people, place and culture. She faced the very worst forms of emotional and moral blindness in the pursuit of short-term wealth and the illusion of power, and said ‘no’.
Polly put her heart, soul and legal brilliance into the place that had no name and said ‘Not on my watch,’ and then she set about doing something about it. Eradicating Ecocide and Mission Life Force (now known as Earth Protectors) are only two of her planetary contributions. She left us huge gifts now legacy, and I hope, even though we’ve lost her, her work will thrive because we have never been more ready for a total shift of consciousness on this planet, right here, right now, on our watch.
And it’s happening. A lot of that thanks to Extinction Rebellion, Greta Thunberg and the children of this world who are making the gap somewhere actually cool to hang out.
Staring at the gap
But I want to say something about the gap, because having stood with Extinction Rebellion in London, (something that also has many of Polly’s brilliant fingerprints on it) and felt that energetic weirding that happens around pockets of truth speaking reality amidst a sea of distracted denial, I became even more present to it as a ‘thing.’ It needs to be spoken about way more than it is because it’s so flipping uncomfortable to experience and yet we need to build our conscious relationship with it so that we can ultimately close it.
Humanity has this long-term conditioned and inherited habit of avoiding the things too hard to face or feel (slavery, witches, concentration camps) and a tendency to create a bi-directional, shame-based resistance field and emotional buffer zone around them to hold denial comfortably in place.
In other words we split ourselves off from the truth, which leaves the unprocessed trauma unhappily gathering the toxic sludge of endless rejection and avoidance in the rivers of our collective and personal psyches. Then it gets thrown – either at ourselves or at each other.
Disowned parts of us live in the gap, a gap that stings night and day with the judgements intended to perpetuate our safe distance from it. If we could hear it, I think it would be howling.
Our addiction to consumption, convenience and unconscious avoidance of change lives in the gap. So does our collusion with companies and systems that destroy our world and our interesting patterns of privately purchasing from them and publicly damning them.
Populating the gap
Then there is our shaming of the inconvenient truths and the greater ease of poo-pooing them. Take chem-trails for instance. Mention them and the label ‘conspiracy’ is used to shame you. Easier to shoot the messenger than to address the fact that metal poisoning of the soil through so-called ‘weather modification’ is now killing trees, insects and marine life worldwide at terrifying rates, while metal toxicity now sees autism, infertility and dementia going off the charts.
Try climate change, and until Extinction Rebellion the standard response was to change the subject, close you down or just look helpless, angry or afraid, but that’s changing.
Why? Because now there is so much more consciousness inside the gap. It’s not just this terrifying dark unknown place filled with our own shame around inaction and fear of being rejected by everyone else using denial as an avoidance tactic.
There are now thousands of people wandering around in there with heart-shaped torches and a value system that makes you proud to be human again, standing in the streets literally yelling for truth-telling and my god the sense of relief is unspeakable.
The more light inside the gap, the more folk will step into it because it’s less and less frightening. The more consciousness in the gap, the more solutions arise that genuinely seek to serve all and not just those skimming the cream off the top. The more love and gentleness in the gap, the faster we can accept and alchemise the fact of the fear and denial that we have allowed to take us to the very brink of complete ecosystem collapse.
The more creativity and refusal to continue with business as usual in the gap, and suddenly the gap is a cool place to hang out and it’s finally safe to explore the complete transformation of one phase of human experience into something new, even if we have no idea as yet what that is going to look like. Why? Because we’re together and not alone with it.
No one should be alone in the gap, it is simply too much for one body, heart or soul to process and alchemise. Yes the feelings are frightening, but when enough of us them face them together, the intensity is diluted. Shared, we can manage them.
Closing the gap
With so much on the line, we can no longer allow either fear of the known or fear of the unknown to stop us. The more we can face the unfaceable, forgive the unforgivable, accept what we don’t know how to deal with, allow ourselves to not know, feel what is asking to be felt, look ourselves and our planet in the face without looking away and accept that everything has to change, the stronger we will all get. We get stronger as we close the gap because we are weaving ourselves and our world back together.
We close the gap when we choose truth over denial and reality over fear of rejection. We close the gap when we reach out tender tendrils of intimacy and allow ourselves to acknowledge our yearning to belong not just to communities that value who we are, but to a planet that has always known exactly how to take care of us. We close the gap when we let the grief have us, let our feelings call us home to our truth, let our hearts break open to show us in fact how profoundly we love this world that we have been taught to take for granted.
Above all, we close it when we turn fully to nature and finally see Her face, as a living being of miraculous complexity that needs every one of her creations to hold the web of life together. When we stop treating Her as invisible, stop looking straight through Her to the stuff that we take, take and take, and instead truly see Her and the gifts that She gives, then we start the journey home through gratitude to reciprocity, reverence and restoration. We heal our world as we heal ourselves.
Extinction Rebellion, Gail, Skeena – to the thousands of you who just rebelled for love and filled the gap with your heart and souls, the deepest of bows. Life will never be the same again.
To Polly – there are no words to say thank you for what you have gifted us all. May we take your batton of truth-speaking, integrity, challenging the system and protecting the sacred world and make your dream come true.
To all of us. It’s time to close the gap. Grab the torch of your love and let’s dance.
Clare Dubois, founder of TreeSisters, is an Earth-loving social entrepreneur and inspirational speaker who worked internationally for 18 years facilitating groups, coaching business leaders and creating behaviour change processes within the personal growth sector. Clare is leading the TreeSisters campaign, focusing on network development and the empowerment of women. She has been developing the ethos and principles, the team and organisational culture, the campaign strategy, the framework of the Maps and behaviour change materials. She is committed to the creation of an evolving system that learns as it goes and continually models itself upon the flows and forms of living systems.